I am interested in implementing radio frequency identification technology at our company, and am searching for prices. Can you provide a ballpark estimation of how much a production facility would need to invest in order to have a proper system for tracking items? And how long would it take for us to attain an ROI?
There is no ballpark estimate I could give you, since the cost would depend upon the number of readers required to cover the areas you want to cover, as well as the number of items you wish to track and the software you need. The first thing you would need to think about is what you want to track, and why. What data would you need to collect to solve the problem you wish to address? That would allow you to start considering where readers would need to be placed.
Some manufacturers simply tag items coming off the line with passive UHF RFID tags. This might add 7 cents to 10 cents per tag to the cost of existing bar-code labels. They don't track the items as they are put away, but they use a handheld reader to find goods within their warehouse, then readers at the dock door confirm that the correct items are being shipped. Other manufacturers place readers at individual workstations and track work-in-process, while still others deploy readers within their finished goods area so they can track inventory in real time. A good systems integrator should be able to help you design a cost-effective system that would deliver a return on investment within less than two years.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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