RFID Changes Course
The main emphasis of RFID use and supply has radically changed course. That was the message of the large IDTechEx RFID Smart Labels USA event in Boston in February. The business is booming in just about every sector other than the supply of pallet and case tagging to retailer and military mandates, where there are two problems. A severely uneconomic price level has been established by suppliers for the tags, readers and chips and they still do not work reliably on obscured cases in a pallet load, where wet, metallic and glass items are involved ie most of what is sold in a supermarket. Yet users Michael Okoroafor of Coca-Cola and Leslie Hand of Ahold declared that they are determined to solve the problem somehow.
China leaps ahead
For the first time this year, the US is no longer the biggest RFID market. It is China, thanks to huge orders for HF RFID card systems for National ID and e-cash in cities and orders for secure access at LF. Animals are also a big emerging market out there, with legal push highly likely soon. Despite almost the whole of the rest of the world standardizing on LF for animals, Sparkice of China described pig tagging at HF because its HF tags for this purpose are 35 cents and will be 17.5 cents within one year - a far cry from the $2 LF animal ear tag in Australia and the West.
HF still the most popular frequency
HF is also rapidly replacing LF for laundry and very metallic objects such as beer kegs and gas cylinders, again on price, with TAGSYS, now headquartered in the US, being a leader. Masterclass delegates visited their facility. Indeed Ahold reported 100% reads for TAGSYS tags on Pfizer drugs, where it is currently the exclusive supplier. Where HF is replacing LF for secure access and race timing, DAG System of France is a leader. All delegates used its access gate. HF remains by far the most popular frequency by money spent and profits made.