Active Shelf System: RFID Tracking for Retail Inventories

active shelf rfid
The Active Shelf System, available from Barcoding Inc., is an affordable method of keeping track of inventory in retail stores, stockrooms, pharmacies, libraries, and warehouses, allowing automated asset tracking in libraries, document storage facilities, and data tape archives. Basically, anything that can be placed on a shelf can be tracked using the Active Shelf System, but let’s take a closer look about how it works.

The RFID Enabled Active Shelf System works by placing RFID antennas on each shelf to monitor signals from UHF Gen 2 tags that are placed on each product. The antennas then send information through the hybrid multiplexer that transmits the data to a central RFID reader. This RFID reader is connected to your database through a hard-wired connection or wireless infrastructure, making the inventory levels available through a web interface or XML feed from the system.

In order to keep track of all of the items on the shelf, all shelves are read sequentially whenever an RFID scan is initiated, and the software generates a list of unique asset tag numbers read. After this, the system queries the asset database, retrieving detailed information relating to the corresponding asset and displays a list of base asset information such as tag ID and title.

Once asset ID tags are read, the Active Shelf System has the ability to connect separate devices at the edge of each shelf, such as a light or sensor that can detect motion near the shelf and have inventory levels monitored. If an item is placed in the wrong location, a light will turn on, alerting workers that something is out of place. In addition, the RFID Active Shelf can be set-up to read High-Frequency or Ultra-High Frequency RFID tags.

Overall, the system offers:

  • Automated tracking of item-level inventory and asset locations (eliminates manual asset counting and improves record accuracy)
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Increased security

Learn more about the RFID Active Shelf here.