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Heinz Graf

Senior Standards Expert
GS1 System

T +41 58 800 72 29
F +41 58 800 72 99

RFID is the future

The global EPC/RFID standard makes it possible to use RFID technology along the entire value chain regardless of the sector. GS1 identification keys, such as GTIN or SSCC, are fully compatible with the EPC system.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology that enables automatic, contactless identification of objects over a short distance, up to a maximum of five metres. An RFID system consists of a data carrier (transponder) and a reader/writer with an aerial. The technology uses weak electromagnetic waves which are received by a reader. When you bring a transponder within range of the aerial you can read information from the transponder's memory or store data in it contactlessly. Radio frequency identification complements barcode technology and enables many new applications.

Unique identification with EPC

The heart of the EPC/RFID standard is the EPC (Electronic Product Code), which allows globally unique identification of pallets, boxes, packages, consumer units etc. The EPC is a globally non-overlapping numerical sequence which can be used to label every object uniquely. The EPC consists of the GS1 basic number (always), an object type (sometimes) and a serial number (always). The object type may identify such things as a product type (corresponding to the item number, GTIN) or a container type (corresponding to the GRAI). GS1 identification keys, such as GTIN or SSCC, are compatible with the EPC system.

Using RFID technology increases the level of automation and enables significant improvements in efficiency. It can also bring additional functionality, such as security tagging and integration of sensors for temperature monitoring.

To make it as easy as possible for you to get into radio frequency technology, GS1 Switzerland offers publications, seminars and workshops. Our experts will also be happy to provide consultancy on site.