EAS

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EAS

(Electronic Article Surveillance) A security system for preventing theft in retail stores that uses disposable label tags or reusable hard tags attached to the merchandise. An alarm is triggered when walking through detection pedestals at the store exit if a disposable tag was not deactivated or a reusable tag was not removed at the checkout counter. Also called "single bit RFID tags" because the tag is either on or off, the primary EAS technologies are radio frequency (RF), acousto-magnetic (AM) and electromagnetic (EM).

Radio Frequency (RF)
Looking somewhat like RFID tags, RF EAS tags comprise an inductor (coil) and capacitor in series. The transmitting pedestal sends out an RF signal, which causes the activated tag to resonate, and the phase difference of the signals is detected at the receiving pedestal. RF systems that transmit a range of frequencies to accommodate different labels are called "swept RF." To deactivate disposable RF tags, the tag is waved over a high energy transmitter at the checkout counter that blows a built-in fuse and partially destroys the capacitor. See RFID.

Acousto-Magnetic (AM)
AM tags are made of two strips of metal that are magnetized for activation. The transmitter pedestal sends out 58 kHz pulses, which cause the metal to oscillate. The receiving pedestal detects a tag when the transmitter is in between pulses, but a signal is still resonating from the tag. To deactivate disposable AM tags, the tag is demagnetized at the checkout counter.

Electromagnetic (EM)
Widely used in Europe and around the world, EM tags have a metal strip or wire that is demagnetized for activation. A low-frequency alternating current is transmitted from the pedestal, and the tag generates harmonic frequencies that are picked up by the receiver using signal processing. To deactivate disposable EM tags, the tag is magnetized at the checkout counter, exactly the opposite of the AM tags.


The Detection Zone
EAS pedestals pick up activated tags in their detection zone. Signals from the transmitting pedestal are re-radiated by the tag to the receiving pedestal. Although the pedestals serve as a warning, transmitters and receivers can also be hidden in exits. Some systems can use only one pedestal to transmit and receive. (Top image courtesy of Checkpoint Systems, Inc., www.checkpointsystems.com)


The Detection Zone
EAS pedestals pick up activated tags in their detection zone. Signals from the transmitting pedestal are re-radiated by the tag to the receiving pedestal. Although the pedestals serve as a warning, transmitters and receivers can also be hidden in exits. Some systems can use only one pedestal to transmit and receive. (Top image courtesy of Checkpoint Systems, Inc., www.checkpointsystems.com)







Soft and Hard Tags
Disposable RF tags can be concealed within ordinary labels, such as the price label and innocuous shopping cart label in the top image. Reusable hard tags (bottom) must be removed by the clerk at the checkout counter. (Images courtesy of Checkpoint Systems, Inc., www.checkpointsystems.com)


Soft and Hard Tags
Disposable RF tags can be concealed within ordinary labels, such as the price label and innocuous shopping cart label in the top image. Reusable hard tags (bottom) must be removed by the clerk at the checkout counter. (Images courtesy of Checkpoint Systems, Inc., www.checkpointsystems.com)
References in periodicals archive ?
For manufacturers of OTC drags, vitamins, cosmetics and other products that can be easily concealed and often carry high "ring points" EAS tags are an effective way to minimize the incidence of shoplifting and employee theft, and to increase sales by permitting aggressive open merchandising in the retail environment.
In recent months, Sealed Air, Patterson, N.C., a supplier of soaker pads for meat packaging trays used by grocers, has begun incorporating Sensormatic EAS tags into the pads at the manufacturing level.
"The scanner's deactivation antenna interfaces with active EAS tags as they are scanned," explains Taylor Smith, director of product management, scanning and mobility division for Morristown, N.J.-based Honeywell.
"But over the years it will become part of every product and will merge with EAS tags. This system allows retailers to be prepared for that when it happens."
This is when the EAS tags are placed on products at the supplier level.
The most favorable prospects exist for higher-end systems and products such as color cameras, digital recording devices, wireless systems, "smart" EAS tags and access control cards, biometric identification systems and automated contraband detection devices.
RFID promises to bring new efficiencies to the supply chain by using EAS tags to track the movement of merchandise.
Source tagging involves the manufacturer placing EAS tags on items before shipment to the distribution center or retail unit.
When the EAS tags and alarms, cameras, recording, remote monitoring and software systems are all integrated, it provides an in-depth picture of the business and its operations.
Visitors will see models from the Vectra range of turret rewinders; the Omega Digicon E+ digital finishing line being demonstrated alongside Hewlett Packard's latest digital print engine, the HP Indigo press ws4050; the Omega TI 150, designed to integrate RFID and EAS tags as well as other types of inserts into finished rolls of pressure sensitive labels; and the Omega SR 1300 inspection slitter rewinder integrated with the AVT Helios One camera for 100 percent automated inspection.
Earlier this year Checkpoint introduced its Gen 3 tags, radio-frequency EAS tags that can be turned on and off.
Checkpoint is developing the new, soft EAS tags jointly with Mitsubishi Materials, Tokyo.