An introduction to radio frequency identification (RFID) methods and solutions

Paul G. Ranky (Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Multi‐lifecycle Engineering Research Center, Newark, New Jersey, USA)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Publication date: 1 January 2006



This paper aims to introduce some of the most important engineering, and information systems management principles and challenges, that radio frequency identification (RFID) researchers, implementers and users should keep in mind when developing such systems, and/or planning for such applications.


Provides a general review of RFID systems.


RFID technologies with the appropriate IT infrastructure help both major distributors and manufacturers, as well as other logistics operations, such as the health‐care system, defense industries, and others, dealing with complex, global supply chains in which products and product shipments must be traced and identified in a non‐contact, wireless fashion using a computer network, because of cost, or security, or safety, or because parts are subject to corrosion, or food/medicine is subject to quality degradation, or other reasons. All of these requirements point to an automated, wireless‐readable sensory‐based identification method, and network, that offers more functionalities and is significantly “smarter” than the well known bar code or the unified product code. RFIDs are available as passive and/or active radio read/write sensor‐packages with active read (and often write) capabilities in relatively large areas (like a large distribution centre warehouse, or a containership), all performed automatically, supervised by computers and communicated in a wireless fashion over secure intranets. RFID represents great research, technology, as well as huge business opportunities.

Practical implications

RFID has the potential to change the way we do business all around the world. It is a huge challenge, not just because of the sophisticated sensor‐network technology, but also because of the vast systems integration and IT tasks ahead of us.


Reviews the current state‐of‐the‐art and future opportunities.



Ranky, P.G. (2006), "An introduction to radio frequency identification (RFID) methods and solutions", Assembly Automation, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 28-33.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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