RFID application in manufacturing

Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) is becoming an increasingly popular new technology in manufacturing. However, there are a lot of problems to be solved, such as architecture, process reengineering, and cost control.

A case of RFID application in household appliance production lines is studied in this article. A three-layered architecture is presented for integrating the RFID system with the original manufacturing execution system and enterprise resource planning system, and the detailed workflow of the RFID application is introduced. In this case, the barcode technology is retained in some operations to bridge the legacy systems and the new RFID application system economically.

Finally, the practical effects of the RFID application in a refrigerator production line have shown that the presented RFID application system is helpful to improve the production efficiency and reduce the cost of business operations for the enterprise.

Laundry application

RFID is a ground breaking technology in tracking of garments in the textile rental and dry cleaning in many parts of the world. The Laundry Tag provides immediate and long term benefits to garment management in process and lifecycle traceability. Automatically reading of garments and provide a durable tag that could survive multiple washings.

Flexible Laundry Tag is a frequency independent which is ideal for laundry applications and to meet the high mechanical, temperature and chemical resistance required for harsh environments common to laundry applications. Soft, washable & easily bendable Laundry tag operates effectively with a very good read range.Useful for Laundry, Waterproof and High Temperature Applications . Flexible Read/Write Range (reader dependant).

IT Asset Tracking

Secure and efficient operation of data center is critical for companies and institutions. With data integrity,legal and industry compliance requirements becoming more critical, the ability to document critical server and SAN components is becoming more important than ever. Security and effective data center management starts from visibility of IT assets by real-time tracking and monitoring of servers, SAN tapes and disks, and critical IT components. Tracking thousands of assets in a typical banking data center, and ensuring that laptop computers leaving a building are authorized to do so—and are with the properly authorized users—is a cumbersome task for bank security officers.

Laptop Tracking:
Employees and contractors entering and leaving the building often carry laptop computers that, in many cases, are the property of the organization but are assigned to a specific person. To track the laptops and ensure none leave in the wrong hands, security guards at the doorway would inspect individuals’ computer bags and, upon finding a laptop, would look up the serial number listed on the computer in a company directory, to determine who was authorized to use that machine. The guards would then have to determine whether the individual holding the laptop was the one to whom it was assigned.

This system was time-consuming, led to long queues as employees left the building, and was a source of frustration to both security gaurds and workers. With the RFID system, the process was automated. Each laptop computer has attached to a passive tag with a unique ID number. That number is linked in back-end system to the computer’s serial number, make and model, as well as the name and a photo of the individual authorized to use it.

Industrial Asset Tracking

Radio Frequency Identification is a ideal technology for tracking assets. Now there is no need to store full description about them every time. RFID tags are the simpler way to track them. Every tagged asset can be tracked by reading the upcoming radio signals from each tag.

Our asset tracking tags enable you to instantly get the general location of tagged objects anywhere within a specified space. Asset tracking allows you to monitor the status, location and availability in your extended operations; manage your assets on demand by knowing where they are and boost production by getting your assets where they need to be without delay. Integrate your business processes with on demand knowledge of work-in-process manufacturing, and make more informed decisions.

Asset tracking can be used in various industries like baggage handling, parcel handling, supply chain, service industries, distribution logistics and manufacturing companies to identify goods & objects in an industrial environment.RFID Industrial Asset Management is a powerful tool to boost business activities for the maximum profits. The Tag Factory tag products meet the requirements of harsh industrial environments.

Logistics Pallet Tracking

The cost and profitability in the supply chain management largely depends on the efficiency and quality of the transportation. The challenge is to move quantities quickly with the least amount of handling in the most efficient and profitable way possible. One of the latest tools to manage quantity distribution is radio frequency identification (RFID) applied to plastic and wooden pallets and reusable plastic containers (RPCs)..

RFID tags, like the tag factory products, can help solve some of the logistical problems that affect the pallet/RPC industry. Inefficiencies in logistic tracking, lost and misplaced containers, inaccurate data on usage rate that can result in incorrect customer billing and lost revenue.

The data needed to resolve these issues can now be written directly and stored on to RFID tags attached to RPCs as these items move throughout different points in the supply chain. Using RFID tags, companies are better able to manage their pallets and RPCs and obtain more accurate product data. With millions of pallets in use, it is important to have 100% accurate data about these containers at all times, and be able to track them with less labor.

