Radio frequency identification device (RFID) technology

This factfile provides an introduction for members and the public to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology and its uses.

For efficiency and economic purposes there is a need to track materials, components and products during their manufacture, and when they leave the factory floor through, at least, to their point of sale.

With certain products there is a need to track their status even after acquisition by the end user – for example to keep a record of a safety critical capital plant’s service history. Printed means, for example barcode, for identifying a product and its build status etc. has limitations, not least of which, is that to read them line of sight access is required. Further to update such printed identifiers requires that they be physically replaced.

Examples are drawn primarily from the product distribution chain, but reference is also made to other applications of the technology.