Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a technology for automatic contactless identification of objects using a radio frequency communication channel. Now this technology has no analogues, and its use has become so popular that, according to experts, RFID will soon replace bar-coding technology.
1. A basic RFID system consists of
radio frequency tag;
information reader (reader);
computer for information processing.
The identification of objects is carried out using a unique digital code that is read from the memory of the electronic tag attached to the identification object. The reader contains a transmitter and an antenna through which the electromagnetic field of a certain frequency is radiated. The radio-frequency tags that fall within the range of the reading field “respond” with their own signal containing information (product identification number, user data, etc.). The signal is captured by the antenna reader, the information is decoded and transmitted to the computer for processing.
2. Features of RFID technology:
no need for contact and direct visibility;
the possibility of hidden installation of electronic tags;
the ability to read / write information;
high speed data reading;
work in difficult climatic conditions and harmful environments;
unlimited service life (for passive tags);
impossibility of a fake.
3. Active and passive tags
Active tags have a power source as part of their design. The reading range of the active tags does not depend on the energy of the reader.
Passive tags do not have their own power source, and the energy necessary for operation is obtained from the electromagnetic signal coming from the reader. The reading range of passive tags depends on the energy of the reader.
The advantage of active tags in comparison with passive ones is a significantly longer (at least 2-3 times) reading distance of information and high allowable speed of movement of the active tag relative to the reader, but they are extremely expensive and rather cumbersome.
The advantage of passive tags is their virtually unlimited lifespan (they do not require battery replacement) and relative cheapness. The lack of passive tags in the need to use more powerful devices for reading information.
4. Methods of recording information on tags
Information in the memory of the RFID tag can be stored in various ways. The way information is recorded depends on the design features of the tag. Depending on this, the following types of tags are distinguished: Read-Only tags work only for reading information. The data required for storage are stored in the memory by the manufacturer and cannot be changed or deleted during operation. WORM tags ('Write Once Read Many ’) for write once and read information repeatedly. They come from the manufacturer without any user data in the memory device. The necessary information is recorded by the user, but only once. If necessary, change the data will require a new label. R / W-tags ('Read / Write ’) of multiple write and multiple read information.
5. Advantages of RFID technology over bar coding:
- RFID systems work with any product groups.
Barcoding systems can only work with a limited range of products and a certain package. Bar codes, as a rule, do not work with manufactured goods, whereas RFID-systems work absolutely with any groups of goods.
- Data from the tag is read in a contactless way
In this case, the label should not be in the field of view of the reader and can be hidden inside the product or its packaging.
- ID tag data can be supplemented
While the bar code data is recorded only once (when printed), the information stored by the RFID tag can be changed, supplemented or replaced by another subject to appropriate conditions.
- Much more data can be written on the label.
Regular barcodes can place information no more than 50 bytes (characters), and to reproduce such a symbol, you need an area the size of a standard A4 sheet. RFID tag can easily put 1000 bytes on the chip area of 1 square. see does not represent a serious technical problem and the placement of information of 10,000 bytes.
- The data on the label is recorded much faster.
To obtain a bar code, it is usually necessary to print its symbol either directly on the packaging material or on a paper label. RFID tags can be implanted into the base of the pallets or the original packaging for the duration of their operation. The data on the contents of the package are recorded in a contactless manner for 1 second.
- The data on the label can be classified
Like any digital device, an RFID tag has capabilities that allow a user to close write and read operations with a password. In addition, information can be encrypted. In the same label, you can simultaneously store closed and open data. This makes the radio frequency tag an ideal tool to protect goods and goods from counterfeit and theft.
- Radio frequency tags are more durable
In areas where the same tagged object can be used countless times (for example, when identifying pallets or returnable packagings), a radio frequency tag is an ideal means of identification, as it can be used 1,000,000 times.
- The label is better protected from environmental exposure.
RF tags are not required to be placed on the outside of the package (object). Therefore, they are better protected in the conditions of storage, processing and transportation of logistic units. Unlike a barcode, they are not affected by dust and dirt.