RFID Tags – How they work and why you should be using them
Radio frequency Identification (RFID) is the latest way manufacturers are minimising loss through theft. This technology isn’t new, but it’s gaining popularity, particularly in the garment industry.
What are RFID tags?
Radio Frequency Identification is a technology which enables a digital message to be sent via radio waves.
RFID Tagging is an ID system which uses tiny microchips in labels. These microchips contain a small amount of information, such as product and price, which can be sent to a receiver, or ‘reader’.
If you’re picturing a large, bulky security tag, then you couldn’t be more wrong. RFID tags are so small they literally fit into the sticker on the back of the label.
How do RFID tags work?
The intelligence behind the RFID tags is the fact that they don’t require their own power source to work.
The tag is made up of a simple integrated circuit and antenna. When this circuit comes into contact with radio waves at a certain frequency, an electrical field is created. It is this field which powers the chip.
As an anti-theft device, the security gates at the front door of a store, send out the radio frequency needed to activate the chip. If a tag goes through the gates without first being deactivated, the radio waves power the chip and induce an electrical current. Once the chip is powered, it sends a message to the reader and the alarm is set off.
Other uses of RFID
Radio Frequency technology may seem like a 21st century invention, but it’s actually much older.
Discovering how to send radio waves through empty space was first discovered way back in the 19thCentury. Over the decades it was developed, and ‘radio’ came to mean programmes and music beamed through the air.
Scottish inventor John Logie Baird discovered a way to use this technology to also send images, and thus Television was born.
Today RF technology is found everywhere. You use it every day and don’t even notice it.
Unlocking your car, opening your hotel room, automatically paying tolls… all these things are using RF technology, and have been for many years.
The process is widely used when it comes to inventory and stock-taking. It’s a lot easier to record items as they pass through the door, rather than individually scanning each box.
RFID technology is also great for tracking shipments, especially internationally.
ID badges with RFID chips can be programmed to allow people access to certain doors, or to block people from restricted areas.
RFID technology is now being used to revolutionise how we pay for things.
Pay wave allows the user to pay direct from their bank account, with a simple swipe of their card. This not only speeds up transactions, but eliminates the need to carry cash.
How you can benefit from using RFID tags
The use of RFID tags saves time, effort and money.
This process automatically identifies objects, collects data about them, and enters that data directly into computer systems with little or no human intervention.
This cuts down on manufacturing, shipping, stock-take and sales.
From a security point of view, having RFID tags instead of bulky security tags cuts down on cost, and allows minimum risk to the garment itself, as the tag is added to the label and not the fabric.
Our integrated swing tag solutions
Image Label Systems offer integrated source tagging right from the start of the manufacturing process.
With our entry level option, we overprint standard RFID tags with your variable product information, combining two solutions in one tag. This solution carries a self-adhesive backing, which is then used to apply to a separate swing tag or product packaging.
Our integrated swing tag solution either encases the tag device within the swing tag, or applies the tag device to one side of the swing tag. Either way, the swing tag can be plain (unprinted) or carry brand imagery, as well as other variable information on the item for use at point of sale.
Our integrated woven label product looks like a normal woven label, but it contains the RFID tag. This is a great way to add the tag without taking away from the brand or product.
Shoplifting accounts for 1 billion dollars per year in New Zealand alone.
RFID Tags allow you to minimise that loss with a small, simple and cheap device.
Talk to us today if you’d like to know more about this remarkable technology, and what it can do for your business.