Pallet and container pooling provider CHEP is currently rolling out the use of a battery-assisted, passive (BAP) RFID tags provided by PowerID to track pallets and FLC containers for its automotive and retail customers in South Africa.
CHEP, which has been working with PowerID since early 2008, opted for the Generation 2 PowerM labels alongside passive tags because they overcome the problem of deflection when moving metal parts.
“We are in the process of tagging 45,000 metal automotive FLC containers that will be used in a small closed loop, to supply specific automotive customers in South Africa,” CHEP spokesman Robert Huchinson told Automotive Logistics.
CHEP would not confirm the automotive customers concerned but did say that the majority of tier one suppliers and automotive OEMs operating in South Africa are currently using CHEP containers, including BMW and Nissan. GM is also known to use the company’s containers.
CHEP has no plans at present to extend the use of label beyond the South African market at present added Huchinson.
“Automotive parts are made of metal, which deflects radio frequency signals and impedes regular passive RFID tags from providing high read rates,” said PowerID’s Director of Marketing, Elan Freedberg. Our Generation 2 PowerM label is designed to provide high reliability, despite the presence of metals, and can be read from up to 45 metres away.
CHEP is using PowerID’s EPCglobal Class 1, Generation 2 labels with standard RFID readers, alongside passive Generation 2 RFID labels. It uses PowerM and PowerG labels, depending on the items in the containers.
“Whereas passive labels rely on gathering energy from the reader’s signal to wake up the label’s chip and provide the backscatter signal, BAP labels contain an integrated power source,” continued Freedberg.
“This power source eliminates the need to gather energy from the reader and reach excitation, which is the primary challenge for passive labels. Moreover, the BAP label’s antenna can be optimized for providing excellent backscattering, enabling increased reliability and read rate even in the most challenging environments, such as those containing liquids and metals.
“BAP labels can backscatter about 90% of the energy that they receive. Passive labels, on the other hand, backscatter only 10-15% of the signal that reaches them.