Electronic Article Surveillance Types

img_product_asset_lgeIf you’ve ever seen someone walk out of a store with their goods only to be stopped by an alarm, then you’ve witnessed EAS, or Electronic Article Surveillance in action. EAS allows for the shoplifting of goods to be prevented in all manner of stores around the world.

EAS’s inception was during the 1970s, when clothing retailers wanted to protect their merchandise. The type of protection then were the formidable plastic security labels, which provided visibility in addition to a forbidding appearance. So not only were the tags able to be clearly seen by everyone in the store, and so easily identified if removed, but thieves were aware or this. In addition, their bulky appearance made them look very difficult to remove.

The difficulty of removal of these tags was indeed accurate; only a special machine located behind the check-out counter was capable of removing the tags without damaging the apparel to which they were affixed.

Ink and Sensor Pins and Tags

Ink tags and pins will display tampering by leaking ink. But how is this an EAS solution? They can be used in conjunction with sensor security labels to add a second layer of protection. But it isn’t only soft items like clothing that can be protected with this type of tag; sensor tags can also be used to protect bottles, jewellery and electronics.

Source Tagging

Source tagging is a concept which allows for both time and money to be saved. A security label is attached by the product manufacturer or packaging personnel to products prior to shipping them to stores. This benefits both the store owner and the manufacturer, because both sides can see the product’s journey from beginning to end, as well as being able to see whether items have been tampered with during the trip. For clothing, these source tags can be sewn right into the garment so that they’re out of sight.

Source tagging offers manufacturers a way to secure their items without the high cost that other forms of EAS can incur.

Tag Recirculation

The recirculation of sensor tags is a concept that is very popular today. Clothing manufacturers need only affix any reusable tag on clothing in the factory. Doing so at this level ensures that clothing is immediately ready to sell once it arrives at its retail destination. Tags are removed at the point of sale, collected by a service and then repackaged at a processing centre before being sent back to clothing manufacturers to be reused.

The Future of EAS?

In addition to EAS, RFID is offering much in the way of protection for all manner of items. RFID tags can be only a few millimetres in size, making them extremely easy to conceal. This type of tag transmits information about a product over a wireless network, allowing for the tracking of items to take place effortlessly. RFID security labels are being chosen to replace the very common bar code system used in many factory settings. Because, unlike bar codes, RFID tags can still be read even if they are not completely visible.

It is for these and many other reasons that the future of theft prevention could see electronic article surveillance and RFID technologies being combined to provide a single source for the accurate, efficient and secure tracking of all manner of products. As well, this combined technology could have several benefits for other warehouse processes such as conducting inventory audits and maintaining levels of inventory. When combined with the power to prevent the theft of merchandise and the many other benefits of both technologies, a combination would certainly offer retailers far more protection than the independent technologies available today.

 

Security Labels and Loss Prevention

Regardless of what a business is selling, the goal should always be to lose as little of their product as possible. And the best way to consistently achieve this is to have a strategy in place for the protection of products. This strategy for product protection is referred to as the loss prevention pyramid. This pyramid consists of a solid and continuous base, followed by units which interlock and reinforce themselves. At the pyramid’s apex is the point where product and consumer intersect.

But what does the loss prevention pyramid have to do with security labels? In a word, everything. Because without a sound loss prevention strategy, no label will be enough to effectively protect a product.

The loss prevention pyramid involves the support and leadership of senior management and directors, who can provide the correct resources for product protection, as well as remove anything that may hinder that protection. As well, they ensure that any plan in place for the protection of products is aligned with the strategy of a company.

Collaboration is Key

Any effective strategy for protecting products should be the result of collaboration between the loss prevention team and the buying department, whose job it is to work both together and with individuals including suppliers to craft a sound strategy for product protection.

In order to inspire senior management to invest more heavily in a loss prevention strategy, a decrease in product loss with a corresponding increase in revenue should be proven. Any reporting done should be based on data gathered at the category and SKU levels. The goal here is ensure that high-quality data is being collected, and not simply large amounts of data. As well, the right tools to analyse this data should be used, and individuals assigned to assess the data skilled at doing so.

Clear Specifications

Any security labels chosen for the purpose of protecting products should include criteria with clear specifications. For example, information should be present which clearly describes the protocols and processes for the deactivation, application and detection of labels. Without these three elements, the product protection strategy will not be effective.

The Job of the Loss Prevention Manager

The loss prevention manager’s responsibility is to determine where security labels need to be placed in order to obtain the best results. They will also be tasked with determining whether obvious or concealed labelling will be best.

Labelling is one part of the Process

In order for a product protection strategy to work well, there not only needs to be support and quality data available at the start, but also some kind of assurance that all of this support, planning and implementation does the intended job in the actual retail location.

At the retail level, it is the shop manager who must not only lead by example, but also ensure that staff is trained to understand and here to product protection practices. The manager is also responsible for ensuring the smooth and consistent implementation of these practices.

Any security labelling system must be audited on a regular basis to ensure that it continues to be well-operated and maintained. Also, the staff in a shop must also be audited regularly to confirm that the correct procedures concerning product protection are being followed.

