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Taiwanese Liquor Manufacturer Deploys Dual-Frequency Authentication Solution

The company is using Alien fixed readers at its factory, warehouse and DC, and is providing stores selling its high-value wines and liquors with low-cost, short-range readers that transmit a 433 MHz signal to read 902 to 928 MHz EPC Gen 2 tags.
By Claire Swedberg

A UHF tag will absorb 100 percent of the energy from an RF signal received from a 902 to 928 MHz reader, Liu explains. "On the other hand," he states, "if a tag antenna is designed for 902 to 928 MHz, but the energy is carried by a 433 MHz carrier, the energy will be absorbed much less than 100 percent. That means the reading range is short." In fact, Liu says, the range is reduced to about 5 to 20 centimeters (2 to 7.9 inches).

However, at its factory and warehouse in Minsyong (a township located in Taiwan's Chiayi County), as well as at its distribution center in Fukeng, China, TTL required a much longer read range. Therefore, EPC Solutions installed three UHF 902 to 928 MHz Alien Technology ALR-9900+ fixed readers that interrogate tags affixed to the bottle caps—one reader dedicated to reading the tags following the bottles' sealing at the bottle-capping station, another deployed at the packing station and a third located in the palletization area.

At the factory's packing station, TTL uses an Alien reader to identify the RFID tag attached to each cardboard carton, as well as the tags of each of the six bottles packed within.
At the bottle-capping station, once the cap is attached to the bottle, operators affix the RFID tag to the top of that bottle via a non-removable adhesive. The reader automatically interrogates that tag and then forwards the data to TTL's back-end server, where software (designed with EPC Solutions' help) links the tag's unique ID number with the batch number and product type.

When the bottles reach the packing station, staff members place six tagged bottles in each carton and attach a tag to the box. All seven tags are then read by the second interrogator to link the bottle and carton tags.

Finally, as the cartons are loaded onto pallets in a third area, a fixed reader at that location reads the carton and bottle tags, linking that information to the tag attached to the pallet, thereby marrying all products to that specific pallet. Typically, 24 cartons are loaded onto each pallet.

The loaded pallets are then moved to the warehouse, where two more fixed ALR-9900+ readers await—one for goods inbound from the factory, the other for products en route to shipping. Employees also use two handheld ATID AT870 UHF RFID readers to perform periodic inventory checks at the warehouse.

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