The purpose of the ARC program is to ensure that Retail Suppliers are able to deliver RFID tagged product to Retailers that meet or exceed the levels of performance necessary to provide benefit to both the Retailer and the Retail Supplier in a consistent and cost effective manner.
How ARC Works
ARC is a test system and database that stores comprehensive performance data of in-development and market available RFID tags. ARC has been working with Retailers to translate RFID use cases into specific levels of performance in the ARC test environment (ARC Chamber). Lists of tags that meet the required levels of performance can quickly be generated, or, for more difficult to read products, proper tagging profiles can be created for the product. These lists and profiles are provided to the Retail Supplier community for both their convenience and compliance. The lists and profiles evolve with the technology, and can be updated to reflect changes in technology, use case, or field performance of tagged product. The intersection of these three attributes establishes a stable base for RF performance levels which remain current and reliable.
The tag performance levels needing to be met are published to the Tag Vendor community on request. Vendors then benchmark the performance of their tags against these levels. The ARC testing methodology is open and has been established through joint vendor collaboration. No vendor is excluded, and in order to remain abreast of technological developments, ongoing vendor participation is encouraged. The methodology is clearly defined, but continual assessment and enhancement input into the testing process is encouraged and incorporated into evolving revisions.
Essentially, RFID tags are tested on the ARC benchmark testing setup. Data on RFID tag performance is stored. Retailers use ARC benchmark data to create lists of approved tags for their RFID use cases. These approved tag lists are made available to the Retail Suppliers.