Know how to install and configure an RFID printer. Place the printer on a solid, level surface and ensure proper ventilation and access to all buttons, ports, and cables. Connect the printer to the network through a network cable or wirelessly. Plug a supplied or manufacturer-approved power cord into the printer and into a grounded power outlet. Select the correct media for your printer and possibly a ribbon. Configure the printer for printing mode, print settings, label settings, RFID settings, and network settings. The printer can configure itself by calibration.
Explain the function of an RFID printer. An RFID printer has an integrated RFID reader board that enables this device to not only print data on a label, but also verify and encode an RFID tag. An RFID printer uses media (labels with integrated RFID inlay) and sometimes a printing ribbon.
Explain the two print modes. Thermal transfer mode uses media and a printing ribbon. The coating from the ribbon is transferred to a label by a printhead using heat. Direct thermal mode does not use a printing ribbon but it does use heat-sensitive media. The print appears on the label as the hot printhead touches the media. This type of print is not suitable for labels that will be in high-temperature environments.
Explain the function of a pneumatic piston label applicator. A vacuum plate with a label is moved by a pneumatic piston to a product. The label is then placed or blown onto the item. This type of label applicator has a proximity sensor; therefore, it is suitable for different sizes of boxes, but requires a short stop for each label to be applied.
Explain the function of a wipe-on label applicator. A label is wiped onto a product while pressed by a foam roller. This label applicator is used mainly for same-sized boxes and does not require stopping.
Explain the function of different feedback devices. Light stacks or buzzers are usually used to notify personnel as to whether the tag functions. Diverters route the product based on the information from the tag.
Know the importance of verification points in the system. The tags can be damaged or stop functioning throughout their life cycle; therefore, it is important to implement verification points mainly after the tag is applied to a product. It may be damaged by application, incorrectly encoded, or have incorrect placement on the product.
Know the principle of RTLS. Real-time location systems use active RFID technology. RTLS is based on a matrix of access points (readers) in the area and the active tag beaconing to the environment. The location of the tagged object can then be calculated by triangulation, by using time or signal strength.