Acousto Magnetic (AM)

Acousto Magnetic (AM)

Acousto Magnetic EAS sees a transmitter send out a signal in bursts which energize tags within the pedestal zone. When the pulse ends, the tag responds.

Between bursts, the tag’s signal is detected by a receiver. Therefore, if an active tag passes between the pedestals, an alarm will sound.

AM Antenna

One of the major drawcards of Acousto Magnetic technology is that it offers an extended detection range to RF and is normally less susceptible to external electronic interference.

For retailers this provides greater flexibility for installation of the antennas, which can be pedestal-based, concealed within door frames or housed under the floor at the entry of the store.

Meanwhile, AM adhesive security labels can often work on or near metals where other technologies fail.

AM tags and labels

AM hard tags are available in a range of sizes, and can be reused.

Although smaller than RF labels, AM labels are not paper thin and instead have a raised profile. Labels can potentially be deactivated and reactivated, although this is not common practice. They are activated when magnetized and deactivated when demagnetized.

AM tag and label deactivation

AM tags and labels are activated and deactivated using purpose-built magnets that match the strength of the tags.

AM Limitations

AM was traditionally more expensive to install than RF, however due to increased competition, system costs have come down in recent years.

The raised profile of AM labels has also been seen as a drawback for retailers like grocery stores who sell small, high-turnover goods.

Who uses AM?

AM is more often seen in small to large clothing apparel outlets, large department stores, DIY shops, electronic shops, and pharmaceutical retailers where products have metallic components in their packaging.

AM benefits at a glance

  • Larger detection area so antenna can be positioned further apart
  • Less susceptible to electronic interference
  • Systems can be concealed in door structures or under flooring
  • Security labels can be reused and reactivated
  • Accurate detection of tags and labels

AM disadvantages

  • Often the cost is higher than RF
  • Labels can’t be bent around merchandise and can’t be easily printed on
  • Antennas are not easily upgradable to RFID
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