Introduction of barcodes took place in 1974. Wrigley’s gum was the first ever item to have a bar code on its packaging. Since then bar codes have attracted a lot of traffic. It is used popularly for tracking gas cylinders. No doubt they are easy to use and cheap, but they can encode limited amount of information.
About a decade ago, new technologies came up in the market. The new technologies are wireless and incompetent. The evidence of the first wave of change occurred in 2003. The norm of using barcodes had started changing from that year onwards. In 2003, WalMart had demanded their total suppliers to switch to RFID labelling for their assets.
Come; first let’s have a look at why barcodes should never be opted again to track gas cylinders. Then, let’s find a better solution to fix the drawbacks by employing new technology for tracking. RFID-enabled cylinder management system can easily overcome the drawbacks faced by the bar code users. Let’s have a look at how RFID-enabled cylinder management system solves your problems of tracking gas cylinders. Let’s track the assets of your company with complete efficiency.
1. RFID is a one –time investment: Barcodes are time-consuming, to print, secure labels and fasten them to gas cylinders. They oblige investment in other technologies like readers and scanners to identify the tags. Barcode scanners can cost the company some hundred dollars. Investing little in affordable scanners can be even more expensive. After some point, your barcode scanners break down. When barcode scanners become outdated, your computer software does not identify them. RFID is better than bar codes. RFID-enabled cylinder management system for cylinders might be expensive as compared to barcodes. But once they are set up they can be run without proper labour assistance. The gas cylinders company do not have to spend extra money on human wages as well.
2. RFID can track data within long reach: Barcode scanners require a direct viewable pathway for reading and scanning the code. There should be no more than a 15ft difference between the barcode and the scanner for identification. At times, the gas cylinders stored in the warehouse and customer’s home needs identifying. The distance between the gas cylinders and scanner cannot let that identification happen. RFID is better than bar codes. RFID tags can be read from long distances even up to 300ft. The tags don’t need to be in the line of sight in order to receive a signal. They can be read via radio waves.
3. RFID has full specifications for accurate tracking: Barcodes have very little information on it. Capabilities like reading and writing are unknown to them. They do not contain any additional data on it as an expiry date or history of delivery. Lack of specification on cylinders does not allow proper tracking to happen. RFID is better than bar codes as RFID-enabled cylinder management system do not present this issue. RFID tags on gas cylinders have full specifications. They carry ample information for accurate tracking. Expiry dates, delivery histories and product maintenance are programmed to the tag.
4. Reading multiple tags at the same time is possible: Scanning of bar codes is not easy as each barcode needs individual scanning. Individual scanning involves lot of manpower and time. Even though, bar codes were cheap at the time of installing, there is a lot of expenditure wasted on employee’s wages. RFID is better than bar codes as RFID tags on gas cylinders can be read easily. Each gas cylinders do not need individual scanning. They can be read with a rapid speed. Scanners can communicate 40 RFID tags to the cylinder management system in one go.
5. RFID eliminates the possibility of duplicating: Barcodes have a minimum security as they can be duplicated and reproduced easily. There can be printing of same bar codes on two or more physical stickers. There are bar code duplicator systems available to make this task even easier. RFID is better than bar codes as RFID-enabled cylinder management system has a unique microprocessor which comes in small size. The unique identification code is installed digitally on the microchip. It makes the tag fool proof to duplicating and allows the reading of the asset without a mistake. Data can be concealed in a code and tags can be password protected.
6. RFID tags are resistant: Barcodes can be damaged easily. They are recorded on papers and must be uncovered for scanning. They do not have a long life and can perish soon. Once a barcode is damaged; a scanner can never read it. RFID is better than bar codes. RFID tags are inserted in a defensive high effect safe case. It easily resists the harsh environment and extreme industrial conditions. Mud and oil do not affect its reading as a plastic cover always protects them. RFID tags have a long lifespan and can sustain for years. They are small but robust enough not to get damaged.
Switching to the latest technology is extremely important. While barcodes on gas cylinders are an outdated form of tracking RFID-enabled, cylinder management system for gas cylinders can provide asset tracking and management and secure shipment tracking. Barcodes produce various difficulties, and RFID-enabled cylinder management system is a one-time investment.