Make Sure Your Products Follow The Latest RFID Regulations
You might have heard that Walmart will soon begin mandating all of the products in their stores to have RFID tags. Seeing the words “mandate” or “requirement” might set off red flags when it comes to your relationship with a company like Walmart, but remain calm. RFID technology has existed for a while and Walmart has been steadily expanding its presence in their stores since the early 2000’s.
Starting in 2024, RFID tags will be used on all products sold by Walmart, instead of select product categories. There is still time to position your company to be fully ready for the mandate to enter into effect. It is also beneficial to make sure your products are RFID ready, as this new technology could potentially replace barcodes as the dominant coding process in the future.
What Is RFID?
RFID stands for "Radio Frequency Identification." It's a technology that uses radio waves to share information between a tag and a reader.
Think of it like a super-advanced barcode. But instead of having to scan it directly with a laser, like at a grocery store, the RFID reader can pick up the signal from the tag from several feet away.
RFID tags are tiny and can be attached to or inserted into objects. You might have seen them in stores as anti-theft devices, or in libraries to keep track of books. Some people even have RFID tags in their pets so they can find them if they get lost.
What Does RFID Have To Do With Walmart?
Walmart is one of the major retailers that use RFID tags to run their stores more efficiently and safely.
First, RFID tags help Walmart keep track of what’s in the store, what’s in their warehouses, and what is in transit. By scanning the tags, they quickly know what items they have, where they are, and how many are left.
Second, RFID tags can help prevent theft. The tags set off an alarm if someone tries to leave the store without paying for an item. This can deter people from trying to steal in the first place.
The relationship between Walmart and RFID began in 2003. At that time, Walmart required their top 100 suppliers to attach RFID tags to their cases and pallets. High-value individual items, like televisions, stereos and other electronics were also required to be tagged.
As of September 2, 2022, Walmart required electronics, home goods, toys, sporting goods to have RFID tags. The retail giant has recently shared that all products in their stores will require RFID tags, beginning in 2024.
How Can I Get New RFID Tags?
Adding RFID tags to your products is a simple process, but one that can require a bit of technical knowledge.
Get an RFID chip: The first thing you need is an RFID chip, which is the tiny device that stores the data.
Write data to the chip: To do this, you'll need an RFID writer, which is a device that can program the chip with the data you want. The data might be a unique ID number or some other type of information.
Attach the chip to an antenna: The antenna allows the chip to send and receive radio signals. The chip and antenna together are often called an "RFID inlay."
Encase the inlay: Finally, you'll want to encase the inlay in some kind of protective material. This could be paper, plastic, or something else, depending on where you plan to use the tag.
If this seems confusing, don’t stress out. RFID tags have existed for over two decades and GCB Solutions is experienced with the technology. We can supply your business with custom RFID tags and even provide you with the necessary equipment to attach RFID tags to your products yourself.
Let GCB Solutions Worry About The New RFID Guidelines
GCB Solutions is one of the few packaging companies able to offer full RFID services to businesses of all sizes. We are ready to supply RFID tags and equipment to attach tags to your product.
Call us at (904) 263-2804 or schedule a free consultation today!