Barcode Professionals: Expand Your Knowledge on the RAIN RFID Encoding Process

Barcode Professionals: Expand Your Knowledge on the RAIN RFID Encoding Process

TSC Printronix Auto ID Teamed Up with Voyantic to Provide Comprehensive RFID Tag Data and Encoding Insights in 2nd Webinar

Our second installment of the webinar series with RFID testing equipment company Voyantic, “What a Barcode Professional Needs to Know about the RAIN RFID Encoding Processes,” was held recently on October 6 and presented the essentials to enhance your RFID tag data and encoding knowledge.

Designed to help traditional barcode resellers begin adding and properly configuring RAIN RFID solutions and products to their portfolios, this two-part webinar series has received excellent feedback and has been a resounding success. It confirmed our belief that the traditional barcode channel is eager for basic, introductory RFID information.

RFID can be very complex. Barcode resellers already deal with dozens of products, standards, and technologies. Adding a new expertise to your portfolio can be daunting. We teamed up with Voyantic to bring a comprehensive overview to this segment of the market and make it easier for you to begin expanding into RFID.

Below, we offer an overview of the information we provided in the second RFID webinar.

What We Covered in the RFID Webinars

In the first webinar (blog recap available here), we introduced basic concepts that barcode professionals need to understand in order to add RFID to their portfolios. These concepts included:

  • How RAIN RFID works
  • RAIN RFID data terminology
  • Structure of a RAIN RFID tag
  • RAIN RFID tag data standards

In our second and most recent webinar, we dove into these concepts in more detail and from a more practical perspective to help you get started. We also added additional topics to the agenda, including:

  • How are RAIN labels created: The manufacturing process overview 
  • Encoding equipment types
  • The RFID encoding process: What are the options?
  • Security: Setting passwords, locking, digital signatures
  • Handling of failed tags 
  • Where a RAIN RFID printer excels
  • Which tag data standard to use
  • RAIN label sourcing

Simplifying RFID Tag Data Standards: A Basic Overview for Barcode Professionals

There is lack of clarity within the RFID community on tag data standards: What data, in what sequence, and in what format should I encode my tags? This means barcode professionals have been struggling to get simple, clear answers.

TSC Printronix Auto ID has made it our goal to help barcode professionals get clarity. Our RFID Subject Matter Expert, Chris Brown, is aiming to fulfill the role of go-to industry RFID expert to simplify the complexity. He is working to help barcode label experts achieve RFID clarity and to spread that across the entire auto ID industry, and even to end users.

Here is a quick overview of RFID tag data standards. There are currently three data standard families that can be used:

  1. GS1’s EPC Tag Data Standard
  2. Various ISO/IEC standards covering diverse industries and applications
  3. The RAIN Alliance’s new ISO-based numbering system

Please note: Do NOT use a completely proprietary encoding system unless it is “wrapped” in an ISO structure. This includes the new RAIN Alliance’s numbering system.

GS1 EPC standards are generally used for retail and logistics applications. As a member of multiple healthcare and pharmaceutical workgroups, we are also striving to promote GS1 standards across these industries for their applications.

ISO/IEC standards tend to be used in more defined and structured applications like airline baggage tagging and automotive tolling. The ISO standards are so comprehensive, that they can be used for almost any application, including as a “wrapper” for proprietary encodings. And keep your eyes on our blog for an upcoming post on ISO’s work to combine their 1736x standards under a single 17360 standard, which will be focused on encoding barcode data as RFID.

The new RAIN Alliance numbering system is intended to afford a quick and easy approach to using proprietary serial number schemes, generally for closed-loop applications, while still “wrapping” the serial number portion within a standardized structure. This gives users the flexibility of their own serial number schemes without risking “Tag Clutter.”

Helping Barcode Professionals Implement RFID Technology

As your go-to barcode label printer experts, we are also investing time and energy into RFID. As a leader in RFID, TSC Printronix Auto ID is a member of the RFID Journal news platform, we are active members of the RAIN RFID Alliance, and we invest in RFID development, including testing a wide array of labels and tags in our RFID Label and Verification Lab. Our lineup of enterprise-grade RFID-enabled printers is here to support the RFID process.

Our goal is to make adoption of RFID tags easier for you. If we can help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to schedule a consultation.