The hottest high-frequency label is more suitable

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High frequency tags are more suitable for drug packaging applications

people rarely study the impact of metal, glass and other drug packaging materials on the effectiveness and reading range of RFID (radio frequency identification technology). Robb Clarke of Michigan said that even cardboard with a certain moisture content will affect the RF signal

we do not fully understand how drug packaging materials affect the successful application of RFID. Some materials, such as sheet metal, will damage the signal strength and significantly reduce the percentage of reading rate. Manufacturers will encounter such situations in their RF applications. As an important material of the home appliance industry, many guesses support this hypothesis, but there is little research and data

Robb Clarke, an assistant professor at the school of packaging at Michigan State University, has done more work in this field than others, and has obtained some experimental conclusions, giving people the understanding that there is a great possibility of future research

we talked with Clarke and got some general impressions about the possible impact of packaging materials on RF signals. More detailed articles based on conversations with many experts (including Tim marsh of Pfizer, Harry Ramsey of Purdue pharmaceutical, Paul Chang of IBM and Patrick Sweeney of Odin Technology) will be published in pharmamanufacturing. On the 6th issue of the pharmaceutical production magazine of

According to Clarke, anything related to metals has a limiting effect. This is especially true for UHF applications, which do not work at all near water or metals. He said, "many applications contain water-based mixtures, which makes UHF unreliable. Around water and some weakening metals, using high frequency will be better to use computers to realize electronic measurement and automatically complete compressive strength experiments."

for this reason, most people agree that high frequency is only a viable option for single grade RFID tags in the pharmaceutical industry. Clarke said that if the label is clearly separated from the metal (at least a few millimeters), the high-frequency label can work around the metal, such as the metal sheet on the bubble package

people have less understanding of the impact of water. Clarke said that some of the earliest experiments on UHF may be misleading, such as the experiment of procrit by ortho biotechnology. He said that UHF labels are easy to read, but the water content in procrit tablets is less than 1%, and the packaging material is quite simple. For liquid products such as biological agents, the RF signal may be significantly reduced, and manufacturers may undergo considerable trial and error before finding a suitable solution

Clarke is interested in the work being done by Impinj, a RFID hardware supplier, on UHF near-field applications. This work is based on the concept of inductive coupling, which may solve the problems about water and metals. Clarke said that if this technology can be modified and perfected, it will rekindle the debate about whether high frequency or ultra-high frequency is the most suitable for single product application, and allow manufacturers to reliably use ultra-high frequency in single product, container and pallet grades

clarke also studied the effect of a very small amount of moisture in packaging materials on the readability of radio frequency signals. For example, if cardboard packaging absorbs moisture in the air, the quality of radio signals will be seriously reduced. Even after drying, the cardboard will retain the memory of moisture and always inhibit the performance of RFID equipment - the known hysteresis effect

finally, Clarke added that some glasses and plastics are not RF friendly, especially if they also have chemical additives. In some experiments, Clarke and colleagues placed labels inside and outside glass bottles and found that the readable distance was reduced by 50%. Clarke said that there is still much to be studied about the mystery of RFID. "We're still studying it - everyone!" He said, "no one has always reached nearly 100% reading speed."

information source: international pharmaceutical processing and packaging business information

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