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RFID security tags – how they work and why you need them

RFID security tags are the simplest way for your business to keep track of inventory, shipments, and protect against theft.

Small, inexpensive, and effective, if you don’t currently use them then you need to seriously reconsider!

This article will explain what they are, how they work, and where they can be used.

What are RFID security tags?

Standing for Radio Frequency Identification, RFID tags are small microchips which send a radio signal to a receiver.

And when we say small, we mean it!

Because RFID tags are so basic and contain such little information (such as price/SKU number) they can literally fit onto a sticker on the back of a label.

The technology is more common than you think – in fact, you’ve almost certainly used them before without realising.

They are used in passports, Metro transport cards, hotel room key cards, and pet microchips to name but a few.

How do RFID security tags work?

So how does something so small do so much?

The answer lies in its power source; it doesn’t have one!

The tag is made up of 2 simple parts; a circuit and an antenna. Both of these things are useless without something to power them, and that’s where the magic happens.

When the circuit comes into contact with radio waves at low, high, and ultra-high frequencies, an electrical field is generated.

It is this field that powers the circuit, allowing it to transmit its information to a nearby source.

RFID readers, such as hotel room locks, security gates, and stock PDA’s power the very chip they are scanning, and from there use the information for whatever purpose necessary.

RFID security tags

Where can I use them?

Because they are so small and so simple to use, RFID security tags are used everywhere.

Reduce in-store theft

A smaller, cheaper alternative to bulky security tags, RFID tags are a great way to stop would-be thieves from making off with your items.

A small sticker attached to the label or price tag can be deactivated at the till on purchase. If a tag goes through the security gates at the exit without being deactivated first, it sets off an alarm.

Production lines

It’s a lot easier to have goods move past you and scan automatically than it is for you to go to every item and scan it manually.

RFID tags can show a manufacturer exactly how many items have come off the production line and in what order, including type, size, and cost.

Access to personnel

We’ve already used the hotel room as an example, but RFID security tags can be used in any building.

The chips can store any information; names, numbers, security codes, and a reader attached to a door simply checks the info against its database. If your name’s not on the list, you’re not getting in!

Access can also be restricted to other things like elevator use, allowing only certain people to reach certain floors.

Shipment Tracking

RFID tags have a real advantage over barcodes when it comes to shipment tracking.

Unlike barcodes, they don’t need a line of sight to work, you only have to be near them. This means shipments can be scanned in bulk, making the tracking process faster and cheaper.

Stock-taking

RFID security tags are perfect when it comes to keeping tabs on inventory, especially for companies which have a high turnover of stock.

Libraries are a great example of how this technology has made life easier. Books are fitted with RFID tags, helping speed up the checkout and returns process.

RFID security tag anti-theft

Types of RFID security tags

We offer three types of RFID security tags:

Entry Level

The entry-level tag is simply an RFID chip that is printed over with a bar code or other variable information.

This label carries a self-adhesive backing, which is then used to apply to a separate swing tag or product packaging.

Integrated Swing Tag

The integrated RFID swing tag can either be covert or overt.

The covert solution encases the chip within the swing tag, while the overt solution applies the tag device to the side of the swing tag.

Both options can be printed with your branding or logo and carry whatever information you wish to include.

Integrated Woven Label

The integrated woven label RFID security tag looks like a traditional woven label, however, it is manufactured as a ‘pocket’ that houses the device.

This woven pocket solution is generally of a generic nature and doesn’t usually carry any form of branding, making it a great way to add the tag without taking away from the brand or product.

Make life easier for yourself

RFID security tags aren’t just for security.

They can be used to make your business run smoother at every stage of the process.

From initial production line logistics through to tracking and shipping, these wonderful little devices can save you thousands of dollars in man-hours alone, never mind product loss.

We can help you introduce RFID security tags into your business with minimal disruption, at any point in the process.

Contact us today and speak to one of our professional and experienced staff members, who will be happy to talk you through any questions you may have about this remarkable technology and how it can transform your business.