RFID technology and security seals: How does it work?
One of the main functions of security seals, apart from ensuring the safety of the product and processes, is to facilitate the traceability of the products they accompany. That is why they must all be numbered seals with different types of marking to allow access to the required information at all times. RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology is part of the traceability systems used in many sectors. By its very nature, RFID tagging allows the automatic transfer of the data linked to the product. Do you know how RFID technology works? What applications does it have in security seals? We’ll show you: Keep reading!
How does RFID technology work in security seals? Applications
Traditionally, the numbering of security seals was represented by a simple series of digits or a bar code next to the identification numbers. These systems are still used, but their great drawback is that reading them is slow, since it must be done one code at a time, and these must always be visible and clean, making reading and traceability a slow, manual process, less flexible and much more likely to cause errors.
In a world in which time is increasingly critical because of logistics margins and with perishable goods, data management requires procedures that are much more agile and reduce errors to a minimum. This is where RFID technology is applied to security seals.
RFID tagging is a form of remote information storage. This chip is incorporated in the casing of the security seals. It facilitates the extraction of data via fixed readers, (arches, for example) or mobile ones (conveyor belts, for example). The reader collects the information and transmits it to the database where it is logged.
Security seals with RFID allow mass reading of elements, without them needing to be in sight. In addition, it is possible to read them at a certain distance and through materials such as cardboard, plastic or wood, commonly present in logistics environments. So RFID security seals can be read from inside packaging, boxes or containers.
These RFID chips are built into the security seals during the injection process. The system facilitates the extraction of data using fixed readers (arches or antennas mounted on conveyor belts, for example) or mobile ones (manual readers, for example). The reading device collects the information and transmits it to the database where it is logged and/or integrated into the management ERP being used.
Furthermore, RFID tags allow the integration of simple electronic sensors, which can, for example, create seals that report if they have been tampered with or react to other environmental variables.
Why include RFID technology in security seals? The Ten-Lok model
For some years, RFID technology has been integrated into the supply chains of companies in many different sectors. Precintia has developed the versatile Ten-Lok model with RFID that incorporates this innovation.
Security seals with RFID are widely used in the following sectors:
- Food sector: are used mainly as strap seals for hams for hams and shoulders, becoming a standard for quality assurance and traceability in the sector.
- Retail sector: used in wholesale trade in distribution warehouses, but also in retail. This model is also incorporated into the order processing of e-commerce or online sales sites.
- Financial sector: the transport of cash and confidential documentation requires exhaustive monitoring of the merchandise, a process which has been simplified and secured by RFID applications.
- Logistics sector and land transport: are used to ensure the transport and traceability of containers, cages or other means of transport of goods.
Security seals with RFID technology are also usually customised with a barcode or a numerical marking system as an alternative should there be any problem reading the RFID. In this sense, choosing a marking system with high security laser is recommended, because it is impossible to erase or manipulate it. It is also possible to customize the Ten Lok using thermal printing. Although it is a very robust marking system, it is not as resistant to environmental aggressions as laser marking.