Right now, we're in the Christmas season and with a large amount of footfall to attract, it may well prove to be a profitable time for many retailers. The season also acts as a reminder of the need for robust security; whilst an increased number of visitors is indeed great news, bigger crowds will mean staff levels will be stretched, handing anyone with nefarious intentions the ideal opportunity to strike. EAS systems and their accompanying tags can help to prevent this.

Tags on products in retail stores are commonplace today; working with a tracking system installed close to the entrance/exit, they are designed to be sensed whenever they're taken through the monitoring field set up. If sensed, the system sets off an alarm that alerts staff to a possible theft.

If a business is able to get the best out of their security systems, then they'll have that robust deterrent/prevention method against theft. How exactly do EAS tags and their accompanying systems work, though?

EAS Systems: The Basics

The EAS (Electronic Article Surveillance) system is essentially an antenna that emits electromagnetic energy (its 'field of monitoring'). Whenever the passing tag comes into contact with this, it will create a short electromagnetic signal that is picked up by the antennas, essentially sending a message to the system to set off an alarm.

The tags, that are made from either hard, robust plastic or 'soft' paper-like materials, do not contain any transmitters – but they do make use of the electric current that is generated by the electromagnetic field of the antenna. The current will only be generated in the moment the tag is carried through the field, creating the interaction between the tag and the antenna.

The Different Types of Electrical Article Surveillance

Aside from each system generating signals at different frequencies, there are a number of different types of EAS systems and tags available for retailers, which may better suit their requirements, products or budget.

  • Systems that use Radio Frequency (RF) tags are very popular, as they are disposable labels that are small and relatively inexpensive. They are particularly prevalent in supermarkets and used on small products. RF labels contain a miniature electrical circuit and an antenna that are designed to respond to the frequency of the field set out by the systems. The frequencies that RF EAS systems operate at generally ranges from 2 to 10 MHz (millions of cycles a second).
  • Electromagnetic (EM) tags can also be found in plentiful supply in retail stores. Made from a single strip of amorphous metal , they are seen as cost-effective due to their abilities to be sensed by EAS systems, as well as their ease to be attached and detached from products. The strip on the tag is lined with a ferromagnetic material that the frequency of the EAS system reacts with – once these two elements interact, the alarm will sound. Due to their high tracking abilities and relatively low-cost, EM tags are used on a range of items, including clothing, books and food packaging – anything that is in plentiful supply and needs tagging.
  • Another prevalent tag in retail stores is the Acousto-Magnetic (AM) system. AM systems are designed to protect broad exits that need a high level of tag detection, using a transmitter to create the surveillance area. The transmitter will send out radio frequencies of around 58 kHz in pulses, searching for tags in the area it has created. When the pulse ends, the tag will respond, sending out a single frequency signal back to the system and as soon as it ascertains that the signal is at the right frequency, the system will sound the alarm. Made from two strips of metal, AM tags are commonly used on electronics, hardware and clothing products.

Choose Maxtag For High-Quality EAS Systems For Retail

If you're searching for EAS tags to help protect your valuable stock, then why not get in touch with the experts here at Maxtag? For over two decades, we have been supplying and installing the very latest in retail security technology; from CCTV cameras to electronic article surveillance, we are dedicated to ensuring that all of our clients are able to establish a bespoke security infrastructure for each of their stores.

To learn more about EAS systems and how they can help your business to protect its stock, please feel free to give us a call today on 0800 044 3160. Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to us at enquiries@maxtag.com.

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MAXTAG (UK) Limited

8 Suttons Business Park Reading Berkshire RG6 1AZ United Kingdom

0800 044 3160