Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Problems With RFID Data

Manufacturers will probably not get quality data from retail partners until most companies switch to second-generation EPC technology.
By Andrew Price
Oct 01, 2005—For manufacturers, the great promise of radio frequency identification—or more specifically, Electronic Product Code technologies—is the ability to get better information about the location of their products within the supply chain. In particular, many manufacturers see EPC as a way to gain better insights into what's happening downstream in a retailer's distribution centers and stores. But to their dismay, the quality of the data coming back from retailers has not been very good.

"We're very disappointed in the data we're getting back," says an RFID project leader at a major consumer goods manufacturer who did not want to be identified for fear of angering his retail partners. "What we're getting just doesn't reflect what's happening in the back of the store."


Some manufacturers have begun to look to third parties to help filter and analyze data coming back from retailers.
Tags on pallets and cases are interrogated when they arrive at distribution centers, when they leave DCs and when they arrive at the backs of stores. Some retailers are providing tag IDs and the time and location the tags were read to manufacturers, so they can see the flow of their products through the retailers' supply chain. In most cases, however, the quality of the data retailers are supplying is not high for several reasons.

One problem is that retailers and manufacturers are not getting the same read rates. Manufacturers say that they are able to achieve read rates of 80 percent to 100 percent on products they ship out to retailers (the low end reflects poor reads on pallets of product that are not "RF friendly"). But manufacturers find the read rates in retail DCs and stores to be far lower. They might ship 100 cases to a retailer and find that no more than half of the cases were read.

The difference can be attributed to the placement of tags on products and the orientation of interrogator antennas. Manufacturers can apply tags on cases in the position that is easiest and most advantageous to them. And they can set up interrogator antennas in the optimal configuration to ensure the highest read rates are achieved when interrogating tags on conveyors, palletizers and stretch-wrappers, and at dock doors. But retailers must deploy interrogator antennas in configurations that can read tags on a wide variety of products, with tags placed in many different locations on pallets and cases arriving from more than 100 different manufacturing sites.

Another reason the read rates are lower in retailers' facilities is that manufacturers typically purchase tags of a single protocol, either Class 1, Class 0 or Class 0+. Retailers must be able to read all these protocols as cases move rapidly down a conveyor in random order. To do this, retailers deploy multiprotocol interrogators, but these can miss tags on cases if, say, they are querying Class 1 tags and a case with a Class 0 tag moves into the read zone.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 1,223 words and 3 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco