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RFID Terminals

tekrfid1Companies are considering and acquiring this emergent technology for one of two reasons:

Because They Have To – Suppliers to such organizations as Walmart, Target, and the Department of Defense are required to comply with mandates that require RFID tags on all shipments. Suppliers have been given specific dates by which time their shipments must contain an RFID label that complies with the documented standards.

Because It Makes Sense – RFID promises to ultimately reduce cost throughout the supply chain. While initially the “return on investment” is greatest at retail, there is little doubt that manufacturers and distributors will benefit as well. For companies that have as yet to implement barcode processing there is the opportunity to leap directly to RFID technology.

Beware the Pitfalls

symbolrfid1While many organizations are scrambling to implement RFID support in order to comply with customer mandate, others are still writing the standards and developing the technology. RFID is not for the faint of heart as the technology has not yet matured. New generation chips are still in the developmental phase and could possibly obsolete existing terminals and printers.

As with conventional R/F terminals there are numerous manufacturer of RFID interrogators and printers. It is important to have an understanding of the chip generations and interrogator frequencies. It isn’t rocket science but it can be confusing.

zebrarfidRFID interrogators can be mobile devices or they can be stationary fixtures around a door or workstation. An understanding of the work process flow is required in order to configure the correct type of devices. Many of the wireless terminal manufacturers have develop interrogators that connect to their mobile terminals via cable or are integrated directly into the device.