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Just google “RFID” and you’ll find 125.000.000 results (in only 0,43 seconds). Impressive!

However this rich “blah blah blah” around RFID is not effective enough to make companies understand the real benefits of Radio Frequency Identification.

This is a mortal sin which might not lead your company to damnation, but to miss real opportunities such as:

  1. Improve the performances of core processes
  2. Speed up production and distribution
  3. Reduce human errors or avoid unnecessary risks
  4. Optimize costs


At Inventag by Tenenga we use to say that “Innovation never sleeps” and we do consider RFID as the “new music” for inspiring companies to invest in the right direction.

RFID Technology might not turn water into Brunello di Montalcino or save the world from Climate Change, but it  can be one of the key drivers to empower your competitive advantage and skyrocket your business.

RFID is here to stay for a long time. The sooner you understand it, the faster you will make one of the most strategic decision for your company.

But never forget “excellence is the result of every single note”: competence, experience, innovation, method, operative know how and the right tools.

For more than 30 years we have been helping national and international leading companies to make the right choices, increase their competitivity and profitability with RFID Technology.

And now we want to share our know how and field experience with a larger audience, helping Converters, Resellers and End Users, to understand the real benefit of this disruptive technology.


First thing first, we have created a simple online catalog to help your company move the first steps towards RFID, by selecting for you the best international manufacturers – such as Beontag, our main partner – and products, delivering targeted assortments, competitive prices, customized formats and order flexibility.

We want to do more for you and support your company to grow the culture of RFID before making strategic choices.

Simply said, we will take the confusion out of RFID without sending you to Radio Frequency Engineering School. Do we have a deal?

In the next posts you will learn all what you have to know about RFID from a business perspective (NOT a Geek’s one :), with simple pills you can read in a few minutes:

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Quoting Albert Einstein “Everything must be made as simple as possible. But not simpler”.

RFID is actually nothing new or complex. But it will be a tougher topic to tame if you try to approach it on a merely technical level.

Pointless to get lost among technological woodoos, it’s the smart side of Radio Frequency Identification you are looking for!

The easier you’ll get to know the basics of RFID, the faster you’ll be able to appreciate its potential benefits for your company and “ride the electromagnetic wave“.

And don’t worry “no black magic is required“.


The use of RFID is very flexible and adaptable to many industries, sectors and processes, but this is not the time yet to talk about its limitless applications which can be customized upon your specific needs and goals.

You discover the heterogeneus flields of application in the next RFID pills.

But now, before getting into geek’s matters about RFID applications, you need to understand what it is, how it works and how to benefit from RFID in terms of performance enhancement and cost saving.


According to “flat earth” supporters, RFID is coming from alien’s worlds, but we ensure you the truth is a bit less exciting.

RFID technology has its germ in the Second World War when the British Army (and not Venusians) invented the first transponder to differentiate the allied planes from the enemy’s.

The actual tech is nothing more than the improved version of that first device dated 1939. Amazing isn’t it?


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification technology of people or things, in other 4.0 words a data collection technology to transform information into decisions and actions.

Way more agile, performant, secure and efficient than the traditional barcode or the evergreen QR Code, RFID can have a deep impact on business process performances and costs optimization, since no human interaction is involved and no direct vision is needed (not so bad for a human technology :).

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To cut the story short, RFID is a wireless system basically made of three basic components, tags, readers and antennas, which communicate over the air at a certain frequency, exactly like radio stations.


RFID tags are “smart objects“, which can store a set of information, from a simple and unique ID number (so called EPC – electronic product code) to significant volumes of datas (just to be crystal clear, we are talking about thousands of bytes not GBs).

Tags use radio waves to communicate their identity and other information they carry around, to nearby readers, with no need of physical contact.

They can be passive or active.

  • Passive RFID tags are powered and activated by the reader in order to backscatter the information contained in their memory. They do not have a battery and absorb the energy they need from the reader’s antenna. These are the most common used tags in various industries and sectors as they are more flexible, cheaper, smaller, easier to embed. They also have a wider option range and a longer duration.
  • Active RFID tags are powered by batteries. They have a wider reading range, but are more expensive, bigger volume, short duration and require higher efforts for embedding.

Note: the choice between passive or active tags depends on the application and other field variables we will examine later on.


An RFID reader is like a radio (no jokes), just like the one you have in your car, except for the fact id does not play classic music but “talks” with the tags.

