Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging has been a part of commerce for decades, but enhancements always deliver new ways to control inventory at multiple parts of the supply chain. From warehouse management to store security, an RF tagging system can give you a better idea at how well your stock moves, but can you get more out of the tags? Here are a few techniques and special systems to consider when evaluating your current inventory control and security plans.
How Does RF Tagging Work?
The basics of RFID are simple: tags can be scanned by simply being within proximity of a hand scanner or other scanning device, which checks in the item as present. This can be done to count how many items are moving from a warehouse to a truck, a truck to a store, the store's stockroom to the sales floor, and daily sales floor security checks.
Aside from wands and intentional inventory checks, the same technology is behind the door scanners that alarm during theft--or a tag deactivation that didn't go well, as many embarrassed customers can report.
The reporting can either be active or passive. An active reader passive tag system send a signal to tags in the area, and this signal gives them enough power to report their presence. An active reader, active tag system sends out requests for tags, and the tags have their own power to report over long distances. The double active system is great for large warehouses, railroad systems, or other configurations where a scanner needs to check presence over long distances.
Enhancing Security And Product Value
Standard RF security technology waits for a product to pass a threshold, and should alarm as soon as the item is nearby. The problem with this technique is that higher powered door scanners are needed to stop people from holding products over their head, throwing them around scanners, or otherwise testing the distance and potency of scanners.
Bluetooth technology increases both the potency and distance of detection signals. Reaching around 200 meters before potency begins to taper, the 860 MHz to 960 MHz standard can pick up a much more precise anti-theft signal in a concentrated area.
With longer distances and more easily manipulated intensity, data can also transfer across the tags. When an active tag reports information, it usually sends a basic inventory code that matches something already in your inventory. You can enhance this by adding even more information to your tags without sacrificing significant speed.
Product names, weight, and even short descriptions can be added to the tag instead of forcing an information lookup based on that ID. Looking up information is an additional step in databases, so if the tag can simply pump out that information during the same step as answering a scanner, time is saved for your systems.
Contact an RF security services professional to discuss other ways to augment your RF inventory and security planning.Share
24 September 2017
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