Application and Prospect of RFID in Logistics

  • Detail

The application and Prospect of RFID in logistics

on November 4, 2003, Wal Mart, the largest supermarket chain in the world, announced a major decision requiring its 100 largest suppliers to use RFID tags (radio frequency identification technology, also known as electronic tags) on commodity packaging before January 1, 2005; The remaining more than 80000 suppliers should adopt this technology by January 1st, 2006 at the latest. Historically, bar code technology was promoted by Wal Mart and other global supermarket chains, so this move is likely to be an obvious sign that RFID will be popularized in commercial logistics and replace the mainstream status of bar code technology

in addition, industry giants such as IBM, Intel and Microsoft have also announced the development of RFID technology; Many relevant international organizations and governments are also actively formulating relevant standards and policies. All these seem to indicate that the commercial application of RFID technology has entered a practical and rapid development stage

revolutionary RFID technology

rfid is characterized by the use of radio waves to transmit identification information, which is not limited by space, and can quickly track items and exchange data. When working, the working distance between RFID tag and "reader" can reach tens of meters or even hundreds of meters. Through non-contact information collection of long-distance targets (objects, equipment, vehicles and personnel) in various states (high-speed moving or stationary), they can be automatically identified and managed. Because RFID technology avoids manual intervention in the tracking process, it can greatly improve work efficiency while saving a lot of manpower, so it has great attraction for logistics and supply chain management

rfid carries out two-way communication in a wireless way. Its biggest advantage is non-contact, which can realize batch reading and remote reading, recognize high-speed moving objects, and realize the real "one object, one code". This system can greatly simplify the inventory management of items and meet the needs of increasing information flow and improving information processing speed

rfid technology is revolutionary. Some people call it "revolution". It can wirelessly connect all items to the network. In the foreseeable time, RFID tags will develop at a high speed and coexist with bar codes for a long time. RFID tags and bar codes are suitable for different occasions and have their own advantages: bar codes are suitable for very low-cost items, while RFID is suitable for high-speed mobile or multi-target simultaneous recognition environment

at present, the application of RFID technology in China is mainly concentrated in the transportation industry. The more mature applications are: national railway vehicle number identification system, Shanghai Urban Railway pearl line control system, Dalian port container management. In addition, applications in access control, parking lot management and highway toll management are also beginning to take shape

the EPC and "IOT" application standardization working group of the China Association for standardization previously made relevant investigations and analyses on China's RFID application market, and the main objects of the investigation were China's top 500 enterprises in 2003. Chen Xi, the chief scientist of the working group, said: "after the investigation, the working group predicts that China will need more than 3billion RFID tags in the use of RFID tags in the future (every year). Among them, consumer electronics will need 83million tags; cigarette products will need 800million tags; alcohol products will need 130million tags. If you want to know more about the detailed information tags of experimental machines; it products will need about 1.3 billion to 1.4 billion tags."

the great value of RFID in commercial logistics

not long ago, IBM's RFID testing and Solution Center was officially launched in La gaude, France. IBM's RFID solution is oriented to a variety of industries, such as medicine, retail, logistics, processing, electronics, government and transportation, etc. the center will also provide technical prototypes to potential customers in some special industries

Delta Airlines plans to invest $15million to $25million in RFID technology. Air transport giants Boeing and Airbus have announced that they are testing RFID technology and establishing relevant standards for the aviation industry

at present, the most valuable application field of RFID is the logistics management of daily commodities

recently, Gartner selected the top ten technologies in 2005, including RFID. The company believes that using RFID can track the life cycle of products, provide more and more in-depth product records, and improve market efficiency. RFID tags can be embedded in the product packaging with time limit requirements, so as to monitor the temperature, vibration, time and other parameters during the process of transporting goods from the warehouse to the store for shelves

rfid technology will completely solve the automation problem of information collection in logistics management. RFID tags attached to a single commodity, packaging box or pallet can provide two-way communication of product flow and information flow in supply chain management, and transmit the data collected from the tags through interconnection. Compared with bar code technology, RFID technology can greatly reduce the labor cost used to obtain product information and automate many links of the supply chain

rheinburg, Germany, and reached a resonance with potential partners in related fields. The experiment of Metro shows that RFID tags are very successful in identifying both pallet levels and individual goods on shelves. It can speed up the inventory turnover, no need to count the packing list or goods manually, and it also saves the work of manual data acquisition in all links

modern logistics involves a large number of complex products, and its supply chain structure is extremely complex, often with a large geographical span, so it requires very high accuracy and timeliness of information. A survey of a consumer goods company conducted by MIT auto ID Center shows that a distribution center spends 11000 hours a year manually counting goods and scanning bar codes. RFID technology overcomes these shortcomings of bar code, automates the process and provides real-time data for the supply chain. Forrester Research retail analyst 8. Employees who first use the pull machine believe that if RFID is adopted, Wal Mart can save $8.35 billion a year, most of which is the labor cost of scanning bar codes. In addition, RFID can solve the loss caused by the out of stock of retail goods, theft and the disruption of the supply chain, while Wal Mart's annual loss caused by theft is up to $2billion

