RFID

WHAT IS RFID?

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

A device called a reader sends an electromagnetic signal to the tag. Upon receiving the reader’s signal, the tag transmits its code to the reader. when an item embedded with an RFID tag moves past the RFID reader, the reader receives the tags unique identification information and the reader the either records the information, initiates an action (s.g alarm) or sends it on to the central application database for record, alarm or tracking purposes. 

By monitoring Tag ID's, the RFID System can track the presence and location of a tagged object as it moves through the organisation.

RFID-DIagram

USES OF RFID

SECURITY AND AUTHENTICATION

the application of RFID is known as Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS). EAS helps you increase the security of a system.

TRACK AND TRACE

Tracking the location of a particular object helps you monitor its movements.

INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION

In an industry, many types of equipment are subjected to hundreds of steps.

ENVIRONMENT SENSING AND MONITORING

you can integrate RFID technology with devices that sense and monitor various environmental conditions.

BENEFITS OF RFID

SERIALISATION

Each item has a unique ID, therefore each item can be individually tracked.

REDUCED HUMAN INTERVENTION

This reduces the error cost and labour involvement.

BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT

As items are scanned automatically, many can be scanned simultaneously thus more items can be scanned in less time.

REAL TIME INFORMATION FLOW

the scanned information is updated in "real-time" across the supply chain.

WHY USE RFID?

RFID Tags
Storage capacity between 128 bytes and 8 kilobytes
No line of sight or contact required
Enhanced data security (authentication and encrypted data transfer)
Can operate in harsh, dirty and humid environments
Several tags can be read simultaneously
Read / write functionality (reprogrammable)

BARCODES
Storage capacity of 100 bytes
Require visual contact between scanner and barcode
No guarantee of security to data. Any scanner can read any barcode
Cannot be read when dirty or heavily scratched
Scanner can read only one barcode at a time
Cannot reprogram the contents of a barcode

RFID COMPONENTS

HARDWARE COMPONENTS
there are three components of an RFID system: tag, reader and host system.

RFID READER
A device that activates the tag and retrieves the information stored in its internal circuit (IC). An RFID reader sends and receives signals with the help of the reader antenna. An RFID reader, also known as an interrogator, is practically a bridge between the raid host system and the reader antenna.

readers

RFID HOST SYSTEM
A system that manages the flow of data between the readers and tags.
A RFID host system can also have a more complex structure, where different readers are located across different locations and data flows to the host computer through LANs or the internet.

Host-System_2

RFID TAG
A device that is attached to or embedded in an item that you need to track. An RFID tag, also called a transponder, has memory where the data is stored. the components of an RFID tag are:

  • Integrated circuit (IC)
    A microchip that commonly stores data. the data stored in the IC can be read several times by the reader.
  • Tag antenna
    A component that detects the signal from the reader’s antenna. The performance of the tag antenna depends on the distance between the reader and the RFID tag.
rfid-tags-for-solar-module-india

RFID tags are categorised as:

ACTIVE TAGS
Active tags have an internal power source, such as a battery. They have longer ranges and larger memories than passive tags and usually operate at 455 MHz, 2.45 GHz, or 5.8 GHz and have a reading range from 20 to 100m.

PASSIVE TAGS
Passive tags have no internal power supply and are instead activated by the reader. They have read distances ranging from 2mm through to 4.6m, depending on the frequency of individual tags. Passive tags can operate at low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) and ultra high frequency (UHF).

SEMI PASSIVE TAGS
Semi passive tags are an intermediate type of tags that lie between the active and passive tags. They are also called battery assisted passive tags (BAP).

SOFTWARE COMPONENTS

RFID tag

RFID system software:
A collection of functions that facilitates interaction between tag and reader.


RFID middleware:
A set of software components that acts as a bridge between the RFID hardware components and the host application software

Host application:
Software that receives processed and normalised data - sent from the tag - through the reader and the RFID middleware software.

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