NFC tag ideas

OPPIOT have a virtually unlimited number of uses. As more and more NFC related apps are being developed, the potential uses for NFC tags continue to surge. All of these features will use NFC related applications, usually found for free. Here are our favourite NFC tag ideas:

In the car
Activate bluetooth and connect your device to your vehicle in seconds. Need some traffic information? Need to navigate a specific route? You can do all that and so much more with the simple tap of an NFC tag!

On your bedside
Automatically have your phone turn off vibration mode, dim screen brightness, turn off your LED indicator, stop notifications and turn on an alarm with a single tap.
Make sure your children are safe

NFC tags can be set to automatically send prewritten text messages. This can be useful if you’d like to keep an eye on children traveling to and from school. With a simple tap, an NFC tag can let you know that your children have gotten home safely.

At home
If you’re like most people, you tend to use your smartphone a little differently at home. NFC tags allow you to create a home profile with your favourite setting adjustments. Leave an NFC tag near the entrance of your home and automatically enable WiFi, turn down your system volume and reduce screen brightness as you walk in.

Control your entertainment hub
This is another cool use that we’ve grown to love. It’s possible to set your NFC tag to automatically control your Chrome Cast device. Load up your favourite weather or news website on your TV with the simple tap of an NFC tag! Or command an NFC tag to automatically open up the Netflix app!

When it’s time to focus
Need some time to study? Or maybe you’re trying to put in 100% at the gym and don’t want any external distractions. Turn off notifications, vibrations and your LED indicator in one shot with just a simple tap and rid yourself of all smartphone distractions!

Share your contact information
Store your contact information on our high capacity NFC tags and effortlessly exchange them with people you meet. Your details can be instantly transferred to your new contacts device with just a single tap. An excellent way to leave a great impression and eliminate the risk of typos!

In the kitchen
Cooking something? You can adjust your settings profile with a single tap. Increase your notification and call volume with a single tap. You can even set a predetermined timer or access a recipe with a single tap!

Enable tethering on the go
Set an NFC tag to automatically enable and disable tethering when you’re on the go. One tap and you’re up and running!

Automatic checkins on Facebook and Foursquare
Automatically check into Facebook and Foursquare with an NFC tag. This is fantastic for businesses handing out promotional material and even with regular consumers looking to automate their check ins!

Remotely turning on your computer
This is a pretty cool idea that we’ve come to adopt ourselves. While it involves a little bit of tinkering, it’s a time saver and just down right awesome. Place an NFC tag near the entrance of your house and have your computer boot up with just a simple tap. You can find the full instructions on how to do this here.
Give your guests access to your WiFi without revealing your password

Grant your friends access to your WiFi network with a simple tap. There’s no need to go through the process of setting up the network connection and entering your password into the settings tab on your phone.

Organise your garage, basement or storage room
Hunting for a specific item in a garage filled to the roof with boxes can be a daunting task. NFC tags can make this process a little simpler. Make a list of all the items present in a particular box, store this list in an NFC tag and stick the tag to the box. Next time you go to the garage to find a specific item, tap on the tag and you will have a list of all the contents of the box, without even opening it!

NFC in stores
NFC tags are being used more and more in retail environments. Got a product that you’re selling? Use an NFC tag to allow the customer to view more information with a simple tap or direct them to your website

Send people to predetermined links
Got a website you’re looking to promote? Write your website URL onto an NFC tag and hand it out to prospective visitors. A pretty cool and memorable way to spread the word about your website which will almost certainly result in the prospective visitor holding onto the NFC tag!

Automate timesheets
Freelancers and businesses will love this one. Many freelancers already know that using the TimeSheet app is a great way to organise and keep track of their time.The use of NFC tags takes the experience to a whole new level. TimeSheet users can assign NFC tags for each of their projects and arrange them at their workplace as per their convenience. So if you are a TimeSheet user, the next time you want to start the clock on some project, just place your phone on the corresponding NFC tag and start logging your work!

What are NFC Tags?

NFC tags are awesome. Without getting too geeky, NFC tags basically interact with your NFC-enabled smartphone and tell it to do things. All you need to do is tap your device against the NFC tag and voila!

For example, you might keep an NFC tag in your car. By tapping your NFC-enabled smartphone against it, the NFC tag might automatically open Google maps and turn up the screen brightness and volume on your phone. Or if you’re a business, you might allow employees to tap an NFC tag to check into work, as opposed to a clunky timesheet system.

Most NFC tags can be told what to do by any NFC-enabled smartphone. All you need to do is download an NFC writing app, place your phone on top of the tag and choose what functions you’d like activated. Once set, the NFC tag will remember these instructions for next time. It’s really that simple!

So what can I do with NFC tags?
Because you’re able to program your own NFC tags with a free downloaded app, the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of possible command combinations and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve put together a quick list of our favourite uses here.

Why not stick to QR codes?
QR codes require you to open an app on your phone, point the camera at the QR code and scan the QR code. You then need to wait for the app to perform the programmed function. NFC tags simplify this process by allowing you to activate the command that’s been programmed into the NFC tag by simply tapping your NFC-enabled smartphone against it. Just make sure that the screen on your phone is unlocked and you’re good to go. No need to open an application and no need to worry about lining up the camera with any sort of code!

What is a chipless RFID tag?

Chipless RFID” is a generic term for systems that use RF energy to communicate data but don’t store a serial number in a silicon microchip in the transponder. Some chipless tags use plastic or conductive polymers instead of silicon-based microchips. Other chipless tags use materials that reflect back a portion of the radio waves beamed at them. A computer takes a snapshot of the waves beamed back and uses it like a fingerprint to identify the object with the tag. Companies are experimenting with embedding RF reflecting fibers in paper to prevent unauthorized photocopying of certain documents. Chipless tags that use embedded fibers have one drawback for supply chain uses—only one tag can be read at a time.

I’ve heard that RFID doesn’t work around metal and water. Does that mean I can’t use it to track cans or liquid products?

Radio waves bounce off metal and are absorbed by water at ultrahigh frequencies. That makes tracking metal products, or those with high water content, difficult. However, good system design and engineering are beginning to overcome this shortcoming. Low- and high-frequency tags work better on products with water and metal. In fact, there are applications in which low-frequency RFID tags are embedded in metal auto parts to track them.

Using NFC Tags For Object Authentication

Most of the noise surrounding NFC has been about contactless payments. One of the big discussions within the NFC industry is what the real ‘killer app’ for NFC is outside payments. Might the focus now start to fall on nfc authentication and nfc identification ?

NFC Marketing
It’s generally accepted that NFC marketing isn’t likely to happen in any substantial way until Apple’s iPhone supports the scanning of NFC tags. And it’s not clear that this is going to happen in the near future. Indeed, it’s not clear whether it will happen at all. However, NFC tag scanning is built into every other smartphone now and because of it’s now standardized use in payments, it’s not likely to be removed in the short-medium term.

It could be argued that Apple have looked at the use cases for scanning NFC tags and come to the conclusion that it’s limited. Limited to the extent that it’s not going to convince many people to buy – or not buy – a phone because of this.

Growth Areas
So let’s look at the big non-payment mobile NFC spaces : ticketing, marketing, product/object/person identification and product/object authentication.

Ticketing is a no brainer as it’s really just an extension of payments. To an extent, it’s a replacement of technologies such as QR codes. The technology is active to active (no passive NFC tag) and there’s no question it will be a substantial market as replacing paper tickets with mobiles is clearly the way to go.

However, there are difficulties. For example, how you provide for people that can’t or don’t want to use their mobile. Replacing paper tickets with electronic tickets for those people is expensive. There’s also some debate about how efficient it is. Anyone who’s stood behind someone attempting to pay with their mobile phone will know what we mean. A queue of people attempting to get their phones ready for an NFC tap is not going to be fun. Taking the phone out of this and using smart tickets is an option. They are more difficult to fake and quicker at the gate. But the costs rarely make sense particularly as print-your-own tickets is so cheap. However, for options such as transport (rail, airlines, buses, etc) then most people expect to see some slow but steady progress.

Marketing we’ve already looked at. We would argue that NFC marketing isn’t likely to take off until Apple allow tag scanning. Until then, it’s likely that we’ll see the odd marketing campaign as a ‘trial’ but little more.

Object Identification
Object identification and object authentication is where it starts to get interesting. Clearly, QR Codes are the leader here primarily because of cost. ‘Scan for more information’ or ‘scan for the user manual’ allow easy access to important information. However, QR Codes are seldom seen on FMCG goods or food packaging etc. Many industry watchers consider this to be a substantial NFC growth market – perhaps _the_ substantial growth market for mobile NFC outside payments/ticketing. We’d agree.

NFC has a number of benefits when used for object/product identification/authentication. It’s user friendly, seamless and reliable. Adding tags directly into products either so end users can quickly scan can be very effective. Additionally, tags can also be hidden inside products to be scanned only by those who know they are there. NFC authentication ranges from cheap and easy (such as a simple encoded ID linking to a web page or an App reading the chip UID) to cheap and reliable (such as reading the chip UID, checking the tag is genuine). Tags can be linked to marketing as well as checking the product details and/or authenticity can give a reason for a user to scan the tag and enables the manufacturer to connect with a customer post-purchase.

NFC Authentication
Product NFC authentication has anti-counterfeit benefits, user contact benefits, customer support benefits and relative to most product costs adds very little. Are we likely to see NFC tags on FMCG goods in the near future ? Not likely, but there’s a whole range of other products that would benefit.

Using NFC Tags For Object Authentication

Most of the noise surrounding NFC has been about contactless payments. One of the big discussions within the NFC industry is what the real ‘killer app’ for NFC is outside payments. Might the focus now start to fall on nfc authentication and nfc identification ?

NFC Marketing
It’s generally accepted that NFC marketing isn’t likely to happen in any substantial way until Apple’s iPhone supports the scanning of NFC tags. And it’s not clear that this is going to happen in the near future. Indeed, it’s not clear whether it will happen at all. However, NFC tag scanning is built into every other smartphone now and because of it’s now standardized use in payments, it’s not likely to be removed in the short-medium term.

It could be argued that Apple have looked at the use cases for scanning NFC tags and come to the conclusion that it’s limited. Limited to the extent that it’s not going to convince many people to buy – or not buy – a phone because of this.

Growth Areas
So let’s look at the big non-payment mobile NFC spaces : ticketing, marketing, product/object/person identification and product/object authentication.

Ticketing is a no brainer as it’s really just an extension of payments. To an extent, it’s a replacement of technologies such as QR codes. The technology is active to active (no passive NFC tag) and there’s no question it will be a substantial market as replacing paper tickets with mobiles is clearly the way to go.

However, there are difficulties. For example, how you provide for people that can’t or don’t want to use their mobile. Replacing paper tickets with electronic tickets for those people is expensive. There’s also some debate about how efficient it is. Anyone who’s stood behind someone attempting to pay with their mobile phone will know what we mean. A queue of people attempting to get their phones ready for an NFC tap is not going to be fun. Taking the phone out of this and using smart tickets is an option. They are more difficult to fake and quicker at the gate. But the costs rarely make sense particularly as print-your-own tickets is so cheap. However, for options such as transport (rail, airlines, buses, etc) then most people expect to see some slow but steady progress.

Marketing we’ve already looked at. We would argue that NFC marketing isn’t likely to take off until Apple allow tag scanning. Until then, it’s likely that we’ll see the odd marketing campaign as a ‘trial’ but little more.

Object Identification
Object identification and object authentication is where it starts to get interesting. Clearly, QR Codes are the leader here primarily because of cost. ‘Scan for more information’ or ‘scan for the user manual’ allow easy access to important information. However, QR Codes are seldom seen on FMCG goods or food packaging etc. Many industry watchers consider this to be a substantial NFC growth market – perhaps _the_ substantial growth market for mobile NFC outside payments/ticketing. We’d agree.

NFC has a number of benefits when used for object/product identification/authentication. It’s user friendly, seamless and reliable. Adding tags directly into products either so end users can quickly scan can be very effective. Additionally, tags can also be hidden inside products to be scanned only by those who know they are there. NFC authentication ranges from cheap and easy (such as a simple encoded ID linking to a web page or an App reading the chip UID) to cheap and reliable (such as reading the chip UID, checking the tag is genuine). Tags can be linked to marketing as well as checking the product details and/or authenticity can give a reason for a user to scan the tag and enables the manufacturer to connect with a customer post-purchase.

NFC Authentication
Product NFC authentication has anti-counterfeit benefits, user contact benefits, customer support benefits and relative to most product costs adds very little. Are we likely to see NFC tags on FMCG goods in the near future ? Not likely, but there’s a whole range of other products that would benefit.