An RFID encoder is used in conjunction with a barcode print and apply system. The RFID encoder utilizes information obtained from a data stream from a host computer, from a corresponding barcode label, or other source to program an RFID label. The programmed label can then be applied with an integrated applicator or an external applicator. The RFID encoder can also verify that an RFID tag or label has been properly encoded and has the same content as the corresponding barcode label. The RFID can further verify that the barcode has been properly printed. If both barcode and RFID tag contain the correct data, both types of labels are attached to a package, enabling the package to be read optically and with radio frequency signals
A reader is a device used to extract and view the data that is encoded on to the RFID inlay and is dependant on the type of RFID inlay. The reader sends and receives a signal from the RFID inlay. The reader will use the signal it receives to determine each RFID inlayÆs or labelÆs unique code. There are many different locations on and off the press where you will want to position a reader. The purpose of an on-press reader is to determine how many functional RFID inlays were received from the vendor and how many of the labels produced contain functional RFID inlays. This is a ciritical step in quality control and verification.
The EPCglobal NetworkÃ has taken the lead in developing the international standards for the RFID business. These standards that have been developed by EPC (Electronic Product Code) are widely used and accepted by the RFID industry. Two standards (class 0 and class 1) exist for the RFID industry, however EPC is close to finalizing their UHF class 1, generation 2 standard. It is anticipated that this standard will be what drives global standardization of RFID technology.
The most current RFID standards are located at www.epcglobalinc.org