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RFID vs Bar Code?

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At a Crossroads?   We invite you to consider the Bar Code & RFID Convergence.


In November, 2010, the VDC released an executive white paper entitled Bar Code & RFID Convergence: Enabling Greater Visibility Through Standards, which we thought was worth sharing – at least parts of it.


The basic premise behind the white paper is that, although the two technologies could be perceived as direct competitors for the same applications, end users continue to require both solutions in order to maximize the benefits of automated identification and data capture (AIDC) technology. Bar code is the dominant track and trace technology, but RFID, as the emerging successor in some applications, is a valuable complement to most.


The white paper calls out three areas of additional benefit when the two technologies work together:

  • The ability to support either technology within the value chain, as well as provide additional layers of redundancy and visibility.
  • The capacity to enhance and add functionality (i.e. more memory, sensing/monitoring, analytics, etc.) to a legacy system with minimal invasiveness and downtown.
  • A migration path to a more advanced technology in which the end user has more control over the conversion pace and associated investment required.


Bar code and RFID convergence already occurs at the data level, being driven by the need and desire to leverage both technologies to ensure greater visibility, enhance decision-making and obtain operational efficiencies. The crux of convergence is that one solution (bar code) is the proverbial standard, while the other (RFID) offers the same and more, but in order to get ‘more’, the two have to work together as one.


Technology options are constantly changing, so we invite you to reach out to the experts in Supply Chain Automation.  Please contact Abetech for their Hardware expertise and Appolis for their Mobile Supply Chain Software Solutions.


By Appolis Guest Blogger:  Chris Eliason, Abetech


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