Report • 13.02.2009

Barcodes and RFID: For efficient logistics

The logistics branch is currently battling with a long list of difficulties: severely fluctuating diesel prices, increasing toll charges, shorter driving times for drivers, more and more environmental zones...Trading centres are being pushed to the limit. They attempt to improve their transport routes. New logistic centres are developed. They try to combine the flow of goods through transfers at central points. In existing warehouses, major investments are made in new technology.

With such developments, huge amounts of data accumulate. From manufacturers to shipping companies, freight handlers, ports, various warehouses and finally, to the retail branches themselves - wherever goods are handed from one person to the next, data interfaces are produced which must match one another. Those who share information with others, however, make their business transparent to others. This restricts negotiations concerning conditions, and could well cause know-how to land in the wrong hands over at the competition.

At every port, containers, palettes, packages and items need to be re-registered. Logistics experts see the way forward in radio-frequency identification (RFID). Tests are being carried out, the first introductions are planned. Rewe aims to introduce RFID in all new warehouses. Metro is currently testing radio-frequency labels in a range of places.

“Wait and see what the big fish report back”, is the advice that Jörg Becker, Professor of Business Informatics and Information Management at the University of Munster has for small and medium sized companies. In an interview with Lebensmittel-Praxis, Becker stated: “Our studies have shown that clear investments will probably be made in the next five years, but I wouldn’t talk of an investment backlog just yet.”

In January, the automatic ID specialist Zebra Technology published a thesis on RFID. With this, the North American company aims to offer orientation for the market, whilst dispelling five common myths about RFID.

In the past, an array of false expectations concerning RFID technology were awakened,
says Andreas Rehsöft, Company Director of DTE Automation. In an interview with the magazine RFID im Blick, he explains that it is wrong for users to believe that RFID will solve all problems. Instead, it is much important to closely analyse process sequences. And this depends on the whole IT system.

Similar to past years, the next EuroCIS will provide the setting for a range of exhibitors to unveil their new RFID applications.

Barcodes will become smaller and two-dimensional

For the time being, however, barcodes remain the most important medium in identification systems. Barcodes are used to enable scanner reading of European Article Numbers (EAN), which were introduced in Germany in 1977. The 8 or 13 digit EAN is part of a master database containing more product information, such as details included on price labels, receipts and invoices. GSI Germany is the German organisation responsible for allocating EAN numbers and barcodes. Nowadays, EANs are used internationally. During 2009, they will gradually be replaced by the GTIN, or 'Global Trade Item Number'. As a result of this, the EAN and the North American UPC will combine to form one unit.

With the 'Data Bar', GS1 has introduced a smaller barcode. Like its big brother, it is also read horizontally. These are known as one-dimensional barcodes, or in short, 1D codes. More information can be saved on two-dimensional matrix codes, which store data on black and white modules arranged in squares. Deutsche Bahn uses large-scale versions of such codes for their online ticketing service. Miniature versions are printed on the address fields of letters and contain information on the letter, such as date, cost unit and postage paid. Concerning food products, the batch number or expiry date could be represented. A range of experiments are being carried out concerning this method, although the small 'data bar' is still ahead, interfering less with the packaging design and permitting adjustments to be made in order to fit onto smaller packages. Until now, however, many standard scanner units require more time to read ‘data bars’ and provide less accurate results than with EAN-8/13 barcodes.

Data created through RFID or barcodes must be fed into the stock control system. A further series of interface problems arise here. Intelligent software helps to analyse data quantities.


René Schellbach

related articles:

popular articles:

Thumbnail-Photo: Self-Service for the ultimate customer experience...
19.02.2020   #brick and mortar retail #self-checkout systems

Self-Service for the ultimate customer experience

EuroShop 2020: iXtenso spoke with Diebold Nixdorf

Diebold Nixdorf as a leader in connected commerce offers innovative technologies for the optimized mix of self-service and checkout systems. With the program Storerevolution™ their solutions are a benefit for customers and retailers at the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Successful local grocery store: Here is the recipe...
10.01.2020   #electronic shelf labels (ESL) #food retail

Successful local grocery store: Here is the recipe

Fast price adjustment with electronic shelf labels

Many small local grocery stores have difficulty getting a profitable business, but in the Danish cottage area between Nymindegab and Hvide Sande, the local Min Købmand store in Bjerregaard has found the recipe to be successful. Now, the ...

