Hybrid Tag (UHF & NFC) is ideal for Product ID in Consumer Products

In the past, general consumers always feel indifferent about RFID system for consumer products because they are not benefited from any of this IT investment on this from the brand owner.

It is because the RFID system that commonly used for logistics and industrial environment are UHF (ultra high frequency, which features a long range and multiple tag reading capability in RFID technologies)  which is also restricted by regional RF-regulation (check here) and highly dependent on infrastructures; it requires a proper industrial reader with a specific program to read.

(Photo shows the RFID price tag which will no longer be useful after leaving the shop)

Besides, there are many systems established for the logistics between suppliers, brand owner, warehouse, 3rfd Party Logistics (3PLs), retail shops. One single system that can connect all these 5 parties can be a solution but it is very expensive and required a lot of support and training.

Above problems can easily be fixed by NFC, which store websites easily accessible with the use of an NFC-enabled android smartphone without any app. Industrial NFC readers are generally much cheaper than UHF counterpart as well.

Now the rise of UHF & NFC hybrid tag opens a whole new opportunity for brand-owner to reconsider how they can connect with suppliers and interact with the general customers, instead of using 2 separate labels, now with the use of ONE single label, the product data is now accessible by consumer and all parties of the supply chain. 

The hybrid label is a standard ISO18000-6C UHF label and it is also a NFC-forum type II tag, which is recognizable by any NFC smartphone.

Hybrid Tag (UHF & NFC) is ideal for Product ID in Consumer Products. It provides more engagement with end-users.

Case A
A luxurious mechanical wristwatch brand can now have a multi-purpose warranty card that
i) readable by NFC smartphone for warranty and product registration; and
ii) readable by retail shop desktop interactive mirror with plays marketing video if the warranty card with 1m reading range to the UHF reader device.

Case B
A famous brand liquor can now have bottle label that using NFC for anti-counterfeit and UHF for production.

Case C
A professional camping tent brand can make use of the NFC to interact with the consumer and instruct the users step by step how to setup and get the tent back to the bag. And the same tag is also being used as product ID which associates with the model number in the manufacturing.

Case D
A luxurious ladies fashions and hang-bags brand can use the hybrid label for its raw materials logistics to control their trademarked leather material stock control. Their international supplier can all use easy-access NFC for data input, whilst the brand owners warehouse can use UHF for bulk scanning for better effectiveness.

Case E
Baggage tag ID can now be detectable in their conveyor belt to x-ray. It is also accessible through NFC smartphone for pictures upload and boarding information updates by the operators.

For more information, please check the ProductoID solution page; Q&A about Dual Frequency label


Hybrid RFID Tag fights Baggage Loss in Cruise-line Business (Business case sharing)

"The cruise ship has set sail, and I still haven't received my luggage." This complaint is the worst nightmare for any cruise ship hotel director. "It may take weeks or more to recover the lost luggage, or never." A hotel director of a luxury megaton cruise ship reported.

To find one lost-baggage may seem challenging enough. However, the embarkation is even more challenging; during each embarkation process, their staff has to load up to 6000 pieces of checked baggage on board and deliver them to the correct rooms within just 2 hours, all taking place behind the sight of the boarding passengers.

How to deliver passenger's the "checked-luggage" into the correct cabin (100% correct with zero lost) during a short-embarkation time? It is a big question which troubles all cruise lines.

A cruise line in Hong Kong has recently made the best uses of NFC and UHF combined card (dual frequency tag), to keep track on all passenger's "checked-luggage" (the baggage to-be-delivered to rooms by porters and cruise staffs).

During the embarkation, all luggage will be attached with a dual-frequency tag on, with a listing of the guest's name and cabin room number using re-writable ink.

Hundreds of UHF RFID readers and thousands of IP cameras has been installed on the ceiling on board to monitor the whole process of baggage delivery starting from port-side check-in, loading on a trolley, boarding by staff, and individual delivery to the cabin, to prevent any loss of baggage.

(Photo shows Luggage pictures are captured by smartphone app and stored in the system.)

Dual-frequency tags provide the best mix of equipment on the ship. Stationary RFID readers use UHF (ultra high frequency) for long range reading, they are strategically positioned inside the cruise ship, such as shell door luggage lobbies, halls, aisles/passageway and lift lobbies; sensitive enough to capture the passage of any tagged luggage.

On the other hand, HF (high frequency, NFC is one of the HF) is used in check-in and staff's delivery confirmation because HF/NFC is a very common feature on staff's handheld terminals. These staff's multi-function handheld terminals are always installed with numerous apps for other business flow such as voice-com, tasks-assignment or reporting, which would be very expensive and bulky to equip UHF features.

All baggage-delivery staff will use HF mobile android handheld for 1-to-1 baggage scanning, and also record the room number after they have delivered them, simply by tapping the handheld on the door tag. The baggage's image is also recorded in the system, just in case.

In case there are lost-baggage reported, this baggage tracking system will tell the baggage location whether it is on the ship or still on the port. It is very common due to the overloaded x-ray machines or detained by security, and the passengers on board weren't notified.

