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How Can RFID Labels Be Used With Garment Accessories?

Posted By RFID Journal, 09.28.2009
We are in the garment accessories business, and would like to know how to apply RFID labels for inventory management and anti-counterfeiting purposes.

—Charalotte, Hong Kong

According to Rose Depoe, director of RFD strategic solutions and alliances for Avery Dennison Retail Information Services, companies have three options for RFID-tagging items. They can order tags from a service bureau, which provides variably printed and serially encoded RFID hangtags or labels, and delivers them to the company's manufacturing facility for attachment to garments. The garment or accessory manufacturer can overprint and encode the RFID hangtags or labels with an RFID printer and the appropriate software at its own facility. Or a separate RFID tag could be applied at the firm's own distribution facilities, and be associated to the bar code before the items are shipped to stores.

If you choose a service bureau, such as Avery, you provide the bar-code information and product with which each label should be associated. Avery will then encode the RFID tag with the appropriate serial number, and ship the labels to the manufacturing facility. If you print your own label to apply to the back of the hangtag, or apply a separate RFID tag, you will require software enabling you to scan a bar code, encode an RFID tag and associate the two. Businesses that sell printers, such as Zebra Technologies, can help you find the most appropriate solution for your needs.

Using the tag for anti-counterfeiting purposes requires that you embed the tag in a garment or accessory. This raises privacy issues, since a person could then be tracked without his or her knowledge. The best option would be to utilize a random serial number and encourage a retailer, if possible, to kill the tag at the point of sale.

—Mark Roberti, Editor,
RFID Journal

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