Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology refers to a process that automates collection and identification to store, analyse and classify data. Human intervention is typically not required in AIDC. Its purpose is to identify and track a variety of items systematically. They can be tools, assets, workers, or inventory. Simply put, AIDC refers to a group of technologies for identifying objects automatically. After identifying them, it collects their data. It then enters the data into centralised computer systems. Most importantly, the AIDC solutions facilitate a robust materials management process and thus, contribute to organisational productivity.
A large number of businesses handle paper-based data. The process of passing information between the electronic system and the paper depends upon the requirements of different circumstances. This is an incredibly wasteful use of paper. Transmitting data is very time-consuming. Additionally, it leads to manual errors. For this reason, AIDC technologies are such an asset to companies irrespective of their size. Besides, the technology allows data carriage electronically within the various applications of AIDC such as barcodes, RFID etc.
Applications of AIDC
AIDC systems work most of the time without human intervention. In most cases, the user only scans an item with an AIDC application if at all human involvement is needed. As a result, a huge amount of resources can be directed to other projects. In addition, the freed-up labour leads to a reduction in costs. By doing so, companies can ensure that their products are always trackable. As a result, AIDC has become a leading technological intervention within business operations globally.
Over the years, AIDC has experienced great advancements. Millions of business systems and processes are now accessible to users around the world. Electronic article surveillance systems (EAS) use RFID tags to track objects in stores and prevent the theft of items. Locating objects through the use of Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) is to name just a couple of the many opportunities that AIDC has to offer.
The application of AIDC technology consists of three main parameters in sequence. These are encoding of data, machine-reading and decoding of data. The different applications of AIDC are:
- Barcode System: AIDC has offered barcode label technology and barcode reader technology for years. Retail, healthcare, education, warehousing, manufacturing, and the entertainment industries are some that use barcodes for tracking, identification, and counting.
- RFID: An RFID tag or transponder is a device that transmits and reads data encoded in digital form via radio waves. This technique is known as Radio Frequency Identification. Barcodes are similar to RFID in that they capture data from labels or tags and store it within a database. There are several advantages to RFID-based asset tracking systems over those using barcode technology. An RFID tag can transmit data outside of the line of view, unlike barcodes.
- Biometrics: The process of biometry compares biological characteristics to identify individuals. You can use it to control access to buildings and even for individual mobile devices.
- Optical character recognition (OCR): OCR captures both written and scanned texts. Typically, a pharmacy uses this technology to digitise written prescriptions received in pharmacies. It is of great help to quickly transform an image text file to an editable format.
- Magnetic strips: It is extremely common to use magnetic strips for instant verification. Credit and debit cards are one of the most common forms of technology that people use each day.
- Smart Cards: A smart card is an improved version of an RFID. In general, credit cards and passports use similar chips.
- Speech recognition: This application works similarly to biometrics in that a device records the voice and automatically converts it to a typed format.
Benefits of AIDC
Logistics and warehouse inventory in both small and big organisations often involve the use of AIDC. Processing and speeding up these areas is beyond the capacity and capability of humans. Due to its flexibility and affordability, the RFID technology of AIDC has become the norm in this domain. Simultaneous tracking of many items makes it an ideal solution for logistics. Through reader proximity detection, it is also capable of locating objects in large warehouses. The benefits of AIDC are:
- Improved efficacy and clarity: Digitising documents reduces the workplace clutter. The syncing allows authorised personnel to access any document at any time. Thus, searching for misplaced documents becomes a thing of the past.
- Quicker Turnaround: When you don’t have to wait for forms processing, you can do more work. A manual processor’s confirmation process will take a considerable amount of time. The use of RFID technology allows for instantaneous verification of everything, saving time and generating convenience. This allows employees the opportunity to train in more lucrative roles. Therefore, your team will benefit from this by reinvesting for greater returns.
- Reduces frustration, costs and paperwork: You can save time and money by taking advantage of the aforementioned benefits. Automation, however, achieves the same result more directly. In the absence of a digital transition, you may be dealing with extraordinary paperwork volumes every day. Moreover, maintaining that level of paperwork in contemporary organisations is very expensive. Paying for labour, ink, printers and filing cabinets to keep everything organised will accrue extra cost. Also, renting office space involves paying more for space to store it all because you are paying for additional square footage. Digitalisation eliminates all those problems.
- Few Errors: Automated data entry reduces errors greatly in comparison to manual entry. It is possible to fill out, store, retrieve, and use company documents more accurately. A lower error rate means less wastage of money. A global rule of thumb that currently exists states that:
- Keeping the company from making a harmful error could cost $1
- Rectifying an already made error costs $10
- Permitting an error to remain costs $100
Consequently, it is up to you how you run the numbers. As long as errors remain uncorrected, the larger will be the impact on the company’s capital expenditure.
Therefore, it becomes quite prudent to put an end to the needless waste of money with manual processes. With AIDC, businesses can reinvest the money gained for a competitive advantage in the market. A streamlined process will increase the efficiency of your business. You save money on daily operations when your business is more efficient.
In the next decade, AIDC is expected to impact the dynamics of the supply chain in a significant manner. Already, there are many platforms that use it. For example, by utilising environmental sensors that warn about excessive temperatures, a considerable reduction can be possible in product wastage. Most importantly, the product owner will always know where the product is, thereby reducing or eliminating counterfeiting and theft.
Technowave has proved itself as a pioneer in the field of optimal AIDC applications. The company’s barcode and RFID solutions are among the best in the business. The company possesses an incessant R&D program with an intensive orientation towards innovation. Furthermore, the company is always on the lookout for adding features to its existing technologies. In the supply chain, their products improve data quality and transparency. Additionally, they provide superior precision and visibility within the supply chain. Ultimately, Technowave’s AIDC solutions help manufacturing processes run smoothly. In short, organisations in the market domain can leverage them to achieve a sustainable competitive edge.