How Can I Link a Tag ID to a Product?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsHow Can I Link a Tag ID to a Product?
RFID Journal Staff asked 4 years ago

For read-only RFID tags, I assume we can purchase them from a vendor with a predefined unique identifier. How can we link the tags’ identifier to the product? How can we identify what product is attached to that specific tag? And does it rely on the reader and the software used to run the scanning system? Please advise.

—Ada

———

Ada,

Whether you employ a read-only RFID transponder with a pre-encoded serial number or a read-write transponder, software must be used to associate a product with its tag ID in a database. Some readers come with a basic application that will let you do this. If you work with a systems integrator, the integrator will usually have an application that does this for you.

There are different ways of associating an item with an RFID tag. If you had a small number of mixed items, you could read the bar code on each item to identify which item in the database you were tagging, apply a read-only RFID tag, and read the ID in the tag. The software would then save the tag ID in a field in the database for that item. You could continue to read the bar code on the next item and repeat the process until of all the items were tagged.

If you had 100 widgets, all exactly the same, that just came off the assembly line, you would not need to read each bar code individually. You could simply access the database and manually enter that these 100 items had tag IDs from 001 to 100.

With read-write tags, the database can be prepopulated with serial numbers. When the bar code on a specific item was scanned, the company identifier and product identifier in the bar code could be written to the tag with the additional serialized data.

I realize that this is a bit of a long-winded answer, but there is not just one way to link a tag ID to a product.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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