An RFID system designed like the license plate databases most motor vehicle departments use can be the most secure system in the world. The RFID only holds a number which is associated with a highly secure database file.
Current versions of RFID silicon provide robust password protection and anti-counterfeit features adding another layer of security on top of a license plate like system.
In addition to having a rewritable portion of memory, the tag ships with a permanently locked unique Tag Identifier (TID), which is hard coded into the silicon and can never be changed. This means that even if an EPC number is replicated, there is no way of duplicating the TID of an original tag. As applications continue to leverage the TID number, RFID solutions will become increasingly more secure. In addition to the TID, up to 608 bits on board the tag can be locked using a password.Although less robust, this feature provides additonal protection against ill intention.
Furthermore, conduction AEN and FFCA tests will reveal any other systems in place that could be negatively impacted by the interference from the RFID installation. This is especially imp ortant to check in sensitive environments, such as hospitals, where equipment can be highly susceptible to interfering RF. We have had a few cases in warehouse and retail operations where installed wireless phone systems communicated using the UHF ISM band, the same spectrum as is used for RFID. Installing an RFID network in these locations could have caused interruptions to the phones.
It is also good to check the tags you plan to use attached to your product to make sure they are appropriate tags. Depending on your specific needs there may be other tests that will help to ensure that the system operates appropriately and meets your design goals, but AEN and FFCA are certainly good places to start to make sure the system works at a base level, expanded tests will make sure the system works well.
Event based systems rely upon a read event, such as passing an asset through a portal or conducting an inventory using handheld readers. This approach uses lower cost passive tags, but does not provide precise location. For example, if a RFID reader is placed at the doorway to a storage room, an event based system will provide knowledge when the asset entered the storage room, but it is not able to say on which shelf the asset was placed.
Real time location systems (RTLS) usually require active tags that beacon and can be triangulated from long distance by several RFID receivers. The higher cost of active tags increases the cost of this technology, but guarantees high security and immediate knowledge with the touch of a button. For example, this technology can show the asset traveling throughout the building and into the storage room, follow the asset as it is placed upon a shelf, and indicate if the asset is moved to another shelf.
New RTLS technology has emerged which is able to function with passive tags, but this technology is in its infancy and is not effective in office environments.
An informed project plan accounts for RFID physics through evaluation and testing at key points in the solution design cycle. In addition to tag testing and site evaluation, detailed use-case design mitigates the risk of deploying a system that does not work perfectly the first time.
Will the use of RFID on vials containing biologics be harmful to the product due to the RF radiation?
I need to track an object which travels at speed of up to 120Km/h, in an area of 10m X 20m. The object is a ball, so the tag must be small. I need to determine the position of the ball with 40cm precision every 10 msec. Is it possible to do this with Odin products?
We are not aware of an RFID system that can provide you with the accuracy you need. While some Ultra-wideband (UWB) systems can achieve up to 30 cm accuracy in a space that size, the tag size would likely be too large because of the onboard battery and the speed would reduce the system accuracy. Additionally the refresh rate of 10 ms would also not be available in systems as provided today. If you wanted to pursue this further, you would need to embark on custom development or consider an alternative technology such as image processing.
- 13.56 Mhz -> High Frequency (HF) band used worldwide for passive RFID tags such as in keyless entry cards.
- 433 Mhz -> Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) band used by many active tags.
- 902 – 928 MHz -> Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) band used by passive EPC Gen 2 RFID readers in the US.
- 865 – 868 MHz -> Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) band used by European passive EPC Gen 2 RFID readers.
- 2.4 GHz -> WIFI frequency band used by certain US active tags.
ODIN has experience with RFID technologies across all of these bands, in fact, our lab has been certified by the FCC to allow testing of RFID equipment and tags across the worldwide RFID spectrum. We are focused on addressing end user needs by developing best of breed technology solutions.
This objective is achieved through one of three techniques:
1.) separate the antenna from the metallic surface
2.) Tune the tag specifically to operate in close proximity to a conductive plane and
3.) Build a metallic backplane into the tag design.
Metal mount tags generally cost more than standard passive tags because they require additional materials and are produced in smaller quantities, but the plastics supporting the tag also make the tag more durable for long-term use. This type of tag is often used for tracking IT assets such as computers and servers. ODIN has completed extensive tests of metal mount tags to understand the nuances of tag performance and learn which tags are best for specific uses. These findings are available the through the €œMetal Mount Tag Benchmark€ and the €œIT Asset Tracking Benchmark€ found here.
A reader includes a transmitter, receiver, and intelligence to manage communication. An antenna connects to the reader and provides an outlet for the reader to broadcast radio frequency (RF) energy as well as receive tag responses. Common readers are restricted to broadcast no more than 1 Watt of energy. A passive tag includes a thin metal inlay that acts as an antenna and a small microchip that includes the logic to respond to communication. The microchip stores information within its memory that it is able to send to the reader if the reader communicates to the tag. In the past, tags have stored up to 96 bits of memory. Today many tag silicon products store 512 bits and more.
By using an internal power source, active tags can store and transmit significantly more data over greater distances than a passive tag. Passive tags, however, are able to be designed very discretely in minute form factors, and cost orders of magnitude less than an active tag. Battery Assisted Passive tags allow greater read range without increasing overall costs substantially or adding too much bulk to a tag label.
Just like your car radio must be tuned to a specific station to hear correctly, and the car€™s antenna needs to be up to get a good signal. If an RFID tag antenna is placed near metal it can be detuned, essentially blocking the signal, this leads to a mismatch with the IC.
The tag system is then unable to harvest energy from an electromagnetic field, causing it to not function. This issue can and has been resolved through testing for the optimal tag for the item to be tracked. For instance specialized technologies designed to work well on metal emerged in 2008 which make tracking items like servers or laptops 100% reliable. But the trade-off between cost and performance is important, since tag costs are often recurring and can constitute a major budget line item.
Who you buy the tags or labels from also can determine why it may not work. Quality control can have a major impact on the number of bad tags per any given amount of tag stock. Some label converters will make tags that guarantee 99.99% €œgood tags€ wear others will offer cheaper price but require the end user to do their own quality control. So bad tags can be the cause of missed reads as much as picking the wrong tag or location.