Currently, I am using RFID technology for my warehouse management. My warehouse spans across 4 acres, I need to deploy so many RFID antennas and RFID readers to constantly scan the area for goods movement (active scanning).

What technology is available to help me deploy multiple RFID antennas continuously?

Currently, I am using an RFID antenna mounted on the wall and connected to the RFID reader. Every item is labelled with an RFID sticker. I've calculated that I will need 30 RFID antennas to cover the whole area. It also means each RFID antenna have to be assigned a unique identifier. Obviously this is not the practical way to do that. Are there any convenient way to achieve this?

Update 05-02-2017

Since I have some vehicle/manpower to move the item, another idea is to mount the RFID antenna and RFID reader to the forklift or provide RFID handheld to the manpower. But the downside is I have to stop the movement for maybe 1 day and quickly label each item and manually update the location. So future onwards when the vehicle mounted RFID equipments or RFID handheld will determine the location/movements of the goods. Is this the best way for current RFID technology? Seems like there are no better ways RFID can help in warehouse management.

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    This is far too broad to be answerable. It's not even clear what sort of solution you are looking for - multiple readers reporting to a central system, longer range readers, complete different solutions, etc. Stack exchange sites have a system wide limitation to questions that can have specific answers. – Chris Stratton Feb 2 '17 at 4:21
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    This is why I am asking for a proven and working solution here instead of giving me various theory without any practical. – 4 Leave Cover Feb 2 '17 at 4:31
  • Just to be clear - you have an existing, working solution & are looking to improve it? Or is this a new project? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Feb 2 '17 at 8:15
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    @BenceKaulics I've updated my question – 4 Leave Cover Feb 2 '17 at 8:52
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    The antenna is receiving data from the moving RFID chips and the reader is processing the data? – Helmar Feb 2 '17 at 20:25

Option 1

One solution I have seen and I could recommend is to divide your warehouse in areas and create gateways for accessing to them with the forklift or trucks. Then you setup the antennas on those gateways and force the drives to pass through them in order to track the goods movement. Basically it is the same logic behind any shop store with those RFID antennas at the entrance scanning people going in and out, that triggers the alarm as soon as they read a tag that was not killed. The antennas should be powerful enough to scan a whole pallet or even a truck. Additionally you should also consider the type of RFID tag you will use.


Option 2

Consider the case where the forklifts are the only that move the palets around the warehouse, why not setting the RFID antenna to them. Adding a geolocation sensor you can know exactly where the palet was stored and if you add a gyroscope you could even know the height of the rack. A step further could be to add a weight sensor to the forklift to detect when the palet is picked up and when is drop, plus the palet's weight to calculate the accumulated load of rack.

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  • Wouldn't provide you with exact locations though. – Helmar Feb 8 '17 at 18:11
  • @Helmar you are right. As of the current technology, I guess the more gateway could mean more precise location, but it would be not cost effecient. – 4 Leave Cover Feb 9 '17 at 7:24
  • Well as @4LeaveCover mentioned, all depends on what size of areas you decide to go for, the number of antennas, the size of the goods: are just palets, small boxes, big containers? are all the same size? If you provide more details maybe we can find a more accurate solution. There are many solutions, but that depends on budget, time, precision... Like other solution could be having a drone scanning the are periodically sending a report to the server with the exact location. Or using image recognition instead of RFID tags... and so on... but maybe that is out of IoT though – Snake Sanders Feb 9 '17 at 8:24
  • I guess Option 2 is the most ideal way. Thank you =D – 4 Leave Cover Feb 13 '17 at 1:27

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