Thumbnail-Photo: The cash register capable of everything
18.02.2020   #epos systems #customer satisfaction

The cash register capable of everything

Flexible use from manned checkout to self-checkout point

Customers walking through the store with their own cash register on hand? This versatility of shop technology and shop fittings corresponds to the change in brick and mortar retail. MAGO wants to help retailers to meet this challenge with ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Wireless with SVN-Flex from SALTO
20.01.2020   #security #security management

Wireless with SVN-Flex from SALTO

SALTO has launched SVN-Flex, a new technology that enables virtual networked access control solutions

In the solutions wireless electronic escutcheons and cylinders act as wire-free updaters. This leads to greater efficiency, security and convenience.The innovation of the SVN-Flex is that users no longer necessarily need hard-wired wall readers to ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Light up the future with Posiflex at EuroShop 2020...
11.02.2020   #kiosk terminals #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

Light up the future with Posiflex at EuroShop 2020

Serviced IoT solutions: personalized, flexible and connected

The Posiflex Group, a synergy of world-leading POS, kiosk, and industrial computing technologies — will bring its Serviced IoT solutions to EuroShop 2020, the leading Europe trade fair for the retail industry, from February 16th – 20th ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Effective and Independent
12.02.2020   #epos systems #cashpoints

Effective and Independent

Present and future of self-checkout

Better use of personnel, lowering overhead costs while still providing customers with a smooth and seamless shopping experience – that’s what every retailer strives to accomplish. For Thomas Dibbern, CEO of ALMEX GmbH, there is an ...

Thumbnail-Photo: ARNEG GROUP: from Sharing Avenue to Melting Pot...
09.12.2019   #refrigeration cabinets #Trade fair special EuroShop 2020

ARNEG GROUP: from Sharing Avenue to Melting Pot

The sharing road leads a long way

At the 20th edition of Euroshop, the Arneg Group is expressing its cosmopolitan soul on a kaleidoscopic stand that embodies the concept of sharing, interpreted as a virtuous fusion of competence, experience and vision capable of generating change ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Self-service for faster checkout
01.01.2020   #epos systems #brick and mortar retail

Self-service for faster checkout

“Moments that Inspire”: Toshiba shows at EuroShop stationary as well as mobile solutions

In the future, there will be the Frictionless Store – no scanning, no hassle for the consumers. But consumers do not want to wait until this can become reality everywhere. The payment process should already be fast and convenient today.At ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Epta on the podium of the German Design Awards 2020...
10.12.2019   #design #refrigeration cabinets

Epta on the podium of the German Design Awards 2020

Excellent prodcut design with OutFit and Mozaïk, combining functionality and aesthetics

Epta wins the prestigious German Design Award for the second time, the award given to projects that merge functionality and utility, aesthetics and quality. The OutFit family under the Costan brand and Mozaïk under the Bonnet Névé ...

Thumbnail-Photo: Digital tool helps MENY in the fight against food waste...
13.02.2020   #sustainability #app

Digital tool helps MENY in the fight against food waste

Printing discount labels directly from the app

After a convincing test, Dagrofa rolls out the food waste app ‘Whywaste’ in all the Danish MENY stores. At MENY in Solrød, the store has already managed to achieve a significant reduction in food waste. In addition to the app, the ...


APG Cash Drawer (Germany)
APG Cash Drawer (Germany)
Leichtmetallstr. 22a
42781 Haan-Gruiten
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
ROQQIO Commerce Solutions GmbH
Harburger Schloßstraße 28
21079 Hamburg
APG Cash Drawer
APG Cash Drawer
4 The Drove
BN9 0LA Newhaven
Innere Kanalstraße 15
50823 Köln
Isafjordsgatan 5
164 40 Kista
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
POS TUNING Udo Voßhenrich GmbH & Co KG
Am Zubringer 8
32107 Bad Salzuflen
Saint Gobain Sovis
Avenue de la Republique
2407 Chateau Thierry Cedex
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Delfi Technologies GmbH
Landgraben 75
24232 Schönkirchen
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Adasys GmbH – a Poindus Company
Max-Planck-Straße 10
70806 Kornwestheim
Burkhardt Leitner Modular Spaces GmbH
Olgastrasse 138
70180 Stuttgart