By Les Thompson
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What is RFID?
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An RFID tag is a small object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product, animal, or person. RFID tags contain silicon chips and antennas to enable them to receive and respond to radio-frequency queries from an RFID transceiver.The advantage of RFID over traditional scanning methods such as barcodes is the technology does not require a line of sight to function.
What’s the difference between passive and active tags?
Active RFID uses an internal battery within the tag to continuously power the tag and its radio frequency communication circuitry. Active RFID allows extremely low-level radio frequency signals to be received by the tag. The tag then can generate high-level signals back to the reader. Active RFID tags are continuously powered, whether in the reader's range or not, and are normally used when a longer tag read distance is desired.
Semi-passive RFID uses an internal power source to monitor environmental conditions, but requires radio frequency energy transferred from the reader. Semi-passive RFID tags use a process to generate a tag response similar to that of passive tags. Semi-passive tags differ from passive in that semi passive tags possess an internal battery for the tag's circuitry. This allows the tag to complete other functions such as monitoring of environmental conditions such as temperature or shock, which may extend the tag signal range.
Passive RFID relies on radio frequency energy transferred from the reader to the tagin order to power it. Passive RFID tags reflect energy from the reader or receive and temporarily store a small amount of energy from the reader signal in order to generate the tag response. Passive RFID requires strong radio frequency signals from the reader, and the signal strength returned from the tag is constrained to very low levels by the limited energy. Passive RFID tags are best used when the tag and reader will be in close proximity to one another.
RFID Technology Solutions
LRNi, a leader in the rapidly evolving RFID industry, we specialize in the design, engineering, manufacturing and implementation of “Active” RFID systems and products. We offer scalable, turnkey solutions to optimize business productivity in many industries. LRNi’s patented antenna technology has been instrumental in bringing RFID-enabled asset monitoring solutions to healthcare, QA visibility to manufacturing, and vehicle/weapon monitoring to law enforcement. With the development of a system to sequence “Active RFID Tags” in production environments, LRNi has become the proven close-proximity expert in “Active” RFID. LRNi has also provided a major carpet manufacture with their Mobile Asset Tracking and Control System. LRNi is tracking trailer and trucks on the yard to provide position and when dock doors are empty or being used. This data is being handed off within the company and they are using this information for logistical purposes.
Traditional methods for tracking mobile equipment and personnel in the field are labor intensive and often inaccurate, creating operational inefficiencies. LRNi’s Active RFID-based solutions can alleviate these business challenges by providing real-time visibility of field-based inventory, assets and personnel. Accurate and timely information improves business processes and provides the data you need to make sound business decisions.
At LRNi, we can assist you in understanding and arriving at the best solution for your RFID needs. We can help you understand and implement the most appropriate solutions to provide your company with a competitive edge required in an environment of improving efficiencies. LRNi has support plans to ensure the most appropriate technologies are leveraged for implementation from a cost and function perspective.
LRNi can help in selecting the proper system consisting of tags, readers, antennae, and software when devising your overall system. If required, we can create custom, innovative solutions to meet the customer’s special needs.
LRNi will demonstrate the benefits of RFID deployment and explain the variables involved along with the approach and cost. We then help validate the approach via a proof of concept plan. If required, a pilot is run to identify and demonstrate the appropriate solution and offer optimizations to existing and new processes.
From consultation to development to deployment and maintenance, LRNi has complete solutions for all RFID needs. While each of the services is available separately, we also work on a turnkey project basis to deploy RFID systems in an organization.
- Locate and track critical equipment to improve emergency response
- Monitor "in use" time of billable assets to maximize earning
- Improve equipment utilization.
- Eliminate cost of replacement due to misplacement, evaporation, or removal from service area.
Vehicle and Weapon Monitoring
- Loss and theft prevention.
- Access control.
- Locate and track personnel or guests.
- Asset inventory and location information.
- Locate and track trailers or containers.
- Automate shipping and receiving.
- Locate vehicles or equipment on yards or warehouses.
- Monitor status of work in progress.
- Locate and track tools and equipment.
- Integrate RFID tracking technology with existing production control
and inventory control software systems.
- Link individual production pieces with the employees performing the
work to monitor and improve quality.
- Employee tags can be used for security and time clock.