How RFID Is Changing Warehousing

Warehouse operations may not seem driven by technology, but technology actually plays a primary role by reducing errors, improving efficiency, and helping keep things more organized and running smoothly.

One of the most impactful types of technology employed in modern warehouses and distribution centers is radio frequency identification (RFID) sensor systems. This guide will discuss RFID use in a warehouse and how it makes a difference.

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What Is RFID?

RFID is a wireless technology that uses radio frequency fields to transfer data. It is the same technology commonly used in pet microchipping and passports.

RFID gives a person the ability to track and identify inventory in real time.

With this kind of control, warehouse management can always know where inventory is located within the supply chain.

RFID Warehouse Tracking System

   

In a warehouse environment, an RFID tracking system is an invaluable tool. Typically, RFID tracking works through several stages. At each step, inventory comes under greater control in an efficient manner:

  • A shipment arrives at the warehouse receiving dock and is unloaded from the truck.
  • An RFID tag is attached to the items (or entire pallet) in that shipment.
  • Each tag has internal memory on which an item’s information is stored and modified as it moves through different processes in the warehouse.
  • The RFID tag transmits the shipment or item’s information to a central database via an electromagnetic signal.
  • The warehouse management system analyzes and updates the data as the item progresses through the warehouse system.

Unlike the old barcode system that used to be standard in the warehousing industry, RFID tags don’t require line-of-sight scanners and reading equipment. Workers no longer need to be within inches of a box to scan it manually.

With an RFID warehouse tracking system, items can be scanned and catalogued from anywhere, even when they’re hidden behind boxes or pallets.

RFID tags can also be detected and read remotely and simultaneously. With this kind of functionality, multiple tags can be read at once.

By comparison, barcodes need to be scanned one at a time.

How RFID Improves Warehouse Operations

RFID use in a warehouse delivers several key benefits. For starters, RFID is highly accurate, which eliminates the risk of human error. It saves time with automated processes that communicate with warehouse software. For instance, when an item arrives or exits the warehouse, the RFID tag automatically documents its arrival and exit.

RFID even benefits the services that demand worker intervention, such as pick and pack. Workers can save hours of time and increase productivity because RFID makes it possible to find the exact location of any item instantly.

By integrating RFID technology into a warehouse management system, you’ll reduce your warehouse operating costs, increase accuracy and maximize the speed at which things get done. In the end, RIFD makes for a more efficient warehouse and happier customers. Read more about how Prologis can help make your warehouse more efficient.