RFID SYSTEMS: RFID GATEWAYS
RFID Gateways and Portal applications keep track of goods on the move, locating them to sites or checking their movement around buildings. RFID readers, with appropriate antennas mounted at a doorway can record every tag that passes through it.
RFID at the Gateway
Checking goods shipment and movement of products through the manufacturing chain can all be helped by the use of RFID. Systems can let businesses know the whereabouts of tools, components, part finished items or finished goods.
RFID offers significant improvements over barcoding for control of goods in the supply chain by allowing systems to not only identify the type of item, but the specific item itself. The hard-to replicate characteristics of RFID tags also make them suitable for helping to combat counterfeiting, whether in automotive spare parts or luxury goods.
RFID is not only used to manage the products themselves in the supply chain, it can also be used to manage the whereabouts of packaging, and help control repair and warranty cycles too.
Pallets, dolavs, crates, cages, stillages and other reusable containers can also be tracked using RFID tags selected to cope with the materials involved. It saves costs by reducing losses and improves customer service. Shipping containers can be tracked off-site automatically as a vehicle leaves the gates. Shipments can be confirmed on customer site and data made available to all that need it.
RFID gateway solutions work with RFID tags attached to items, providing labelling that is read automatically. Tags can be read automatically as a delivery van leaves a depot, identifying exactly when individual pallets, crates or kegs went off-site.
Information on items shipped can be made immediately available. When shipments are delivered to customer site, a quick scan of the delivered items confirms where and when they have been off-loaded. For high value items it may even be appropriate to use on-vehicle tag readers able to automatically record the details of deliveries, linked to GPS based location data. For most deliveries though a simple hand held scanner can record the fact of the delivery with a single reading pass; far more quickly and reliably than is possible with barcoding labels, for example.
Returned carriers can be checked back into the depot in just the same way. Records of inbound and outbound carriers can be reconciled to highlight items that have potentially been overlooked or lost. Details can be used by the shipping company’s staff to chase overdue or missing items or, in the event of non-recovery, as the basis for charging the customer with the costs of lost carriers.