It is a communication device that emits radio waves, receives signals back from the RFID tags (this is why they are also called “trasponders”), reads the information contained in the chip (in bulk and from a variable distance) and send them out to WMS or ERP system (to be precise there is actually a previous intermediate step at middleware level, but let’s forget this geek’s detail at least for now).

Readers can be mobile or stationary.


Both tags and readers have their own antenna, as they are both radio devices.

The antennas are the intermediaries between tags and readers to transmit the radio frequency signal, receive the information contained in the RFID tag, and then transmit it to the company’s management system (WMS or ERP).

Simply said, antennas are the “king of the hill“, without them no reader would be able to broadcast.

You can find different types of antennas in the market, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes: linear or circular, indoor or outdoor, 13,56 MHz or 860-960 MHz, incorporated into the RFID reader or external.  This is all you need to know for now, unless you aspire to become an “antenna guru” :)


Here we come to the most exciting topic :)

Both the tags and the readers operate over a certain frequency, exactly lika a radio station.

The most common are:

  • Low frequency, or LF, (125 – 134 kHz)
  • High frequency, or HF, (13.56 MHz)
  • Ultra-high frequency, or UHF, (860-960 MHz)

Without going too deep, all you need to know for now, is that the frequency choice depends on the application and the country where you are deploying your network.

inventag never sleeps


RFID is a very valuable business and tecnology tool, no doubts about it.

For many enterprises It’s more like a blind date: love at first sight or “it’s not gonna work“.

Sure thing, in the “real world” no businesses would ever spend money unless they expect to make money off that investment, a sort of “marriage of interest“.

Once in a while, “we land on our feet“: the benefits of RFID are impressive.

Here are the “Fabolous 4”:

  1. Improve the performances of core processes
  2. Speed up production and distribution
  3. Reduce human errors or avoid unnecessary risks
  4. Optimize costs

We understand that the key points above could be claimed by other technologies and eventually sound like a broken record to you.

It’s time now to go deeper then, to understand why we are not talking about “technological bullshits” but serious opportunities for your company to become more performing and profitable.



Common applications require humans to scan objects with a barcode reader or read information by sight, exactly like in a “old generation” supermarket.

RFID has the potential to eliminate this human intervention, like in Decathlon stores.

RFID allows automatic tracking without needing people to count “things“, capture data or scan barcodes.

This means:

  • dramatic reduction in operating costs;
  • fewer errors;
  • faster throughput;
  • reduce returns;
  • improve sales, customer service and loyalty.

We are saving time and money here, what else?


RFID is able to track single items thanks to a globally unique identifier called TID (Tag IDentifier) and a user memory called EPC (Electronic ProductCode). That means:

  • keeping precise account of each items;
  • reducing investments on inventory;
  • improving control on stocks along the entire Supply Chain;
  • limiting losses and thefts;
  • preventing counterfeiting;
  • counting more items simultaneusly;
  • capturing information in real time;
  • achieving a real time information flow.



There is a wide range of potential applications which can take advantage of RFID technology.

In theory the success key is simpler than you might expect: set your business goals and find the right solutions to reach them.

In practise it’s a “different music” and this is where the Inventag team is stepping in. 


We can actually start from basic barcode applications, where the “old technology” shows all its constraints and needs enhancements in terms of efficacy.

The main difference is evident: a barcode must be visible to be read, while RFID tags drive information through radio waves, thus enabling tracing and information gathering of multiple objects at the same time, even if they are stored in a box or pallet.

Moreover, through RFID active technology, all single object’s information may be updated in real time.

As a result of it, RFID systems look way more cost-effective, much more flexible (no need to place labels in specific positions) and reliable (tags are much more difficult to be damaged or soiled) and these easy considerations brought organizations to explore a wide application field.


First of all RFID systems are “exploited” in Manufacturing Processes to match the physical flow of materials and the related flow of information, on production lines, granting real-time visibility of assets, so that the process can be as efficient as possible.

Other solid applications are in Logistics & Supply Chain to secure automatic identification and localization, so that moving goods in boxes or pallets, in warehouse or during different transportation phases, is made easier, quicker, and more reliable.


RFID reveals its best added value in special contexts, where – for instance – there is a need to identify and trace waste, or ferrous materials, or products which need high temperature processing, where simply barcodes would not be applicable or resistant.

