AM and RF Which System Suits My Store Best?

What is the differences between RF system and AM system?

Diffrences that must be considered
1. Technology
2. Effectiveness
3. Price
4. Maintenance
5. Ease of use (workability)

There are 2 types of EAS systems in the market: radio frequency (RF) and acousto-magnetic (AM). EAS systems operate on different principles, thus making them incompatible with one another. Each of the above systems has its advanges and disadvantages. And this makes it very hard to come to a conclusion to say which system is the best one.

Radio-frequency systems

These tags are essentially an LC tank circuit that has a resonance peak anywhere from 1.75 MHz to 9.5 MHz. The most popular frequency is 8.2 MHz. Sensing is achieved by sweeping around the resonant frequency and detecting the dip. Deactivation for 8.2 MHz label tags is achieved by punching a hole, or by detuning the circuit by partially destroying the capacitor. This is done by submitting the tag to a strong electromagnetic field at the resonant frequency which will induce voltages exceeding the capacitor's breakdown voltage, which is artificially reduced by puncturing the tags.

RF remains the most widely adopted system worldwide. RF operating frequencies generally range from 2MHz to 10MHz. Compared to AM and EM systems, RF systems boast the lowest power consumption and label costs. They have the thinnest soft labels as well as high effiecient hard tags that are born to be immunized against magnets. Generally speaking RF tags are 1/3 the prices of AM tags.

Acousto-magnetic systems 

These are similar to magnetic tags in that they are made of two strips, a strip of magnetostrictive, ferromagnetic amorphous metal and a strip of a magnetically semi-hard metallic strip, which is used as a biasing magnet (to increase signal strength) and to allow deactivation. These strips are not bound together but free to oscillate mechanically.

Amorphous metals are used in such systems due to their good magneto elastic coupling, which implies that they can efficiently convert magnetic energy to mechanical vibrations.

The detectors for such tags emit periodic tonal bursts at about 58 kHz, the same as the resonance frequency of the amorphous strips. This causes the strip to vibrate longitudinally by magnetostriction, and to continue to oscillate after the burst is over. The vibration causes a change in magnetization in the amorphous strip, which induces an AC voltage in the receiver antenna. If this signal meets the required parameters (correct frequency, repetition etc.) the alarm is activated.

When the semi-hard magnet is magnetized, the tag is activated. The magnetized strip makes the amorphous strip respond much more strongly to the detectors, because the DC magnetic field given off by the strip offsets the magnetic anisotropy within the amorphous metal. The tag can also be deactivated by demagnetizing the strip, making the response small enough to that it will not be detected by the detectors.

These tags are thicker than magnetic tags and are thus seldom used for books. However, they are relatively inexpensive and have better detection rates (fewer false positives and false negatives) than magnetic tags.

AM tags are disrupted by common magnets. Operating at 58kHz to 66kHz, AM systems consume more power than the other EAS types. Comparing with RF systems, AM system is more adaptable to metal material except iron and steel. So in certain extension, AM system is less likely to be interfered by metal-intensive environment like hardware stores.

Generally, AM systems power usage is said to be 20 to 30 times higher than that of RF systems. The cost of obtaining and installing an EAS system depends on the type of system used, size of the retail establishment, and the amount of merchandise to be protected. A typical EAS system can pay for itself in one and a half to two years time. 

Which System Suits My Store Best

  RF system  AM system 
 Takes of 8.2MHZ radio frequency technology  Takes of 58Khz Acousto Magnetic technology
 Less expensive infrastructure investment  Excellent detection performance/Wider aisle allowed
         -----  Reduce false alarm and metal interference
 Must work together with RF tags/Labels  Must work together with AM tags/Labels

To choose a right system for your retail store, there are several things you need to consider:

1. The characteristics of your business.
2. Cost of anti-shoplifting systems and accessories.
3. Compatibility with different brands of anti-theft devices.

Date: Jun 25, 2014 Click: /

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