Could I use the technologies, for instance, to store low-cost items?
Yes, absolutely. Bar-coded items are often associated with a tote, tray, carton or other carrier that has a radio frequency identification transponder. Sometimes, each bar code is scanned and loaded into the carrier. In other cases, companies simply bundle items together and tag them.
Esquel, a shirt manufacturer in Asia, has workers complete piece parts for clothing items and then tag the bundles, which are tracked as they move to another area, where the parts are sewn together into shirts (see RFID Delivers in the Apparel and Footwear Sector). Finished goods can be associated with tagged cartons, which can be associated with a particular rack location within a warehouse, making it easy to find items when they need to be picked for an order.
I think it’s important to design the system so that it provides visibility but also delivers a return on investment. Using bar codes and RFID together is often the best way to achieve this goal.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
Why Won’t My RFID Reader Interrogate Some Tags? »