Electronic Product Codes (EPCs) – Definition

Cite this article as:"Electronic Product Codes (EPCs) – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated November 30, 2018, last accessed August 10, 2020, https://thebusinessprofessor.com/lesson/electronic-product-codes-epcs-explained/.


Electronic Product Code Definition

An Electronic Product Code (EPC) is a numerical code used to identify different commodities. An EPC is basically an identifier but it has many more functions. For instance, an electronic product code contains numbers that can be used to track different information about the products, such as manufacturing date, products origin, and destination. An electronic product code is very similar to a bar code but with greater utility.

A Little More on What is a n Electronic Product Code

An EPC works on the principle of a radio frequency tag (RFID), which is used to send and receive information when a reader is applied to it. However, an EPC and RFID are not identical. The EPC is utilized in supply chain management to efficiently control the flow of inventory. An EPC uses RFID technology to enhance and improve visibility level in supply chain management. EPCs offer many benefits to customers, such as tracking inventory records and helping to deliver the right goods to customers

References for Electronic Product Codes

Academic Research on Electronic product code —EPC

●      The electronic product code (epc), Brock, D. L. (2001). Auto-ID Center White Paper MIT-AUTOID-WH-002. This study presents the concept and the importance of the Uniform Product Code (UPC), stating how much it has helped in the supply chain. It further goes on to propose the implementation of an Electronic Product Code (EPC) following the emergence of the internet being used as a business software, and trading platform.

●      Integrating the Electronic Product Code (EPC) and the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN), Brock, D. L. (2001). White Paper available at www. autoidcenter. org/pdfs/MIT-WUTOID-WH-004. pdf25. This paper explores the differences in approach and present a method for integrating the Electronic Product Code (EPC) and the Global Trade Item Number (GTIN).

●      The use of the electronic product code, Engels, D. (2003). Auto-ID Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Technical Report. This paper explains the concept of an Electronic Product Code, and goes on to present its bit identifier; the EPC™. This paper focuses on the use and the guidelines of the EPC™.

●      The virtual electronic product code, Brock, D. L. (2002Auto ID Center). This paper examines the use and the reason for the creation of the Electronic Product Code (EPC). It further proposes an extension of the EPC concept to address the unique identification of batch products, component types, and physical configurations.

●      EPCBC-a block cipher suitable for electronic product code encryption, Yap, H., Khoo, K., Poschmann, A., & Henricksen, M. (2011, December). In International Conference on Cryptology and Network Security (pp. 76-97). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. In this paper, the authors provide a detailed explanation of the concept of EPCBC, a lightweight cipher that has 96-bit key size and 48-bit/96-bit block size.

●      Identification and tracking of individuals and social networks using the electronic product code on RFID tags, Hansen, M., & Meissner, S. (2008). In The Future of Identity in the Information Society (pp. 143-150). Springer, Boston, MA. Recent studies claim that RFID transponders containing only an Electronic Product Code (EPC) do not carry person-related data. This paper describes how to use EPCs on RFID transponders to identify individuals and track their consumer habits and locations.

●      Application of the electronic product code EPC to the product lifecycle of electronic products, Hribernik, K. A., Schnatmeyer, M., Plettner, A., & Thoben, K. D. (2007, March). In EU RFID Forum. In this paper, the authors explore how Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be leveraged in combination with the Electronic Product Code (EPC) standard to provide full product lifecycle information management support for electronic products, with a focus on fulfilling the requirements set by the German implementation of the WEEE directive.

●      Technology, standards, and real-world deployments of the EPC network, Thiesse, F., Floerkemeier, C., Harrison, M., Michahelles, F., & Roduner, C. (2009). IEEE Internet Computing13(2), 36-43. This study presents the fundamental concepts and applications of the EPC Network, its integration with enterprise systems, and its functionality for data exchange between organizations in the supply chain.

●      The blocker tag: Selective blocking of RFID tags for consumer privacy, Juels, A., Rivest, R. L., & Szydlo, M. (2003, October). In Proceedings of the 10th ACM conference on Computer and communications security (pp. 103-111). ACM. This study focuses on the use of “selective blocking” by “blocker tags” as a way of protecting consumers from unwanted scanning of RFID tags attached to items they may be carrying or wearing.

●      Exploring the impact of RFID technology and the EPC network on mobile B2B eCommerce: A case study in the retail industry, Wamba, S. F., Lefebvre, L. A., Bendavid, Y., & Lefebvre, É. (2008). International Journal of Production Economics112(2), 614-629. The main objective of this article is to provide some insights into radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and the electronic product code (EPC) network and investigates their impacts on mobile B2B eCommerce.

●      EPC based internet of things architecture, Hada, H., & Mitsugi, J. (2011, September). In RFID-Technologies and Applications (RFID-TA), 2011 IEEE International Conference on (pp. 527-532). IEEE. This paper presents an EPC (Electronic Product Code) based Internet of Things (IoT) architecture.

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