RFID is a proven technology to raise the stock accuracy and quickly get insights on the available items in a retail store…but RFID also has its challenges when it comes to determining the correct (sub-)location of an item within the store. That is because RFID can read through walls and floors – especially those thin walls that are often used in retail stores.
That means that retailers need to apply shielding to prevent ‘leakage’ and to ensure reliable insights regarding what is available on the sales floor and which items are in the stock room. As a solution, Nedap has developed the patent-pending ‘Virtual Shielding’ technology, which significantly lowers the RFID deployment & investment costs and ensures accurate sub-location information without the need to apply ‘Physical Shielding’ like aluminum foil and shielding paint in store.
The smart allocation algorithm in the iD Cloud software prevents leakage and reliably determines the location of an item. Virtual shielding eliminates the high costs for physical shielding and makes it possible to easily provide actionable data to the store staff. Sub-location information is vital to be able to do refill effectively.
Metal layers can physically block the RFID signals. For this, typically aluminum foil or metallic paint is used in retail stores, resulting in material and labor of $3,000-5,000 per store. Care should be taken to apply them: even a small seam can cause a tag being read through the wall. Even if applied with the highest precision, retailers still often experience a leakage of 15 – 20% resulting in unreliable sub-location data.
Before deploying Nedap’s iD Cloud solution, Superdry was facing a significant financial investment in physical shielding of stock rooms. This was necessary to complete the refill of products from the stock room to the sales floor. During the pilot phase of the RFID project, physical shielding in the form of metallic paint was used. This still led to significant bleed, forcing store staff to reduce the read power on the handheld device. “We couldn’t increase the read power of the handheld any further, as this would lead to unwanted detection of items beyond the walls. On thirty percent read power it took us two and a half hours to count the entire store, while the same count using Nedap’s Virtual Shielding™ (patent pending) takes twenty-five minutes, without the need to physically shield our store” Eastwood says.
During the third edition of our weekly webinar series, we will explain why shielding is necessary for RFID deployments for determining the exact (sub-) location of products in a store. We will compare ‘traditional’ and ‘virtual’ shielding options and discuss the technical......Read more
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