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Card Technologies

When we use the term "card technologies" or "smart cards", what do we mean? The easy answer is - any technology that can be placed on a card. Typically we think of our credit or bank card but there are other sizes and materials used for different applications. The card can be made of plastic (polyester, pvc, or some other material) or paper, or even some amalgamation of materials. The common point is that the card is used to provide "access" to something and it includes some form of automatic identification and data capture technology. There are currently three main technologies we think of when we mention card technologies:

    * Magnetic stripe,
    * Smart cards, and
    * Optical cards.
Other technologies can be put on cards as well (such as bar codes, touch memory, etc.). Often the card will have printing on it which may involve technologies such as Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer (D2T2) direct-to-card printing.

Contactless Reader

ACR120 Contactless Reader
The ACR120 is a compact and cost-effective contactless reader and writer. It is developed on the 13.56MHz contactless smart card (RFID) technology, supporting Mifare(Classics, DESFire), ISO 14443 A and B cards. Its proximity operating distance is up to 5 cm, depending on the type of contactless tag in use .

The versatile reader is available in both USB and Serial interface, which can be easily integrated into PC environment as well as other systems in a snap. It is ideal for a broad range of applications, including public transport terminal, physical and logical access control, and even vending machines.

The versatile reader is available in both USB and Serial interface, which can be easily integrated into PC environment as well as other systems in a snap. It is ideal for a broad range of applications, including public transport terminal, physical and logical access control, and even vending machines.

In addition, the ACR120 is also available in module form, which is extremely easy to design-in giving you maximum design and development flexibility. Own casing, logo, color, size can all now be materialized.

ACR120 reader standard features:

    • USB PnP or serial interface (RS232)
    • Read and write functionality
    • Built-in Antenna
    • Fully tested and compliant with major contactless smart cards that conform to ISO14443 A/B in the market.
    • Operation LED
    • High-speed transactions
    • Compact size: 120 X 73 X 20mm
    • Wall mountable
    • Built-in contact/contactless smart card slots (on request)
    • SAM slot (on request)(on request)

Supported Card types:
The ACR120 works with a variety of 13.56MHz contactless smart cards including, but not limited to:

    * MIFARE cards (Classics, DESFire)
    * All ISO 14443 A cards, like:
      • JCOP30 cards
      • MPCOS COMBI cards (need to accompany with the ACS ACR38DT Dual Key)
    * ISO 14443 Type B cards, like:
      • Calypso cards
      • ST Cards (ST19XRF58)

Technical Specifications:

Interface RS-232 (Serial) or USB
Supply Voltage Regulated 5V DC
Operating Distance >= 50 mm
Supply Current 80mA
Operating Temperature 0-70 o C
Operating Frequency 13.56 MHz
Standards/Certifications ISO 14443 and Mifare Cards
Operating System Support Windows 98, Me, 2K and XP

Direct Part Marking

Direct Part Marking (DPM) is a technology used to produce two different surface conditions on an item. These markings can be created by laser etching, molding, peening, etc.

Traditional print quality measures are based on the assumption that there will be a measurable difference between dark and light elements of a symbol. Because DPM symbols frequently do not have sufficient contrast between elements intended to be dark and light, it is often necessary to provide specialized lighting in order to produce highlights or shadows in order to distinguish the various elements of the symbol.

DPM Quality Guidelines Document
Acknowledging that current ISO print quality specifications for matrix symbologies and two-dimensional print quality are not exactly suited for DPM symbol evaluation, an ad-hoc committee under the supervision of the AIM Technical Symbology Committee developed a guideline to act as a bridge between the existing specifications and the DPM environment in order to provide a standardized image based measurement method for DPM that is predictive of scanner performance. The document describes modifications which are to be considered in conjunction with the symbol quality methodology defined in ISO/IEC 15415 and two-dimensional symbology specifications. It defines alternative illumination conditions, modifications to the measurement and grading of certain parameters and the reporting the grading results.

Electronic Article Surveillance

Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) is a technology used to identify items as they pass through a gated area. Typically this identification is used to alert someone of the unauthorized removal of items from a store, library, or data center.

There are several types of EAS systems. In each case, the EAS tag or label is affixed to an item. The tag is then deactivated when the item is purchased (or legally borrowed) at the checkout desk. When the item is moved through the gates (usually at a door to the premises), the gate is able to sense if the tag is active or deactivated and sound an alarm if necessary.

EAS systems are used anywhere there is a chance of theft from small items to large. By placing an EAS tag on an item, it is not necessary to hide the item behind locked doors and so makes it easier for the consumer to review the product.

Today's EAS source tagging, where the tag is built into the product at the point of manufacture or packaging, has become commonplace. This makes the labeling of goods unnecessary, saving time and money at the store.

Real-Time Locating Systems

Real-time visibility into exact locations of containers and cargo has never been as important as today with increased movement of cargo from offshore, the need to move it quickly to final destinations and new security requirements. Today’s wireless technology provides critical visibility into supply chain activities, delivering benefits to carriers, shippers and customers.

Real Time Locating Systems are fully automated systems that continually monitor the locations of assets and personnel. An RTLS solution typically utilizes battery-operated radio tags and a cellular locating system to detect the presence and location of the tags. The locating system is usually deployed as a matrix of locating devices that are installed at a spacing of anywhere from 50 to 1000 feet. These locating devices determine the locations of the radio tags.

The systems continually update the database with current tag locations as frequently as every several seconds or as infrequently as every few hours for items that seldom move. The frequency of tag location updates may have implications for the number of tags that can be deployed and the battery life of the tag. In typical applications, systems can track thousands of tags simultaneously and the average tag battery life can be five or more years.

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