Used to identify and track items, automatic identification and data collection (also called AIDC, Auto ID, automatic data capture and automatic data collection) is a family of technologies that identify, verify, record, communicate and store information on discrete, packaged or containerized items. Because the process is automated (rather than reliant on pen, paper and people), information is gathered quickly and accurately. The most common technologies used to identify and capture data are barcodes, handheld and fixed-position scanners and imagers, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and readers, and voice recognition, weighing and cubing devices. Typical applications include receiving and putaway, inventory picking, order fulfillment, determination of weight and volume, and tracking and tracing throughout the supply chain.
What is AIDC?
There are several types of AIDC technology and equipment. These include:
- Radio frequency identification (RFID)
- Voice recognition
- Cubing and weighing
- Multi-modal data collection – In some operations, a combination of two or more of the above AIDC technologies may be used to further streamline the data collection process.
AIDC is used in a variety of areas to support processing and picking throughout a facility:
- Assembly: Verification that the right component is selected for assembly
- Order picking: Providing confirmation that the right item and quantity has been picked
- Quality control: Directing a worker to a location and/or to perform a task and requiring confirmation of both
- Replenishment: Confirmation that the right items are being restocked in the right locations
- Storage: Verification that items are being stored in the correct location
AIDC provides a variety of benefits:
- Control – AIDC technologies help maintain control over inventory from time of receipt through processing and to outbound shipping. Also facilitate and simplify cycle counting.
- Identification – AIDC makes it easy to identify products or items by stock keeping unit (SKU) number.
- Inventory accuracy – Because AIDC enables real-time monitoring of the number of the number of units in a facility, it maintains an accurate count of inventory.
- Location – Data collected by AIDC yields information about the location of stored products as well as open space available for storage.
- Picking accuracy – By confirming the accuracy of items picked to fill orders, AIDC reduces errors.
- Picking efficiency – Because AIDC eliminates paper-based picking, workers can fill more orders faster.
- Visibility – AIDC aids in monitoring the completion of a processes.
AIDC is used in a variety of industries, including:
- Asset tracking
- Consumer goods
- Medical devices and equipment
- Point of sale
- Transportation and logistics
- Warehousing and distribution