• Overview

  • Speed

  • Function & Accuracy

  • Durability

  • Integration

  • Cost-Efficient

In elevating the different industries of Singapore, many businesses have discovered the benefits of having a Warehouse Management System. A system isn’t complete without having proper labels. Labels have evolved over the years. What started out as manual labels in inventory checklists have become barcodes. Barcodes made everything easier and more efficient. Now, RFID chips are becoming popular, too. 

In this article, we will dive into the mechanics of barcode scanning technology and RFID chips. We will also discuss the differences between the two. 

Barcode Scanning Technology

Barcodes are made up of 95 evenly-spaced columns. The laser on your mobile scanner reads the columns as numbers one or zero. The part of the barcode that reflects a lot of light (white spaces) are considered zero. On the other hand, the parts that reflect no light (the black lines) are read as number one. 

The computer reads the code from left to right and comes up with a 95-digit number made up of ones and zeroes. These numbers are then grouped into fifteen. 

Barcode types can be different. Singapore uses two distinct types of barcode. These barcodes are still scanned in the same way. 

RFID Chip

RFID is also known as Radio Frequency Identification. Unlike the barcode, the RFID chip is usually small and not visible. It is usually inside the product or object being scanned. If barcodes use binary code, RFID chips use radio waves. This means that the chip transmits a specific signal that the RFID scanner can detect. Every time an RFID chip is nearby, the scanner will be able to read it. There are also different types of RFID. There is the active tag, the passive tag, and the semi-passive tag. 

RFID Chip vs Barcode

While both of these equipment are useful, they also have their differences. There are some factors where RFID chips offer a better advantage. The same goes for barcodes.

Speed

In terms of speed, an RFID scanner would be faster. Unlike barcodes, RFID tags can be scanned at the same time. This means the inventory of products could be much faster with the use of RFID technology. 

Function and Accuracy

RFID is also more accurate because it can track the products through other objects. Even if you have a busy warehouse, any product can be tracked easily with the waves coming from the RFID tag. If you are using a barcode, this will be harder. A barcode scanner can only read the barcode if it is directly in front of the barcode label. However, sometimes RFID experiences trouble when being scanned through liquid or metal. 

Durability

RFID is also more durable than barcodes. Barcodes are printed and stuck to a specific item. If this item is not carefully handled, the barcode can be damaged. The paper used for barcodes is still prone to be scratched off. 

Integration

Barcodes are easier to integrate into your system. It is also much faster to put in place. This is because you only need to print the barcode labels designed for your business. With a barcode scanner, you can automatically start inventory with barcodes. RFID takes much longer because the chips need to be attached or installed into the items. 

Cost-Efficient

Barcodes are also more affordable than RFID tags. This is because barcodes are simply printed before being glued or stuck to the item. 

At first glance, you would think that RFID chips are better than barcodes. In truth, both are very useful technology. You just have to consider the type of business you have and the products you are selling. For small businesses, barcodes can go a long way in helping warehouse management and asset tracking. Perishable goods, such as grocery items, can also use barcodes. These items do not need to be stored or tracked for long periods of time. If you want to know which is more useful for your business, contact Qbasis today.