The system owner has soon found this system really does pay off by reduced luggage lost and late departure penalty from the port;  It also rebuilds the confidence of passenger to use checked-luggage service; Faster embarkation does boost the income from other entertainment business on board. And finally, the improved cruise line brand image is also invaluable.

The comprehensive UHF RFID reader system installed on board will further extend their functions to the SCM (supply chain management) in cargo loading, hotel-asset tracking such as uniform or linen tracking (prevent the loss of hotel towels) and personnel location tracking, etc.

For any inquiry, please send email to sales@hk-rfid.com



Material testing labs use RFID to trace specimen progress and release certificate (Business Case Sharing)

Hong Kong RFID ltd has installed a RFID-enabled specimen tracking system (RFID-TSDS) for a commercial construction material testing laboratory in Hong Kong. The testing lab wants to improve their professional corporate image and specimen traceability, so they are now using RFID as a tool to trace the process from collection til the printing of reports.

During the on-site sampling, the gathered sample will be given a specimen ID, with the GPS location and staff  ID recorded using a mobile android terminal. The samples will then be shipped to laboratory by a league of vehicles. The ID will be associated with a series of measurement equipment, environmental conditions measurement, and the testing results/photos by automatic data acquisition, with the least human interruption. And finally, the lab manager can review the data and sign the report with their professional judgments or comments.

The installed RFID system supports 2 types specimen; steel rebar, and concrete sample cube. The far-range UHF technology provides continuous ID-reading during sample measurement, even when doing disruptive compression test or elongation test. This system ensures a 100% association of Sample ID with the measurement data and avoids manual tempering the testing results. And of course, the UHF has it's unique innate ID being recorded and memory being well-protected from copying and overwrite.

Equipment that supports RFID. 

  • Compression test equipment (INSTRON)
  • Bending and elongation test
  • Weight measurement
  • 3D size measurement
For more information, please direct contact: Sales@hk-rfid.com


LPG Cylinder Management using RFID (Business Case Sharing)

A Hong Kong liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supplier has recently installed our RFID system to the management of LPG cylinder. We have provided a total RFID solution includes all software and hardware needed.

RFID instead of Barcode
Instead of using barcode as the method to identify and manage LPG cylinder, RFID has been suggested to the clients as its abilities to survive under harsh environment, store larger amount of information and its characteristics of longer lifespan, enhanced reading range and speed.

Besides, using RFID enables the client to have a better and convenient ongoing management and maintenance record. Information and status can easily be updated by tapping the tag with a handheld reader (or android smartphone).

Activity and Maintenance Record can work with CRM
With this RFID-enabled management system, every LPG cylinder will be tagged with a RFID tag as a unique tracking identifier. Within the workflow, every cylinder must be identified each time when they are sent out, consumed and returned. Each LPG cylinder, after returned, will undergo inspection and condition monitoring. These processes will be performed by different parties (the manager, the worker, the driver....) at different locations with RFID readers and those records will be updated to the same web-based platform.

Web-based Management System 
The web-based management system provides a convenient path for different users to access and update the workflow and the history record of each LPG cylinder. Item lists, user lists, history records and etc. are all available to retrieve on web. Besides, the instant location of each cylinder can also be traced by GPS and synchronised through 4G data cellular.

For details, please contact sales@hk-rfid.com OR visit http://www.hk-rfid.com/asset--management-system


Bakery Shop uses Washable RFID to ensure Uniform Hygiene (Business Case Sharing)

A 50-year-old Japanese bakery (the client) in Hong Kong uses washable RFID tag for uniform tracking. This specialized system will assist the company through the entire life cycle of each individual uniform from purchasing to daily use, cleaning, and disposal.

Hygiene is very important for food industry, from production to retail shop front; The client has newly set up centralized laundry-house, deployed latest system, to manage employee's uniform;

The system works by embedding a UHF tag inside each uniform before distributing to each employee. The UHF tag is specially designed to endure laundry washing cycles. Each UHF tag also carries a unique ID so that the company can sort out different uniforms and know that where the uniform comes from (which shop) and who it belongs to (employee).

Each tag can withstand over 200 cycles of dry-cleans; and more for standard washing.

With this solution, we can see how a centralized uniform laundry can improve their process efficiency by easier sorting using RFID, i.e. fully utilize the wash drum space by mixing different origins of uniforms; and sort the uniform effectively before delivery.

It also helps companies to better control the hygiene and condition of employee's uniform and hence they can present a neater, higher quality and more professional image to customers.

