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RFID and Bar Code
Which will it be?

Bar Code, RFID or Both?

We are helping many businesses make the transition from bar code to RFID a winning proposition. It is important to realize that asset tagging and tracking isn't necessarily an either or proposition. Many industries, from healthcare to libraries to automotive and aerospace parts are successfully using both bar codes and RFID together. Many legacy systems were and continue to be built on bar code standards. Many of these systems are being refreshed using RFID. New systems are completely bypassing bar code and going directly to RFID.

Advantages of RFID Versus Barcodes

  • RFID tags and barcodes both carry information about products. However, there are important differences between these two technologies.
  • Barcode readers require a direct line of sight to the printed barcode; RFID readers do not require a direct line of sight to either active RFID tags or passive RFID tags.
  • RFID tags can be read at much greater distances; an RFID reader can pull information from a tag at distances up to 100 meters. The range to read a barcode is much less, typically no more than 5 meters.
  • RFID readers can interrogate, or read, RFID tags much faster; read rates of a few hundred or more tags per second are possible.
  • Reading barcodes is much more time-consuming due to the fact that a direct line of sight is required. If the items are not properly oriented to the reader it may take seconds to read an individual tag. Barcode readers usually take a half-second or more to successfully complete a read.
  • Line of sight requirements also limit the ruggedness of barcodes as well as the reusability of barcodes. Dirty, scratched and snow or frost covered bar codes cannot be read. RFID tags are typically more rugged, and not effected by the environment. RFID tags have become the technology of choice in paint applications.
  • Barcodes have no read/write capability; that is, you cannot add to the information written on a printed barcode. RFID tags, however, can be read/write devices; the RFID reader can communicate with the tag, and alter as much of the information as the tag design will allow.
  • RFID tags are typically more expensive than barcodes, in some cases, much more so.

Contact Us to Find Out More About Transitioning from Bar Codes

GAO RFID understands data collection. We especially understand RFID. Our expertise ranges from animal tracking to tracking freshness in a sushi bar, from authenticating documents to managing parking access, from tracking of IT assets to hospital assets.

Call the GAO RFID team or send us an inquiry. We will help you understand RFID and show you the how to migration to RFID and cross the finish line in winning time.

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