As a mature technology for automated identification (auto-ID), Barcoding have been utilized in supply chain management (SCM) for decades. Identification at the item level to transportation applications has become a staple of SCM due to the widespread dominance of the auto-ID approach. For the most part, it has enjoyed complete freedom, particularly in the retail industry.
In recent times, radio-frequency identification (RFID) has been viewed as a rival technology due to its ability to store and update information in real-time, as well as its ability to be read outside of the line of sight (nLoS). It is more expensive to use RFID, and barcoding continue to be the most widely used and approved method for identification.
Although RFID is on the horizon, barcodes will never indeed lose their relevance in the supply chain. It has been found that there is a trend of convergence, suggesting that both technologies should be incorporated into the supply chain since they both serve the same purpose. The future will be disrupted by this, especially in the field of advanced labeling systems.
A future supply chain system based on barcoding
1. Availability and affordability
There are several things that make barcodes appealing, including their simplicity. The cost of printing barcodes has decreased substantially since they were invented, now costing less than a cent. Compared with competing technologies like RFID, which uses silicon chips, barcodes will remain relatively inexpensive in the near future due to their two main materials: ink and paper.
Because barcode labels are much smaller than traditional paper forms, businesses can save money by using them instead. In companies with well-developed barcode infrastructures, printing barcodes is essentially free. It is now feasible to apply barcode technology even to small-scale specialized applications due to its decreasing cost as it matures.
Through continuous advancements in barcode technology, both the technique and its peripheral components have become more cost-effective. One example is the invention of linerless barcode labeling. The media costs can be reduced by ten to twenty-five percent while the number of barcodes per roll is increased. Having no discarded label backings will result in lower manufacturing costs per barcode because there will be no waste.
2. Impacts on the environment
To facilitate scanning, items must have clearly visible barcode labels as barcodes require line-of-sight technology. Because barcodes are subject to degradation, they are inherently impeding. If you want to avoid damage to Barcoding , you must keep them generally clean, handle them gently, keep them away from harsh environments, and keep them away from severe temperatures and harsh conditions.
Due to the frequent handling of commodities and exposure to potentially harmful environments, this might present a major concern throughout the supply chain. Clean and clear optics are also essential for barcode readers to achieve optimal scan rates. In the past, barcodes were thought to be vulnerable to harsh weather conditions such as fog, dust, and rain. As bBarcoding rely on reflecting light to be read, sunlight can reduce barcode scanner read rates and reliability.
3. Competitions involving RFID
In the early days of RFID technology, retail pallet-level RFID standards failed due to the infancy of the technology. Labeling at the item level is becoming increasingly popular in the apparel industry with RFID technology. JCPenney, Wal-Mart, Marks & Spencer, Macy’s, and Dillard’s use RFID tags with an Electronic Product Code (EPC) to detect many items at once, keep warehouse stocks in order, and minimize out-of-stocks, and increasing sales.
In the ‘Internet of Things,’ RFID will play a crucial role in tracking, coordinating, and controlling physical objects without human intervention. The IoT is a network of physical objects capable of transmitting and receiving data via the Internet. Sensors embedded in or attached to objects in this scenario will connect to the Internet wirelessly.
“Automated supply chains” might not only detect low inventories, such as repair parts, but also create work orders to have them installed. When RFID, sensors, GPS, and other trending technologies are used to connect everything, everything becomes traceable. Supply chain management benefits from automation because it creates visibility, reduces prices, and increases efficiency, all of which have major implications.