The RFID system
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a technology that allows the communication of data at a distance. It allows to store much more data than a simple barcode but above all, it is possible to read these labels over a greater distance. They are real traceability tools, logistic applications but also very efficient contactless payment tools.
How does the RFID tag work?
The RFID label (or transponder or tag) is itself equipped with a chip connected to an antenna, the antenna allows the chip to transmit information (serial number, weight …) that can be read by an RFID reader.
Then, here is what happens when you pass the reader near a RFID tag:
- The antenna picks up the signal from the RFID reader or printer
- Information is exchanged between the chip and the transmitter or the chip and the 3D printer
How does STRATUS help with the application of RFID tags?
It is the use of a machine specifically designed for this purpose that allows the integration of RF or RFID labels on an already printed label, on a resealable multipage, on a shrink sleeve…
This machine is able to detach the label from the siliconized backing and insert the RF/RFID antenna on the backing, just before the adhesive label is repositioned on the backing.
However, the RF/RFID label can also be placed on top of the label when it is necessary for the RFID label to be visible to the consumer (batch number, expiration date…).
The functions of RFID
RFID tags can be used to automate or simplify certain logistical and security processes. This automation considerably speeds up productivity and allows operators to devote themselves to other tasks.
Stock management is made easier. A pallet can contain dozens of products, even hundreds or thousands for the smallest ones. With a simple barcode, you have to scan them one by one. But if they are equipped with an RFID chip, you just have to pass the incoming/outgoing pallet under a gantry equipped with RFID readers/transmitters.
Similarly, automatic stocktaking can be done much faster if the products are equipped with active RFID tags. Just walk through the storage area with a reader and the results are displayed directly. In addition, the lifespan of RFID tags is quite long (several years).
Geolocating your products can also be useful when it comes to, for example, huge parts stored over several hectares. If these parts have RFID chips on them, are equipped with a battery and have a high frequency, you can find them much faster. Your RFID reader will act as a kind of radar.
Although RF technology is widely used in the fight against fraud, RFID technology can also be used to secure products and protect retailers from theft. If RFID gates are installed at the entrance/exit of a shop, it is very easy to know, by simple stock comparison, whether the detected antenna has been de-stocked and sold or if the product has been stolen.
Anti-theft devices already exist with RF (Radio Frequency) technology. But this type of technology does not contain any information, it is just detected by the gantries from a certain distance. It must therefore always be accompanied by a barcode.
Fast and secure checkouts
With RFID technology, one could imagine not needing to scan the items at the checkout, only to approach them. This saves time at the checkout while ensuring the security of your goods.
A traceability solution
Even if RFID is important in all sectors thanks to the applications mentioned above, it is a major asset for the food and pharmaceutical markets.
Traceability has become a major industrial issue in the food industry. RFID technology records data on the path of products and allows them to be traced from the birth of the animal to the consumer’s plate (date, time and place of slaughter, identity of the breeder, etc.).
In the pharmaceutical sector, traceability is a public health issue. The regulations in force are therefore very strict. Each medicine, through the packaging that contains it, must be coded with clear information on the expiry date and batch number.
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