Another field of application is electronic ticketing. Not only RFID tags fight fake ticketing but can also store a big amount of encrypted and protected information.


Other main applications of RFID systems concern traceability in different contexts.

The added value is that RFID readers can scan multiple tags without seeing them and from a certain distance, so that inventories are way more accurate, easier and faster.

However, traceability has not only to do with goods. This is when RFID technology steps in.

In industrial farmingfor example, RFID can monitor animal’s health information, as well as human’s presence and movement inside facilities and offices.


An application field we really appreciate in Italy concerns anti-fraud protection since RFID is very effective in protecting the expensive assets of our precious Made in Italy products: these are usually tagged in the brand manufacturing facilities, to keep trace of production batch and source along the supply chain.

Counterfeiters are not going to have an “easy life” to clone Made in Italy products :)

For end-consumers it’s not only an assurance about the quality of the products they are buying: while in shops RFID allows them to enjoy a customized shopping experience, on the basis of what they have purchased or are wearing, while receiving real-time marketing and advertising information.

Lots of Italian brand are already investing in RFID to safeguard the authenticity of the product and its traceability even in the after-sale phase: for instance through web platform in which customers can sign up to check the characteristics of the garment they purchased and then receive immediate feedback with an interactive and effective verification procedure.




How many times have you heard this proverbial saying suggesting that if you do something too quickly, you will probably make mistakes?

Well, as for production, it’s all about finding the right balance between accuracy and speed.

Well-coordinated production chains are essential to manufacturers to work effectively, providing the right products, in the right amounts, at the right time.

At the same time more and more production systems and controls require a lot of data, even real-time ones, to optimize the processes.

RFID technology may be the real answer to this dilemma and bring significant benefits both by providing accurate and multiple information and by enabling real-time multiple data reading and capturing.  And as for speed, ease and accuracy no contest against other technologies.


Today manufacturing processes are very complex to manage, not only for the need to orchestrate big number of parts, but also for the constant push to get more efficiency and reduce costs.

Work-in-process tracking should assure control, productivity, accuracy and quality: RFID technology may automatically capture information about the items, goods and raw materials, people and processes critical to operations.

Thanks to RFID tags, you can identify exactly and real-time any material on the line, how it moves along the processes, how long it takes at each step or you identify automatically and remotely where it is located, so that an alert may report if an item is brought to the wrong process location or skips a stage. Isn’it magic?

Thanks to these real-time, continuous data flow, plant managers may realize where problems are, potential bottlenecks or timing issues or how to improve the flow in the best way: it’s an exceptional help to get aware and take decisions.


Let’s see if barcodes may be a real alternative. There are obviously pros and cons for both technology and the choice depends on budget, purpose and environment.

Barcodes are obviously cheaper but store less information, need line-of-sight and cannot enable multiple reading at high speed.

As for speed, it’s simply said: it takes around 38 seconds to scan 12 bottles using a barcode scanner while the RFID readers picks all in just over one second.

In production the difference means a significant costs reduction.

As for ease, in production the environment is not always suitable for barcode.

Imagine how difficult it could be using a barcode scanner in not proper light conditions on the printed surface: using near-field technology RFID works in any situation.

As for accuracy, it’s not only a matter of how difficult barcode reading may be with damaged labels or bad conditions: RFID is more accurate as data are stored on the chip which can be read and translated quickly and also updated with new information.


RFID tags may be attached to the good being produced or a traveler that accompanies the good, and also raw material can be tagged to track consumption.

Each tag contains multiple data about the process and the collocation, but it can also be enriched during working.

Through readers and gateway that are strategic read points, tags enable data collection so that data are sent to software systems or portals where they are managed and stored.

Thanks to RFID key product movements are tracked:

  • when a product reaches a specific stage of manufacturing;
  • how long a stage is taking;
  • if exceptions are occurring;
  • if a key step has not been completed;
  • where an item is currently located;
  • where are delays, and so on.

The flow is well identified, data are automatically collected and the management is easier: next step (in next life :) is the chance to understand more by applying machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms.

inventag - Logistica distribuzione



Someone once said: “Trade is not about goods. Trade is about information”.

Goods sit in the warehouse until information moves them and by visiting a warehouse everyone could probably confirm how true this is.

