Technologies Applied

Barcode
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
RFID
Wireless

What Can Bar Code Technology Do For Your Business?


The products and services connected with the general term of "bar coding" supplement and enhance existing critical business systems—systems such as SAP, Oracle, JDE, BAHN, MAS, QuickBooks and other enterprise resource systems for accounting and manufacturing. Bar coding equipment and systems can extend the functionality and improve the operations of accounting software and manufacturing processes, but they cannot operate independently. A fully-functional bar coding solution must integrate with your back-end business system in order to provide the full benefit from the additional data they capture.

Bar code systems combine bar codes (typically labels or tags), scanners (or readers), and software:

  • Bar codes are used to identify an item, location, shipment, work order, employee, etc.
  • Scanners (or readers) are used to read the data electronically, faster and with fewer errors than a human
  • Software is used to verify the correct data, log the activity, direct user actions and gain real-time access to the activity data



Bar coding equipment can be added to virtually any process, in any industry, and to any software. Because of such flexibility, the worldwide adoption and demand continues to grow, even during recessions. Adding a data collection and management solution that includes bar coding can help to reduce operating expenses, frequently with returns on investments in just 6 months

One of the most critical components of a fully-integrated data collection system involves up-front analysis of your business and operational needs. Once we understand what you would like a system to do, and how it will fit into your existing processes, we can apply industry best practices to design and implement a fully-integrated bar code data collection system that delivers the functionality required by your business.

As a complete system integrators SiCC has the experience and knowledge to bring best-in-class solutions to our clients. We can improve the productivity and efficiency of your business and make your operation more successful and more profitable.

How can this technology help your business?
Call us today and speak with a Systems Consultant. If you don't know where to start, we're your first step.

Enterprise application integration (EAI) :


Most companies have some combination of an accounting system, a Manufacturing Resource Planning system (MRP), an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP), an inventory system, and several other special departmental systems. Each application serves a very useful purpose, but most don't share data very well, and each one has its own set of users, training, maintenance, and management issues.

Benefits :

  • Reduce the burden on IT to create reports, views, or other data extractions
  • Reduce the burden on IT to manage multiple systems
  • Allow management to make better-informed decisions
  • Increase flexibility to handle future enterprise changes

RFID :

Complete visibility for streamlined business activities and maximum ROI

Simply put, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a way of identifying things without actually seeing them. It is a generic term used to describe a system that transmits the identity (in the form of a unique serial number) of an object or person wirelessly, using radio waves. RFID allows readers to capture data on tags and transmit it to a computer system, without needing a person to be involved.

RFID is in use all around us. If you have ever chipped your pet with an ID tag, used EZPass through a toll booth, or paid for gas using SpeedPass, you've used RFID.

Uses of RFID include:

  • Asset tracking, usage and maintenance records
  • Parts tracking
  • Manufacturing work-in-process
  • Defect reduction
  • Throughput improvement
  • Production management
  • Real-time locating systems
  • Industrial asset tracking
  • Returnable Transit Item (RTI) management (roll cages, pallets, plastic crates, totes)
  • Shipping error reduction
  • Labor cost reduction
  • Payment systems
  • Access control
  • Various forms of security
  • Passports
  • Transportation payments
  • Loyalty programs

Components of an RFID System:

SiCC can analyze your application and recommend if an RFID system is right for you. We can help you calculate the costs and return on a system, and design and implement a complete solution, including:

  • RFID printers/encoders or pre-encoded tags
  • RFID supplies (encoded/encoadable tags and labels, ribbon)
  • RFID readers and antennas
  • Middleware (software to parse and manage the RFID data)
  • The antenna in an RFID tag emits radio signals to activate the tag and to read and write data to it
  • The reader emits radio waves in ranges of anywhere from one inch to 100 feet or more, depending upon its power output and the radio frequency used. When an RFID tag passes through the electromagnetic zone, it detects the reader's activation signal
  • The reader decodes the data encoded in the tag's chip and the data is passed to RFID middleware, which parses and manages the RFID data
  • The data is transmitted to a host computer for processing


Although it is often considered a replacement to bar coding, the two technologies actually complement each other and are frequently used together to overcome the limitations of each:

  • Bar coding uses line of sight. The scanner must physically see the bar code in order to read it. This has the obvious limitations of only being able to read one bar code at a time, and the bar code must be properly aligned with the reader.
  • RFID uses radio waves, much like the security tags used in retail. The reader is connected to antennas that send radio waves into the air. The radio waves hit the antenna of the RFID chip, waking it up, and causing it to transmit its data. The reader's antennas pick up the data and send it back to the reader, where it is decoded and then sent to a host application for further processin
  • Bar codes and RFID technologies are both enabling solutions with different physical attributes; they are not mutually exclusive, nor will one replace the other. Bar codes use one-way, serialized, static data. RFID uses two-way, parallel, dynamic data.