A labelling system for product security is only as good as a company’s loss prevention team is updated. Developments and trends relative to the business need to be watched in order to ensure optimal protection. As well, there needs to be a process for the submitting and analysing of feedback. This will allow for the free and constant flow of information which will ultimately ensure that appropriate action is taken at every point from senior management to staff on the shop floor.

Finding a Company to Provide Pre-printed Inkjet Labels

As a business, you may be looking for outside assistance to help you reduce costs associated with running your company. You may also be looking for ways to reduce the amount of hassle involved in carrying out certain tasks. If this is the case, there are a number of different companies that you can turn to in order to get assistance with a range of different areas. One such service is a bespoke inkjet label printing service. This is ideal for businesses that do not want to have to spend money and time on costly printing equipment. It is also ideal for companies of all sizes from small and medium sized businesses to large corporations.

By using a specialist inkjet label printing company, you can get the perfect pre-printed labels for your needs. Of course, you need to ensure that you use the right provider so that you can benefit from a reliable service as well as high quality. This will also enable you to benefit from a range of additional advantages.

How to find the right provider for your pre-printed inkjet labels

By making sure you find the right provider, you will be able to ensure you get the perfect labels at the right price. Some of the things that you should look for include:

Is the provider an established one? You should make sure that the label printing company you choose is established in this field. Check that they have the necessary expertise and experience to provide you with the right products for your requirements. Also make sure that the company is able to cater for your needs in terms of the level of label printing required.

Is the company a reputable one? The last thing any growing business can afford to do is take on board a provider that is not reliable, does not offer a good level of service, doesn’t resolve issues swiftly, or provides substandard products. You should therefore look at the reputation of the provider in order to benefit from greater peace of mind and to ensure you get the service you need.

Does the provider offer choice? Every business’s needs differ when it comes to pre-printed inkjet labels. You need to determine whether the provider you are considering using is able to offer choice when it comes to this type of product. This could include a choice of paper types or delivery formats for instance, such as labels in sheet form or on rolls. It can also include a choice of delivery timescales, enabling you to enjoy express or standard delivery on your labels.

Does the company offer a cost effective service? With all companies keen to save money these days, looking at cost is important. The right provider will be able to offer an affordable printing service without compromising on quality. This is because they are able to cut out the middle man, which means that they can pass on their own reduced running costs to the customer.

By looking at all of these factors when you are selecting the right label printing company for your needs, you can boost the chances of being able to find the ideal provider and the perfect products for your needs. Looking at reviews of the company will make it easy to determine the quality and reputation of the company you use.

High Speed Printing – Web Offset

One of the most popular choices for printing is web offset. Ideal for very high print runs, web offset is most commonly used of all the rotary printing types.

Before any further explanation is given, it’s important to note that the ‘web’ in web offset printing refers to the machine type. Web offset machines use large rolls of paper that run through the machine in a continual line. Web offset printing allows both sides of the paper to be printed simultaneously.

The colour used in web offset is transferred from the printing plate using an additional rubber blanket cylinder roller to the paper.

Coldset and Heatset

In web offset printing, there are two distinct drying processes following printing. These are coldset and heatset.

Coldset is used where the printing of newspapers is being done. In this process, drying occurs slowly as ink dries on its own. You can tell an item that’s been dried using the coldset process, as the ink will sometimes transfer to your fingers, such as can happen with newspapers. Coldset printing is usually done vertically on paper rolls, and can take as many as 5 working days to completely dry. Therefore, turnaround time for web offset printing using the coldset drying process can be lengthier.

In heatset, just-printed paper passes through an oven, drying the ink immediately at 250 °C, before cooling it immediately to a maximum of 30°C. Because of this, images take on an attractive sheen. The heatset drying process is most often used when magazines, brochures and catalogues are being printed, and is done horizontally.

Speed Matters

Most customers choose web offset because of the high speeds that large volumes of products are able to be printed. But how fast is it? Usually, a web offset printer can achieve speeds of 65,000 revolutions per hour. This can result in millions of prints being able to be produced in a small amount of time.

Quality

Whether chosen for the printing of inkjet labels or documents, web offset printing definitely offers a higher quality end product. Image quality is especially enhanced when web offset printing is used. However, this is partly due to the fact that the technology which transfers images from computer to place is more developed today. Not only that, but there are consistently high-quality results with this type of printing.

Cost

The cost of web offset printing tends to be more upfront. This is because setup must be done. In web offset printing, each plate represents a single colour: cyan, yellow, magenta or black. As well, plates must be made.

Materials, Ink and Varnish

Web offset printing offers a large choice of materials that go beyond paper to rubber, fabric and wood. In addition, choosing a specialist stock of paper can mean a lower cost with larger web offset runs. For inks, those looking to have their inkjet labels or other products printed with the web offset process can use speciality varieties such as metallic ink without worry. The same is true of those looking to have a UV varnish applied to their printed products, as web offset printing can handle this quite well.

At the end of the day, the choice to use web offset printing will depend solely on the nature of your product as well as your deadline. Whilst the machine setup for web offset printing may be somewhat complex, the printing of multiple copies can be completed quite efficiently.

Digital printing, web offset`s counterpart can complement the latter, and as such should not compete with web offset printing. Rather, the strengths of both types can be used to benefit a printing project.

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