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Home > Company > Fact Sheet

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Fact Sheet -- RF Commerce and RFID

    

What is RFID?


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) uses tags affixed to cases, containers, totes, unit packaging and vehicles to transmit accurate, real-time information to enterprise, merchandising, warehouse, transportation and other supply chain applications. A basic RFID system consists of three components:

•Antenna
•Transceiver (transmitter/receiver)
•Transponder (tag)

Similar to a bar code, RFID encodes data into a medium which allows that data to be read contactless, static state or in motion. The RFID tag responds to signals received from a reader (transceiver/receiver). A tag is attached to an item and provides identification for that item when captured. A significant improvement over the bar code, RFID offers non-contact, non-line-of-sight ability to gather real-time, unique, data and can penetrate most non-metallic materials. RFID tags can be embedded in corrugated cases, totes, skids (pallets) containers and even products without any adverse effects on the data capture requirements.     

Active or Passive Tags

Active Tags:

•Catch the attention of the reader
•Function with battery power (a battery is either connected to, or built into the tag)
•Work over a greater distance and are usually more expensive due to the cost and size of the battery

Passive Tags:

•Alert the tag to communicate through a reader
•Communicate without battery power, giving them essentially unlimited life (without a battery, passive tags are generally smaller and lighter than active tags)
•Derive power from the reader’s electromagnetic field

The main difference between the two: A passive tag’s read range is generally shorter, and much smaller than an active tag. However, in the case of a reusable container, a passive tag will last the entire lifetime of the container to which it has been assigned, without the need to change batteries or interrupt the flow of the pooling system.     

Frequency Ranges and Characteristics

Frequency ranges also distinguish RFID systems.
Low frequency 150 KHz: Short to medium read range — low reading speed
High frequency 13.56 MHz: Short to medium read range — medium reading speed
UHF frequency 868-920 MHz: Long read range — high reading speed
Microwave 2.4 - 5.8 GH: Long reading range — high reading speed and line of sight required

    

Possibilities for RFID

Recent RFID deployment by RF Commerce thus far prove that RFID is the future. Financial analysts predict companies that lag behind in RFID technology adoption will face substantial handicaps years to come. The early implementers of RFID systems are reaping the benefits of being innovative.

    

The Future of RFID

1) RFID technology will experience rapid growth in 2005-2006 and accelerate in 2012. The foundation beyond pilots will be established in 2005.

2) The majority of the industries using bar code technology will experience pressure to revolutionize to RFID tagging systems — RFID technology will replace the ever-present bar code as prices for RFID technology fall.

3) International standards for RFID technology are progressing, and will be adopted when source tagging occurs in China.

4) Environmentally demanding requirements include developing tags with the ability to withstand the various printer environments, de-tuning influences, time stampings and various environmental influences of extreme temperatures, humidity and impact.

5) The capabilities for RFID technology meet demanding requirements such as reading tags when mounted on vehicles in secured environments, borders and ports.

    

The Cost of RFID

RFID costs are decreasing slowly, but will drop more rapidly as the technology evolves from silicon to non-silicon mass production. While producers of readers and tags will be few, label converters and antenna producers will be counted in the hundreds. While the cost of RFID tags are higher than printing generic bar codes, RF Commerce encourages companies to do their RFID research and incorporate RFID in their current process. We encourage such research on product that presents an adequate margin to support the cost. With our middleware partners RF Commerce has developed a program of identifying an adequate ROI on a closed loop pilot.

    

RF Commerce and RFID

RFID is the core of RF Commerce single-source solution for asset management and inventory management.

Our first full retail implementation in 1992 of a print and apply RFID tag solution for a major retailer delivered a scalable cost effective solution for packaged music and VHS tape.

RF Commerce asset management, logistics services and supply chain technology require the lowest investment and the shortest timeline. This allows companies to deploy RFID with little to no up front investment and with less risk than other RFID solutions. With RF Commerce RFID technology, we help companies track inventory and assets in real-time as they move through the supply chain.

RF Commerce RFID user base has benefited from our recognized RFID solutions.

    

About RF Commerce

RF Commerce supply chain technology and services have evolved over two decades in security, brand protection and asset management designed to reduce transportation and operating costs for manufacturing companies that move raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods through the manufacturing supply chain, and inventory through the retail supply chain.

RF Commerce multi-part asset management, logistics services and supply chain technology solution, integrating EPC, RFID and container tracking software, is available today.

With our middleware partners, RF Commerce has over 6000 manufacturing middleware installations worldwide providing RF Commerce a marketing and relationship reach second to few.

RF Commerce and its affiliates focus on drug, retail, Homeland Security, food & beverage, chemical, air cargo, automotive and other asset-intensive industries. Target Stores, Church and Dwight, Coca-Cola, Abercrombie and Fitch, Wal-Mart, Metro Group, Tesco, and others have benefited from development by RF Commerce.

Headquartered in New York, RF Commerce affiliates have offices in 43 countries.

RF Commerce is privately held.

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