RFID for Product ID & Traceability

Looking for better ways to improve visibility and efficiency across the value chain? Our experts can help you implement RFID technology for product identification and traceability, from the manufacturing floor through to distribution and the retail store.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification technology that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an item or person, wirelessly by using radio waves, tags and readers. 

At Matthews, we have access to the most comprehensive portfolio of tags and readers for the broadest range of markets and applications. We also have a breadth of experience in RFID for product identification and can help you implement modern wireless technologies to track products and equipment. 

How RFID technology works

Typically RFID technology has two components: the reader and the tag.

The tag is held inside the product or packaging, and contains a microchip that stores the information about the item or shipment, e.g. manufacturing date, destination, use-by date.

The reader retrieves data from the tag, which has two parts – a transceiver and an antenna. To activate the tag, the transceiver generates a weak radio signal (that may have a range of a few metres) and transmits it through the antenna, which in turn can receive signals back from the tag. The reader then passes the information in digital form to the computer system to be collected and analysed.

Benefits of RFID technology

Every identification system is about collecting data, so what sets RFID apart from other systems (such as barcodes)? 

  • No need for line of sight: RFID scanners use radio frequency waves to access the tag, eliminating the need for line-of-sight access. Unlike a barcode, the RFID device does not need to be positioned perfectly in front of the scanner to be read.
  • Scan at a distance: An RFID reader can potentially pull information from a tag a couple of hundreds metres away, while the range to read a barcode is much less.
  • Speed of scanning: RFID-based inventory management and tracking systems can scan items 25 times faster than those that use barcodes.
  • Complete automation: RFID enables readers to capture data on tags and transmit it to a computer system, without the need for human intervention. 
  • Durability and reusability: An RFID tag can be as small as a grain of black pepper and can be embedded right into a product’s packaging or the product itself, meaning less wear and tear through the supply chain. 

GS1 Australia manages the global standards for RFID, ensuring globally unique identification numbers are being used to effectively track and trace products, services and other items through the supply chain.

Contact Matthews to find out how RFID technology can meet your business goals.  

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