Ian Eeles of EAS Distributors shows how simple it is to specify a tagging system.

12 June 2011

Specifying a tagging system

In our first article on tagging we looked at the tagging systems currently available and the problems associated with low cost equipment. In this second article, we have asked Ian Eeles, MD of tagging manufacturer and distributor EAS Distrubutors Ltd, to explain how a tagging system is specified.

Tagging is thought to be complicated and fraught with issues and as a result security installers often avoid specifying tagging systems altogether. This represents a lost opportunity for the installer as tagging system specification is actually relatively simple. At EAS we only need four key pieces of information in order to determine the most appropriate system for any given application. These questions then help to finalise the exact requirements for the tagging system.

Firstly, it is important to establish what type of products need protecting. The physical shape and value of the goods usually define the most appropriate tags for the application. Tags can be reusable, such as those found on articles of clothing or spirit bottles or disposable, such as those glued to cellophane wrapping around CDs. As a rule of thumb, the reusable tags are most appropriate to higher value goods. Both these types of tags require aerials to be installed at the shop exit points to trigger an alarm, should they be taken from the shop before being deactivated or removed altogether.

The type of tag will dictate the number of aerial detectors needed. The disposable tags generally require more aerial detectors. The reusable tags contain an inbuilt passive electronic circuit, making them easier to detect, and could reduce the number of aerials thus reducing the cost.

The next question to be asked is how many exit doors need to be covered and how far apart are they from each other? If there are many doors this will determine if and how the systems need to be synchronised.

Thirdly, you will need to know how wide the doors are. This, along with the type of tag decided upon, determines how many aerial detectors will be needed at each door and in the system as a whole.

Aerial detectors use different radio frequencies to create a “field”. When an active tag enters this field, the tag will be detected and an alarm will sound. To optimise the performance of the system, the distance between aerials at each door should be related to the type of tag chosen. It follows that the wider the door, the greater the number of aerials needed to cover the area.

Finally, it is necessary to know how many till points are used in the premises. This dictates how many tag deactivators or removers will be needed in the system.

Once the four basic questions have been answered, an appropriate system and its budget costs can be specified. It is possible to design additional advanced functionality into a system depending on the customers’ needs, including network connectivity or integration with other security systems. A higher specification will increase the system costs but still relies on establishing the initial system first. Buyers must then consider tag and tag supplier quality and costs and should be advised that it is false economy to save money on cheap, ineffective and unreliable tags.

I have designed the EAS Tagging Tree to help with tagging system specification. Hopefully installers will now feel better equipped and more confident about moving into this growing security market.

EAS Distributors are one of the UKs leading and longest established tagging system manufacturers. They offer support to installers wanting to add tagging to their portfolio of services or handling complex applications. EAS holds a complete range of tagging systems in stock for fast delivery.