The fundamental warehouse processes that refer to receiving, put away, storage, picking, packing, and shipping, all rely on data and are enabled by information, as well as any possible process optimization.

To streamline warehouse operations, reduce costs and errors, information is at core and RFID is the best technological enabler.

This is why RFID finds its first application field in logistics.


Receiving is the first process and consequently one of the most important: at receiving goods must be verified, to grant that the right products and quantities have been received and that they are in the right conditions, but time is crucial since all operations need to be fast and efficient.

If among the receiving requirements for suppliers the use of RFID technology is already in place this could really help, otherwise when a shipment arrives, an RFID tag may be attached to the single item or the entire pallet and help in subsequent warehouse processes. From receiving on the accountability for goods is on the warehouse.


Put away is about moving goods to the most optimal warehouse storage location, according to space and travel time optimization: a solid warehouse management system must rely on consistent and accurate data, both data collection and on-going data analysis.

In this step RFID tags may bring great simplification as through their internal memories data can be stored and modified along the processes and real-time data can be sent to the warehouse management system, for analysis purposes.


In a warehouse, useless to say, all goods must be stored in the appropriate space, so in this phase what is crucial is storage utilization (above all in case of quick growth or peaks or slow sales) and control of goods.

Thanks to RFID tags, that transmit information on their own, it’s possible to know exactly where an item is, at each moment, from arrival to exit.

Moreover, without human intervention, tracking errors are widely reduced and the inventory process is as fast and precise as possible.

With RFID readers and gateways operating costs are also reduced.


Pick and pack refer to the process that collects goods stored in the warehouse and prepare them for shipment to the customer.

These steps are really critical since they shape the final customer satisfaction and above all because they are the costliest processes inside warehouses, so that reducing operating costs at these points will have a significant impact on efficiency and overall profits.

Imagine that movements between pick locations may account up to 50% of a picker’s time.

Technologies like RFID in such operations, where human touch is highly required, will help employees to save countless working hours by determining the real-time, exact location of an item and by guiding them to the preparation of the correct and complete packing lists.


If all previous activities in the warehouse were successful, above all the packing one, it’s highly probable that also shipping can be successful and bring the right product to the right customer, at the right time, safely and accurately.

A good customer experience depends on it.

A technology like RFID can help at lowering costs and reducing errors since all information about the most optimal carrier and transport method and time for shipping can be stored in tags memory,  read and updated in case of changes, and enriched until the final step, when goods come to the final customer’s hands.

inventag - Tracciabilita



Traceability is the ability to formally identify the origin, motivation, course of development and relations of “something”.

Traceability allows to accurately trace the place of origin of the product, the raw material used and to follow all the steps that led it to reach the final consumer, but there’s a wide range of possible applications.

Think about traceability for food, in agriculture or farming, traceability for healthcare, for pharma, for automotive, for services or documents: it is important because it’s about ensure transparency, minimizing risks and giving proof of compliance to standards and regulations, in a word, of “quality”.


The starting point to track and trace something with RFID technology is assigning a unique identification number, so that any other information can be linked to this number, in each process.

For quantitative tracking, RFID has the advantage of allowing simultaneous readings, from a distance.

For qualitative tracing, where the need is to record information throughout different steps, again RFID is the ideal solution since the chip can receive, store and add data, at any given point.

But some materials, like metal or liquid can impact the signal, and the implementation costs and efforts may be significant, so let’s see some examples where the RFID choice has shown perfectly fit to business needs.


The primary multi-utility agencies in Italy have introduced RFID technology to support environmental services with automatic identification of waste containers and bags.

The goal was to guarantee perfect compliance with the requirements of the process, while safeguarding efficiency and effectiveness.

Each bin, crane-lift igloo, road container and dumpster has been equipped with a sealed and rugged tag, suitable for use on plastic and metal, and in harsh, open environments.

The collection vehicles and the crews have been equipped with RFID readers so that waste collection is made easier and quicker. Most processes are automated, each container is identified and geolocalized and by analyzing data the whole service is constantly optimized.


RFID is great in the identification and traceability of perishable food in the food sector, to safeguard food safety and quality.

Starting from growing, breeding, processing, transporting and selling, each step in the food supply chain can be covered, combining RFID technology, to grant traceability.

