How to Integrate Your Existing Systems with an RFID Infrastructure


In the fast-paced world of manufacturing and supply chain, companies are constantly seeking innovative solutions to streamline their operations, improve efficiency, and gain a competitive edge.   Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has emerged as a powerful tool for tracking and managing inventory, assets, and production processes in real-time. Integrating an RFID infrastructure into existing systems can significantly enhance visibility, accuracy, and control throughout the manufacturing and supply chain.

This article will guide senior management in manufacturing and supply chain companies through the process of integrating their existing systems with an RFID infrastructure.  By following these steps, organizations can leverage the benefits of RFID technology and optimize their operations for improved productivity and profitability.

Identifying Goals and Objectives for Implementing RFIDTechnology

Before embarking on the integration process, it is essential to identify the specific goals and objectives for implementing RFID technology within the manufacturing environment. This step helps align the integration strategy with the company's overall objectives and ensures a focused approach.

 Some common goals of implementing RFID technology in manufacturing include:

 ·     Real-time WIP or work cell visibility: RFID enables management to observe and react to emerging bottlenecks and reworks, and assist with load-levelling across factory operations.

·     Real-time inventory visibility:  RFID enables accurate and real-time tracking of inventory, minimizing stock-outs, and optimizing replenishment processes.

·     Improved asset management:  By tagging and tracking assets with RFID, companies can enhance asset visibility, reduce loss, and improve maintenance and utilization.

·     Enhanced process efficiency:  RFID technology enables automated data collection and process optimization, reducing manual efforts, errors, and delays.

·     Better quality control and traceability:  RFID tags can be used to track and trace products throughout the manufacturing and supply chain, enabling better quality control, recalls, and compliance.

Evaluating the Compatibility of Existing Systems with RFID Infrastructure

Once the goals and objectives are defined, the next step is to evaluate the compatibility of existing systems with an RFID infrastructure.  This assessment ensures that the integration process is seamless and minimizes disruptions to ongoing operations.

The evaluation process involves:

·     System audit: Conduct a comprehensive audit of the existing systems, including current tracking methods, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and any other relevant software or hardware.  Identify the data flow, interfaces, and integration points.

·     Compatibility analysis:  Determine the compatibility of the existing systems with RFID infrastructure.  In most cases, APIs associated with existing systems will support RFID data capture, processing, and integration without major modifications or upgrades.

·     Gap analysis: Identify any gaps or areas of improvement required to integrate RFID technology.  In most cases this will mean establishing data architecture and mapping to ensure consistency across systems, or process reengineering where RFID may eliminate the need for current manual work or a change in work practices.

 Selecting Suitable RFID Hardware and Software for Integration

After assessing the compatibility of existing systems, the next step is to select suitable RFID hardware and software for integration.  Choosing the right components is crucial for the success of the integration process and long-term performance.

Consider the following factors when selecting RFID hardware and software:

·     Tags and readers:  Evaluate different types of RFID tags and readers based on the specific requirements of the manufacturing environment.  Consider factors such as read range, durability, form factor, and compatibility with existing equipment.

 ·     Middleware and integration platforms:  Select RFID middleware or integration platforms that seamlessly connect the RFID hardware with existing systems.  Look for platforms that offer flexible data filtering, transformation, and integration capabilities.

·     Scalability and future-proofing:  Ensure that the chosen RFID solution can scale with the organization's growth and accommodate future enhancements.  Consider factors such as support for multiple protocols, compatibility with emerging technologies, ongoing support services and vendor stability.

Establishing Communication Protocols and Security Measures

Integrating RFID technology requires establishing communication protocols and implementing robust security measures to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access.

Consider the following best practices for communication protocols and security measures:

·     Data encryption: Implement encryption mechanisms to protect RFID data during transmission and storage.  Use secure protocols, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS), to ensure data integrity.

·     Access control: Define access control policies and user roles to restrict access to RFID data and system configurations. Implement strong authentication mechanisms, such as two-factor authentication, to prevent unauthorized access.

·     Network segmentation:  Segregate the RFID network from other systems to minimize the risk of security breaches. Use firewalls and network segmentation techniques to isolate RFID infrastructure and control traffic flow.

·     Data management:  Enhance data security by limiting information stored in RFID tags, maintaining tag related data  in secure RFID middleware.

Conducting a Pilot Test and Refining the Integration Process

Before rolling out the RFID integration across the entire manufacturing environment, it is advisable to conduct a pilot test to validate the chosen hardware, software, and integration approach.  This test allows organizations to identify and address any issues or challenges before full-scale implementation.

The pilot test should involve:

·     Selecting a representative sample:  Choose a subset of products, processes, or locations to test the RFID integration. This ensures that the pilot covers a diverse range of scenarios and provides meaningful insights.

·     Defining success criteria:  Clearly define the success criteria for the pilot test, such as improved accuracy, increased efficiency, or reduced costs.  These criteria will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the integration process.

·     Monitoring and evaluation:  Continuously monitor the pilot test and collect data to measure the performance of the RFID integration.  Assess the results against the defined success criteria and gather feedback from users and stakeholders.

Based on the insights gathered during the pilot test, refine the integration process and address any issues or challenges.  This iterative approach ensures that the RFID integration is optimized for maximum effectiveness and minimal disruptions.

It is also possible in some cases to integrate legacy tracking technologies with an RFID solution. Neal Lober, CEO of FactorySense RFID discusses how it is possible to integrate other tracking technologies with the FactorySense’s application.

"Integrating other tracking technologies with the application is a seamless process that provides enhanced visibility and control for manufacturing and supply chain operations.  Our platform is designed to work with existing manufacturing systems and be flexible and adaptable, allowing for the integration of various tracking technologies, including GPS, Bluetooth LowEnergy (BLE), and barcode systems.

By leveraging our application programming interfaces (APIs) and modular architecture, organizations can integrate multiple tracking technologies into a unified system. This integration enables a comprehensive view of assets, inventory, and processes, resulting in improved efficiency, reduced costs, and better decision-making.

Our team of experts works closely with clients to understand their specific requirements and design tailored solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems. We provide guidance and support throughout the integration process, ensuring a smooth transition and maximum value from the combined tracking technologies.

At Factory Sense RFID, we believe in empowering organizations to harness the full potential of technology for optimized manufacturing and supply chain operations.  By integrating multiple tracking technologies with our application, we enable companies to achieve unprecedented visibility, efficiency, and control, ultimately driving their success in the competitive marketplace."


Integrating an RFID infrastructure with existing systems in manufacturing and supply chain companies can unlock a wide range of benefits, including real-time inventory visibility, improved asset management, enhanced process efficiency, and better quality control and traceability.  By following the steps outlined, senior management can successfully navigate the integration process and leverage RFID technology to optimize their operations.

From identifying goals and objectives to evaluating compatibility, selecting suitable hardware and software, establishing communication protocols and security measures, conducting pilot tests, and refining the integration process, each step is crucial for a seamless and effective integration.  Furthermore, the ability to integrate other tracking technologies with RFID infrastructure, as discussed by the CEO of FactorySense RFID, expands the possibilities for enhanced visibility and control.

Embracing RFID technology and integrating it into existing systems is a strategic move that positions manufacturing and supply chain companies for long-term success. By leveraging the power of RFID, organizations can achieve operational excellence, gain a competitive advantage, and drive growth in today's rapidly evolving business landscape.

This post was last updated on

June 28, 2023
FactorySense Social Icon LinkedIn IconFactorySense Social Icon YouTubeFactorySense Social Icon TwitterFactorySense Social Icon FacebookFactorySense Instagram Icon

Speak to a FactorySense RFID expert today - call us on +1 (972) 984-7176.


Sign up for our newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

@Copyright 2023 FactorySense