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Packaging Technology and Science

PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE Packag. Technol. Sci. 2006; 19: 45–54 Published online 30 November 2005 in Wiley InterScience ( DOI:10.1002/pts.714Radio Frequency Identi?cation (RFID) Performance:The Effect of Tag Orientation and Package Contents
By Robert H. Clarke,1 Diana Twede,1,* Jeffrey R.Tazelaar1 and Kenneth K. Boyer2
1 2School of Packaging, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA Supply Chain Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USAThe objective of this research was to determine the relationship between different product types and tag orientations on the readability of RFID tags on shipping containers in a palletload that is driven through a portal type reader. This research ?nds that the content of packages can dramatically reduce the read rate. Only 25% of the tags on shipping containers containing water-?lled bottles could be read. Rice-?lled jars had a higher read rate (80.6%). Even empty boxes did not have a 100% read rate. For the variables without appreciable package contents, only 74–79% of loads had all of their tags read. The orientation of the tag does make a difference, especially when coupled with a ?lled package between it and the reader antennae. Tags facing outwards, towards the reader antennae, had the highest likelihood of a successful read. When tags for the boxes of water-?lled bottles were all facing downwards, no tags were read. Supply chain managers need to understand these limitations of the technology and ?nd ways to overcome them before RFID can be successfully implemented in supply chains. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Received 14 February 2005; Revised 2 September 2005; Accepted 16 September 2005
KEY WORDS:radio frequency identi?cation (RFID); automatic identi?cation; supply chain; logistics; shipping container; palletloadINTRODUCTION
Radio frequency identi?cation (RFID) offers the potential to revolutionize supply chain…