RFID System Benefits:

  • Identify multiple items at once
  • Can be designed for read ranges from several inches to over a hundred feet
  • Can be very durable
  • Ensure assets are in the right place at the right time
  • Reliable, real-time information for raw materials, finished goods, and work-in-process
  • Prevent duplicate and surplus assets
  • Track individual asset usage and maintenance records
  • Improve maintenance and replacement forecasting
  • Achieve better availability of assets with fewer service breaks


Just like bar coding has many symbologies (languages), each with its own advantages, disadvantages and capabilities, RFID has various types, frequencies, and protocols—some of which vary by country.


Types of RFID Tags:

  • Active tags: Battery-powered, act autonomously
  • Passive tags: No battery, require external trigger
  • Battery-assisted tags: Battery-powered, require external trigger


RFID Frequencies:

  • Low Frequency (LF): 125-135 KHz (Through most things)
  • High Frequency (HF): 13.56 MHz (Fluid and metal tolerant)
  • Ultra High Frequency (UHF): 869-930 MHz (Up to 30m)
  • Microwave: 5.8 GHz (High data rate, smallest)


RFID Standards:

  • ISO 15693: Non-contact smart payment
  • ISO/IEC 18000: Item management
  • ISO 18185: Cargo containers
  • EPC Gen 2: (EPCglobal UHF Class 1 Generation 2)/Supply chain


RFID Considerations:

  • Certain materials block the RF signal
  • Tags are significantly more expensive than labels


Although RFID can read through many materials, some liquids inhibit transmission. For optimum read rates, the antenna should be parallel with the reader. Also, smaller tags require the reader to be closer, and the data in the tag has to be encoded a special way. Because RFID uses radio waves instead of line-of-sight, RFID is a great way to identify and track things through packaging, containers, and other items. It allows multiple items to be identified at once, and can be set up to read items as they are moved through a portal.

In comparison to a traditional bar code system, the increased cost of designing, implementing, and operating an RFID system (including hardware, programming and tags), often limits the applications to compliance mandates, high-value merchandise, or closed-loop systems. However, as system costs continue to decline, the use of RFID is increasing.

Wireless :

Wireless technology in the enterprise is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. In fact, the WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) has made a steady progression from a "network of convenience" to the primary network, with good reason. Real-time access to information—whether in a manufacturing plant, warehouse, hospital, college campus, retail store, or out in the field—is crucial for increased productivity, improved speed of care and accelerated decision-making. Keeping your workforce connected to each other and to back-end resources (such as databases and business applications), improves services, decreases costs and increases revenue.

As wireless becomes a mainstream technology for efficient business operations, it is more important than ever to ensure that your wireless network is reliable, secure, manageable and scalable.

Yet, without the right wireless partner, you can face many challenges as you implement wireless technology:

  • My wireless network carries confidential data across it daily. How do I know it's secure?
  • How do I manage my wireless network more efficiently?
  • How can I create a borderless office?
  • How can I connect multiple buildings across a campus using a point-to-point wireless solutions, versus traditional and costly wired options?
  • Are there secure VPN solutions that will let me transmit sensitive data over a public cellular network?
  • How do I migrate my existing 802.11 a/b/g network to 802.11n?
  • Are the latest trends in WLAN and cellular networks for me?



Wireless today means creating a truly borderless enterprise; one that connects people in real-time, for full and immediate collaboration. And, new approaches to the wireless network architecture will simplify the delivery of business mobility without requiring a significant increase in IT resources to get the job done.

Whether your project involves voice, video or traditional data applications, the need for a high-speed, reliable & secure wireless solution is paramount to your company's success.