UnitVisID: ARC Lab Q&A

Our mission at UnitVisID Alliance is to ensure the accuracy, performance, and interoperability of RFID-tagged medications as they move through the supply chain, from manufacturing to patient.

To ensure that UnitVisID Certified products meet or exceed our specification and deliver the levels of performance and quality needed to provide value to 1,000+ hospitals and health systems across the US, we rely on an independent 3rd party to conduct testing of candidate inlays and systems. Currently, the RFID Lab at Auburn University is responsible for this testing.

Since 2005, the RFID Lab has been working on how to put RFID tags on items and testing them in the field through the ARC program. The purpose of the ARC program is to ensure that RFID tags can meet or exceed the levels of performance and quality necessary for the end user in a consistent and cost-effective manner.

To make this process more efficient, they created a predictive model for benchmark testing in a lab that would predict performance in the field. They have worked with many inlay manufacturers and serve several industries, including pharmaceuticals. For RFID tags, quality management systems are essential to ensure that only high-quality RFID tags are sent to customers.

To do this, ARC works with end users in many industries to identify the performance and quality requirements of their use cases and deployment. They maintain a database that stores comprehensive performance and quality data of market-available RFID tags. Inlay manufacturers send new tags to ARC before they are released to the market, compare them to all the specifications, and add them to the approved tag list if the tag meets the specification requirements. The ARC testing methodology is open and has been established through industry collaboration.

To learn more about the ARC Program and how it works, check out this UnitVisID Q&A with Justin Patton, RFID Lab Director of the ARC Lab at Auburn University.