Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

The End of HF for Items?

Wal-Mart has come out in favor of using UHF RFID tags instead of HF to track unique items, but it's not clear whether other end users will go along.
By Andrew Price
Jun 01, 2006—In an April 13 press release, Wal-Mart announced that Rollin Ford, the company's new executive vice president and CIO, was committed to the company's RFID efforts. The press release also announced a specific date, June 30, after which Wal-Mart will no longer accept pallets and cases with Electronic Product Code Generation 1 tags.

Buried in the press release was this quote from Ford: "Many thought UHF tags could not be read around water or metal and that only HF tags could meet these tests. However, our team and our technology partners proved that the new UHF Gen 2 tags could, in fact, be read in water and on metal. That's nothing short of a breakthrough."

The relative business and price benefits of HF tags (top) versus UHF tags (bottom) will be debated in the months ahead.

It was the second time Wal-Mart signaled its opposition to the use of high-frequency RFID tags on individual items, because it's already using ultrahigh-frequency for pallets and cases. In an RFID Journal webinar, Richard Ulrich, solutions architect on Wal-Mart's RFID strategy team, said that using a single frequency for items, cases and pallets lowers the total cost of RFID interrogators.

Using all UHF interrogators has two primary benefits. A company can negotiate a lower price if it purchases 5,000 UHF interrogators, rather than 2,500 UHF and 2,500 HF interrogators. And maintenance is less costly if you need to purchase and train people to install or repair parts on only one type of interrogator.

Companies that sell UHF tags and interrogators claim that HF tags will never be manufactured as inexpensively as UHF tags. But proponents of HF tags say they've been proved to work well for tracking unique items, and they are more effective around water, which absorbs UHF signals, and metal, which reflects them.

Ford's quote refers to UHF tags that do work well around water and metal. Companies such as Impinj have been developing UHF tags that can communicate with interrogators the same way HF tags do.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 712 words and 2 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations