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RFID In Manufacturing & Warehousing Part 1


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Auto-ID Technology, know by the popular name Radio Frequency Identification, or (RFID) refers to the process of storing data to and retrieving data from integrated circuits using radio frequency transmissions. An RFID architecture that leverages current standards consists of the following:

  • An RFID transponder that broadcasts its Electronic Product Code (EPC) information

  • These transponders, or tags, can be either active or passive

  • An active tag reflects energy radiated by interrogator (reader). Meaning they get their power from the RF waves striking them. They have no internal power source of their own.

  • An RFID Reader, which activates the tag and reads its response.

  • Communication between an interrogator and a transponder occurs via radio waves. This is very similar in operation to a cordless telephone.

  • NOTE: The communication does not require a line of sight between the devices. RFID tags can be read through packaging, shipping containers, and most materials with the exception of something conductive like water and metal. Objects with these elements are modified so RFID tags are positioned to minimise interference.

  • Transmission speed and range is determined by the frequency used, antenna size, power, and interference. Even under poor conditions, RFID interrogators far exceed a manual counting process in speed and accuracy. When security is a concern, the communication can be encrypted to ensure the integrity of the data passing between the tag and reader.

  • The Savant server sends data received from the RFID reader to the next higher level using standards developed by the AutoID centre. It consists of a computer which had a real time in-memory database (REID), an event management service (EMS) and a task management system (TMS) used to filter the stream of information from the reader.

  • The Application server bridges the gap between the machine level communications captured by the Savant server and business applications that reside on other servers. These applications include Warehouse Management Systems, (WMS), Transportation Management Systems, and other supply chain or enterprise systems.

    The RFID tag responds to the reader by broadcasting its EPC, which is a 96-bit code consisting of:

  • 8 bits of header information

  • 28 bits identifying the organisation that assigned the code

  • 24 bits identifying the type of product

  • 36 bits representing information for the product

The EPC is the next evolution of the UPC, or Universal Product Code, found as a barcode on most products today. The UPC provides a unique identifier for every product. The EPC provides a unique identifier for every item. This subtle difference provides huge advantages for businesses and consumers.

Waer Systems offer inventory software manufactering and manufacturing tracking software . Waer Systems also offer supply chain management software .


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