The information is recorded and stored in every stage, so that food is clearly identified from its origin and during each finishing process stage until it reaches retailers, with the aim to:

  • automate processes and reduce people work;
  • coordinate and record inner check and outside check to ensure food safety;
  • provide a central management system that gathers together all the information;
  • ensure the full chain transparency: during selling all data linked to RFID tags can be shown in the final receipt of the consumer.


A primary luxury shoemaker has implemented an advanced RFID traceability project, using RFID technology, with UHF tags: it’s a great example of traceability in manufacturing processes, to grant quality to the final customer.

Upon arrival at the factory, all the parts that make up a product batch are placed on trolleys, equipped with RFID tags, and each batch is linked to its own trolley. The workstations are equipped with a reader, that reads the tag and identifies the trolley during the processing. In this way it is possible to know the batch progress in real time throughout the production cycle.

Thanks to this smart and automated system, at each step, tag readings are recorded in a timely and precise manner, which allows to make accurate predictions on the expected delivery date to the customer.

inventag - Anticontraffazione



On a global scale, counterfeit goods represent a widespread challenge, both for products only available offline and for those sold through e-commerce.

Counterfeiting is affecting any consumer product, especially the most successful and popular ones: clothing, footwear, jewelry, handbags, watches, personal care and home care products, food, alcohol, cosmetics, electronic equipment, toys, car parts and so on.


The criminals’ goal is always the same: propose goods that look identical to the authentic ones to deceive consumers and get extra-profits. These imitations are usually of substantially lower quality than the original ones and sometimes can even be dangerous or toxic, as counterfeits are often made using cheap or unsafe materials or are assembled in a faulty way.

Counterfeiting is obviously illegal and leads to long-term impacts on consumers, on brands, on their sales and image, and also on national economies, above all on the Italian economy and its well-known “Made in Italy” asset.


According to the last Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s study “global trade in counterfeit products infringing Italian trademarks amounted to € 24.3 billion in 2018. It is equivalent to 3.6% of total Italian manufacturing sales”. In particular, it affected product categories as clothing, footwear, leather as well as electrical and optical products and scientific instruments … all replaced by “bad copies” mainly coming from China, Turkey and Hong Kong.

In 2018 the estimated cost for “consumer detriment” in Italy, that is, the price premium unjustly paid by consumers, amounted to almost € 6.7 billion.

Italian wholesalers and retailers forgone sales was around € 4.2 billion and the cost due to infringement of their Intellectual Properties rights in global trade amounted to € 16.9 billion. All these figures are frightening.

For example, only the Italian clothing industry lost almost 10% of sales due to counterfeiting of their products worldwide and altogether, almost 72.000 jobs were lost.

That’s why we are here talking about how to reduce this issue, thanks to technology.


Among other technologies, RFID tags are very useful for identification of products. Thanks to their small, embedded chips, they make it possible to verify the authenticity of a product and hence to detect and prevent counterfeiting.

But RFID is not only helpful to grant product authenticity: there’s another key aspect that is very important for brands and concerns production chain traceability.

RFID uses an electromagnetic wave system that combines tags, antennas and readers.

The tags attached to individual products have an alphanumeric identification code that is only known by who produced the chip, it’s unique and it cannot be modified.

The tags can be read during production, and along all the products movements, from warehouses to retailers, so confirming in different moments authenticity and provenance.

Unlike barcodes then these chips cannot be easily duplicated so they represent a much better anti-counterfeit method.


Luxury Italian brands have been the first to fight this tremendous problem, and they found in RFID a strategic ally, mainly to track item from production to final users, ensuring that who buys them is buying the authentic products.

In 2016 Moncler publicly announced that all of its products will contain small RFID chips, each containing a unique ID that will allow users to scan and authenticate their goods via their smartphones or through the website.

And earlier in 2014, Salvatore Ferragamo started embedding RFID chips into the left soles of its women’s shoes to allow the company to verify their authenticity and make the shoe trackable. The tag cannot be detected within the sole and cannot be reproduced. Ferragamo extended the project to its men’s shoes in 2015 as well as small leather goods, luggage and women’s handbags.

As you see, this technology is stable and consolidated: other industry leaders as Burberry, Ralph Laurens and Rebecca Minkoff have used it and embedded in a wider digital customer experience.


You have understood the main benefits of RFID that no other technology can offer and its applications.

The simple question now is: what are you wainting for? Contact us now, stay tuned on and our LinkedIn page.

For any further information our Inventag Team is glad to help:

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