in terms of RFID applications, more examples are used in retail supply chains: DHL, a professional logistics service provider, plans to replace barcode scanning with RFID technology in its logistics center by the end of 2004; UPS uses RFID in the process of package sorting and the determination of the accurate location of packages; Dell writes new information into RFID tags at any time during computer assembly, so that customers can understand the production process of ordered products when purchasing; Unilever and Nestle have also adopted similar systems for material tracking and quality control

at present, some large global shipping companies (such as Hutchison Whampoa in Hong Kong and the port authority of Singapore) have installed RF reading devices in some international ports with more traffic, and obtained the arrival and transit information and data of goods through "IOT", realizing the visualization of logistics information, and achieved good economic benefits. The scheme adopted by them is to adopt active RFID tags at the container and pallet levels, and use passive RFID tags and barcodes on small packaging containers and single products at the same time. In order to ensure the safety of goods, RF electronic seals are also installed on the containers. Once the containers are illegally opened, they will automatically alarm within a few seconds

the bottleneck restricting the development of RFID is the lack of unified standards

it is recognized in the industry that the biggest obstacle restricting the development of RFID at present is technical standards. There are 117 RFID protocol standards for data exchange in the world. There are too many and too many agreements, resulting in inconsistent terminology, which limits the improvement of the standard in practice. More importantly, at present, there is a lack of authoritative and unified standards that are commonly observed in the world

it was originally ISO Technical Committee that formulated international standards. With the supply chain gradually becoming one of the most important components in the future economic operation, MIT auto ID center proposed the EPC (electronic product code) standard with the support of UCC (United States unified code Committee) in 1999. In November, 2003, UCC and ean (International Article Numbering Association) established EPC global to preside over the promotion and application of EPC in the world. This has established the position of EPC in the commercial field and accelerated the large-scale application of RFID technology in the commercial field. EPC is not only a simple coding standard, but has actually expanded into a "IOT" architecture that combines RFID technology and networking technology. EPC has been successively adopted by many famous companies around the world (such as Wal Mart, Coca Cola, kraft, etc.), so it is expected to become the standard of the new generation of UPC (general commodity code)

due to many aspects involved, the work of formulating standards is very complex. For example, in mid June 2004, the third meeting of the RF research group held by the China Association of automatic identification in Chongqing failed to form a unified opinion on China's EPC standard

related to the formulation of standards is the dispute over the frequency band adopted by RFID. To realize the information exchange in the global logistics field with RFID technology, there must be a globally unified logistics RFID frequency band. However, at present, the United States uses 915MHz, Europe uses 805.8mhz, Japan sets 960MHz, and China is still under discussion

price is still the key factor limiting the scale of RFID development.

compared with the past two years, the price of RFID tags has been significantly reduced. According to the latest news, foreign countries have achieved 5 cents each (provided by STMicro, but it needs to be at the unit price of 100000 batches, excluding antenna and packaging costs), and the lowest price in China is 7 cents each. Nevertheless, the price of RFID tags and reading devices is still too high for large-scale promotion. And price and scale are a pair of contradictions. Manufacturers hope to reduce costs by expanding their scale, while more users wait for prices to fall before entering

although the industry is generally optimistic about RFID technology, there are few systems that have really formed a scale and have actually been put into operation. AMR research's research report shows that a supplier needs about US $1.3 million to US $2 million to meet Wal Mart's basic RFID requirements. Together with relevant software and hardware facilities, integration services, system testing and training, the annual cost will increase by US $9.13 million

in China, in order to solve the price bottleneck of RFID, we must also solve the problem of localized production of labels and reading equipment. Such high-performance reinforced materials can better maintain their mechanical properties under the condition of high-temperature engine refrigerant. At present, only two domestic companies have the production capacity of core technology and reading equipment with independent intellectual property rights, while for labels, it seems that no domestic company can produce independently

consumers' concerns about privacy

some consumers believe that RFID tags that can track personal purchasing habits are an invasion of their privacy. The California Senate has proposed a bill to restrict the use of RFID tags in this region. This bill applies to any enterprise and government department that uses RFID technology to track goods or people

in Europe, Benetton, an Italian garment manufacturer, once planned to embed RFID tags provided by Philips in its clothing. However, after the plan was announced, there was a lot of criticism and a boycott organization was formed. Benetton was finally forced to announce the cancellation of the plan

thoughts on the development of RFID in China

choosing appropriate applications as the starting point

the biggest question in China at present

Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI