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Radio Frequency Identification

RFID - What is?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is Electronic Data Capture Technology (EDCT) that uses radiofrequency waves to read an object (moving or static) to identify, categorize and track the object in real time. RFID is fast, reliable, and does not require physical line of sight or contact between reader/scanner and RFID tagged item.

RFID is sensor-based Enabling Technology which provides the tools to identify uniquely each product, container, pallet, case and item being manufactured, produced, shipped and sold, thus providing the building blocks for enhanced security and visibility throughout the supply chain. 

RFID was invented in the Second World War. During 1950', Toyota Improvised the Concept and added RFID based Toyota Production System (TPS) to its assembly line, making it one of the largest auto manufacturer of the world.

RFID is a system of very small electronic tags (comprising a tiny chip plus an antenna) that transmit data via a radio signal to RFID readers and related hardware and software infrastructure. The transmitters can be placed anywhere that tracks the movement of goods to the commercial process: on containers, pallets, materials handling equipment, cases or even on individual products.

RFID Applications

At its core, RFID is an Enabling Technology that has the potential of helping buyers and sellers to provide the right product, at the right place, at the right time, thus maximizing sales and profits. 

Like Internet; HD TV; PCs; Smartphone and other Digital Devices, RFID is systematically changing the business landscape. RFID is transforming the way manufacturing and supply chains conduct business worldwide. 

Passive RFID is deployed in billions of units each year, across the globe, on everything from animals to wearables with sensors being embedded in the smart chipset. Active RFID (having its own power source) enable Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) devices and Machine to Machine (M2M) communication via Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and communicate via internet across the globe in real-time for Asset Tracking Operations (ATO) of Supply Chain; Imports; Exports; Transportation and Logistics etc. Some of RFID Apps are Access Management; Contactless Payment; Inventory Systems; Human Tracking; Logistics Tracking; Machine Readable Travel Documents; Object Tracking and Toll Collections etc.

The benefits of RFID-enabled production and shipping include increased supply chain visibility & security, improved productivity, faster cycle times and lower costs. RFID costs are steadily dropping so that SMEs can adopt RFID solutions.

How System Works, Globally? 

For international trading, it’s imperative to join EPCglobal USA, an organization that focuses on the commercial use of RFID technology. When a legal entity becomes EPCglobal US subscriber, an EPC Manager Number is registered for the organization, ensuring unique trade item(s) identification. Additionally, this number is registered and recognized in the EPCglobal Network. There are numerous benefits to join the EPCglobal US, the most important being the ability to create Electronic Product Codes (EPCs) which allows the company to create unique RFID tags identifiable in Global Supply Chain.

While tagging items, cases, boxes and or pallets with a Serialized Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) or a Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC), shippers are required to encode identifiers into an Electronic Product Code (EPC). This process is very important because it’s the EPC that is embedded in the RFID tag that will be read by the trading partner.

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