Step 1 Tagging: iron the washable RFID tag, 200C for just 10sec
Step 2 Associate: link the clothes with labor ID or retail shop location
Step 3 Trace: start washing count, and monitor through website

Overall, this customized laundry tag solution can help the company to achieve:
1. Enhanced uniform laundry efficiency and down-costing
2. More accountable and visible distribution network
3. Loss and damage reduction, and most importantly
4. Effectively control uniform hygiene standard and present a better brand image

(photo shows the ironing process to adhere heat sealable RFID tag on uniform)

Keyword: Gym, hotel, linen, hospital, uniform, washable, fabric, RFID

For details, please contact sales@hk-rfid.com OR visit http://www.hk-rfid.com/asset--management-system

Asset Management and Maintenance of Casino Furniture using RFID (Business Case Sharing)

A casino in Macau has recently deployed our RFID solution into the management of their furniture and equipment. It has been told that the traditional management method, used by the casino, was inefficient. As there are wide varieties of furniture and equipment inside the casino, ranging from tiny objects to bulky objects, it was difficult for the casino to maintain a clear management system with detailed activity record and repair history.

Not traditional, Not Barcode, It's RFID
We have provided a tailor-made RFID AMS solution to the casino for specifically managing furniture and equipment. Every furniture and equipment are tagged with a RFID tag and therefore each of them possesses a unique ID. Using RFID can ensure the casino a more stable, secure and enduring method to identify and manage all assets. Besides, RFID provides a relatively longer reading range than other method like the barcode. It is far more efficient and effective for the casino to manage large quantities of a bulky object.

Specialised web-based management system
The management system is based on the webpage to ensure a wide adaptability.  All RFID readers are connected to the system and all data read from the tag will be collected and stored. A full record of activity and repair history of each asset will be available on the web-based system. A multi-party log-in function is also made available in this case as to provide access to other parties (other than the casino) to record the repair history.

Integratable with 3rd party AMS software
Besides using the AMS software provided by us, clients can also integrate our RFID system (tags & readers) with their current using AMS software like IBM Maximo or any other desired AMS software outside. Flexibility is greatly enhanced through the improvement on the compatibility.

For details, please contact sales@hk-rfid.com OR visit http://www.hk-rfid.com/asset--management-system


Hussar Card Tag is used for School Attendance in Singapore (Business Case Sharing)

A primary school in Singapore has recently implanted our RFID technology to the campus management of student attendance

With this new generation campus management system, the school has no longer needed to manually track and manage student attendance. They can now easily capture the time and attendance for classes and school automatically with the ability to access attendance history on the computer or through other smart devices.

This RFID campus management system mainly consists three parts.
  1. RFID readers and antennas are installed at the pedestrian entry gates to detect the direction of student’s movement with accurate time record. 
  2. Every student will be given an RFID-enabled student card. The card will be detected when the student passes through the entry gate. 
  3. The system is backed up by a customized software which storing all student general information and attendance information.

Parents are also benefited from the use of this system. Notification about the location of student can be automatically sent to their parent through a mobile app. The daily attendance record is also available in the app for better and convenient tracking.

RFID reader and antenna installed at the ceiling of the entry gate.
Screen capture of Mobile App

Screen capture of web-based campus management system

Hardware for reference: Hussar Card Tag (HKRAT-CT02), Hussar Slim Tag (HKRAT-NT02), Empress EM02 ethernet reader, Empress EM02 Handheld android mobile, directional 2.4GHz antenna

For details, please contact sales@hk-rfid.com

Coffee Machine Rental Business using NFC for CRM (Business Case Sharing)

A catering food provider who also runs a business of Café machine rental has used NFC tag for asset tracking and rental service renewal. 

Faster Rental Renewal
Their clients (catering business owner) can now check the rental service, tapping a Smartphone on the NFC tag on the machine; and reorder coffee beans or ice-cream in the future.

The “total coffee solution” provider provides catering machines which include all sorts of fully/semi-automatic coffee machines; capsule systems; brewer and even ice-cream refrigerators. They also provide coffee-business consultancy, after sales care and maintenance of the machines.

Do Not Use QR-code or Barcode
Professional coffee machines are not cheap to own and to run. The on-going maintenance and managing of such distributed assets always troubled the client. While the barcode is the easiest and cheapest solution, the label is vulnerable in catering environment where is always wet and crowded. While QR-code shares most of the NFC functions but its copiable, good for marketing but it is easy to cheat for any asset tracking or attendance taking. 

Locate the Asset by GPS
By tapping smartphone (with a business App installed) on NFC chip, it can provide an instant linkage between machine ID (on NFC chip) and the GPS location of the smartphone. The machine owner can well-aware of the machine location and the condition as reported by the technicians/users on-site, through a simple web-access.

This GPS information also helps to trace the business location which may be bound by rental contracts. 

The use of NFC on-metal tag becomes easier as the NFC smartphone is so popular and affordable. 

Faster Replenishment
In the future, the café shop owner can also replenish the consumables through the NFC tag to order to run the business; such as coffee capsule, coffee beans, sugars, milk, etc.

Hong Kong RFID has provided the NFC on-metal tag and developed an App for this application. This system also fits for any business which involves frequent machine or equipment ID checking for stock-take or maintenance operations; such as Audio Video equipments, refurbishing service or cleaning services. 

More about RFID-enabled asset management system, LINK.

For details, please contact info@hk-rfid.com