How stereotypes negatively affect the implementation of RFID technology
The word stereotype is of Greek origin and is, in fact, two words. Stereo means solid, firm; typos an imprint. Literally, it stands for firm cliché of thinking, brain imprint. The stereotype is, therefore, a well-established pattern of thinking, a prejudice which has nothing to do with reality.
RFID technologies for baggage purposes are experiencing a few stereotypes on the part of the airline industry. Although few people understand the true essence of RFID conventional wisdom has it that this technology is much more expensive than the universally utilized bar code one. To test this claim simply ask your colleagues’ opinion on RFID baggage operation technology. However, we think that one cannot draw a comparison between a Volkswagen and a Ferrari where RFID is clearly the latter. There’s no denying that a Ferrari is way better than a Volkswagen and it obviously should cost more.
This time around I will refute Stereotype No.1 which says RFID chip costs dearly.
A RFID chip is in effect a UHF inlay which is comprised of a RFID chip and an aluminum antenna bound together as is shown at exhibit 1 below. UHF inlay is a highly technological product where a RFID chip serves as the memory for storing and transferring of information written on it. The antennae allow for this info to be read from a distance between 15 centimeters to 10 meters as the case may be.
We have requested commercial offers from 50 of the world’s largest UHF inlay manufacturers that we think are optimally suited for baggage operations.
Today, the market price of a UHF inlay is between $ 0.03 to 0.04 apiece depending on the order size, these volumes are comparable to the annual volumes for large and medium-sized air lines. Between $ 0.005 to 0.01 on top of that baggage tags manufacturers will ask for conversion of UHF inlay inside a paper baggage tag.
Thus an airline’s investment will be ranging between $ 0.035 to 0.05 per RFID tag or $ 35 to 50 per 1,000 pieces of luggage. Ten years ago the cost of a UHF inlay was 2-3 times higher.
It turns out that stereotype № 1 which has developed in the aviation industry about 10 years ago still stands.
Big names like Wal-Mart, Target, Metro, and Marks & Spencer to name a few were among the first ones to understand the benefits which RFID brings and are enjoying the results of its implementation. Nowadays RFID is widely and successfully used by companies, big and small, in a variety of industries to tackle a wide range of tasks.
RFID’s main advantage versus the barcode is the former’s fast, reliable, and automatic accounting/inventory of any items that are moving/being moved or stored. But unlike in the example with the cars above, the use of the RFID technology in terms of the results achieved will cost much less than the barcode.
Delta Airline is the first airline in the world that last year implemented RFID technology at all flights for baggage tracking.
Should you be interested in knowing how your airline can implement RFID technology for baggage tracking in accordance with the 753 IATA Resolution, kindly have a look at RFID Tracking Solution.