What would be involved in assigning tags to our products?
The process is generally known as commissioning an RFID tag or transponder. How you would go about doing this would really depend on the type of system you were using. Most active RFID-based real-time location system providers offer software enabling a company to associate a specific tag with a particular object. If you are utilizing passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID based on the Electronic Product Code (EPC) standard, then you can purchase an off-the-shelf software solution that will link to the reader. If the tag already has an EPC number written to it, then the reader will interrogate the tag’s serial number and forward it to the software. You can then associate that serial number with a specific item.
If the tag does not already have a serial number, then the software can take your company prefix (assigned by GS1) and the product identifier and add serial numbers to specific units of the same product. These serial numbers are then written to each item’s tag.
Businesses used to market these solutions when mandates were in vogue. Most have stopped doing so, however, because they work with companies on more complex projects, rather than just tagging for a customer. But I would suggest you try American Barcode and RFID, Cybra and Xterprise. If these firms cannot help you, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I can contact some others that might have an offering that would work for you.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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