UHF tags application in Production Resources Management

For most enterprises and institutions, the managing way to handle the assets increase, allocation, laying aside, scrapping and disposal through the artificial means cannot meet the actual demands anymore. Manual operations for asset management will result in the complexity, low efficiency, delay, difficulties in management, high error rate, etc., which will reduce the asset utilization and increase the operational cost. Now RFID technology application has grown so rapidly in the field of asset management, the system mainly adopts the RFID non-contact wireless automatic identification technology, installs different tags with the relevant information written inside onto different objects, when checking the asset inventory, it will read out the information inside the electronic tags via the mobile readers, then connect with the central asset management system, thus the high efficient and accurate information on the use of the assets can be obtained and the real-time management on the asset increase, allocation, laying aside, scrapping and disposal can be realized automatically, in order to improve asset utilization and reduce operating costs.

System Characteristics:
1. The system will automatically acquire the asset change information and upload at real time to the Central data management system, avoid the possible errors arising from the manual acquisition or manual input of asset information, guarantee the accuracy of the information and enhance the work efficiency simultaneously.
2. Search and statistics on the distribution and usage of assets can be conducted via the system visual interface.
3. Realized the management on the asset increase, allocation, laying aside, scrapping and disposal, centralized the monitoring and managing of the unliquidated assets, normal use of the assets, idle assets, maintenance assets, scrapped assets, backup assets, etc. to improve the utilization of the assets.
4. The real-time data can be transmitted to the central data management system via wireless network, which can help the asset managing personnel get the asset usage situation promptly and conduct the efficient supervision on the asset management work, improve the work efficiency.

RFID Application in Warehouse Intelligent Management

The system adopts the latest RFID technology, it uses the corresponding RFID tags for the inventory, storage areas, warehouse equipments and the readers placed inside the warehouse, passages or the UHF handheld reader(OP9908,R2000,30dBm) in the hands of the operators to realize the prompt and accurate acquisition of the information on the product names, models, locations, quantity, status, moves, etc. and transmit to the RFID-based Warehouse Intelligent Management System software WMS, through which the users can not only set all kinds of rules to manage the warehouse and inventory, but also realize the partition management, location management and space management, etc. Meanwhile, the system supports barcode and wireless technology, users can take full advantage of the existing infrastructure.

Main features of the system:
Receipt of the goods

When goods reach the warehouse and pass through the warehouse doors, the system can acquire and identify the goods information via its RFID readers, automatically generate the report for the received goods and record the storage time, which can avoid the tedious manual work for the warehouse operators.And it can automatically match and check with the preset plans in the system, if any differences, there will be the automatic alarm, mistakes can be avoided. It can also indicate the users to deliver the goods to the specified locations rapidly and accurately.

Inventory Check
The goods can be supervised and inventory be rapidly checked via the RFID readers installed inside the warehouse.
Convenient for the search and goods transfer.
Support the inventory “first in, first out” rule, prevent the goods from missing or being overdue.

Distribution of the warehouse goods
When the goods are picked out and pass through the warehouse doors, the RFID Reader System will automatically capture and identify the goods information and generate the warehouse Goods-out report and record the goods-out time automatically.
It can automatically match and check with the preset schemes in the system, if any difference, there will be the automatic alarm, mistakes can be avoided.

Sub-warehouse Networking
Support the off-site warehouse networking, realize the real time summary of the goods-in and goods-out situation, inventory information between the general warehouse and branch warehouses.

RFID Application in Access Control

UHF RFID tags for employee access control systems is being used world-wide. There are many areas in which UHF RFID tags are carried by people to allow them to gain access to facilities or services:
• Secure access to work place and residential complexes
• Controlled access to dangerous/secure equipment including vehicles and public transport
• Access to leisure and recreational facilities such as gymnasiums and sports clubs

OPP IOT Technologies produces UHF RFID tags in a wide variety of physical form factors to suit different deployment requirements. The most common form factor is a flat plastic card the same size as a credit card, often used as an access control pass to gain access to office buildings or other secure areas. Key fob tags are also quite common, designed to be attached to a key ring so they’re always handy for operating access control systems. In some cases, reusable or disposable wristbands are also used for personal identification and check-in at events.

Usage of UHF RFID tags for access & security not only allow higher measures of safety and security, but also help maintain better data records and control of monetary payments wherever involved.

Passive RFID Tracking Solutions

Low cost, passive RFID has historically struggled to perform in hazardous areas such as the petrochemical industry because of interference from metals and liquids and the heavy, awkward nature of available readers.

Not any more: OPP IOT provides a range of fully certified passive RFID tags that are low-cost and high performance in industrial environment, and versatile RFID reader options for maximum operational flexibility and integration with Industrial Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 systems.

These passive solutions allow customers to track assets and manage their supply chain with high accuracy.

Security in a UHF RFID tag

In the UHF tags available today there really is no security, in fact in many of the RFID tags that are used in applications today, there is no security. It is not needed, and so there has been no attempts to include it.

The one area that this not true is in the area of financial transactions where the predominant standard is ISO/IEC 14443. This standard (the basis of NFC, Near Field Communications) is a High Frequency (13.56 MHz) standard that includes the capability for encryption of the information on a tag. This capability does not exist for UHF tags – at the moment.

There have been many meetings of the UHF RFID experts to talk about how to add true security to a UHF RFID system.

This majority of RFID applications do not need security. The unique number stored in the tag means nothing to someone reading the tag unless they have access to the databases that explain the meaning of the number. However, some applications want to have more information stored in the tag and some of that information may be sensitive. Hence the need for security.

There are several areas that require the use of security. These include untraceability, loss-identification and/or protection, memory-locking, and privilege-management. To allow some of these to be implemented we also need to add file-management capability.

In order to achieve security, the tag and the reader have to prove to each other that they are allowed to talk. This is called authentication and it is a necessary process before the tag tells the reader any information. This is the first stage of the secure process.

There are several parts to the Authentication process. The tag must declare and prove that it is capable of secure communications. The interrogator must declare that not only is it capable but that it is allowed to access certain information on the tag. There may be information on the tag that not all interrogators are allowed to access, and so there must be a method of creating privilege based access and hence file areas on the tag.

Once the tag and interrogator have authenticated each other, then the secure communication can start. By secure communication we mean the “real-time” encryption of the data that passes between the tag and interrogator. This is not the storing of encrypted data, it is the process where the tag has the ability to encrypt anything it communicates to an interrogator.

The implications of having an encryption engine on board a passive tag are obviously very wide. The loss of power to the tag during the encryption process means that the data does not get secured and transmitted, so a lot of work has to go into the design of these new tags.

One of the areas that the experts have been looking at is what encryption routines should be available. The group has decided that there should be no restrictions as some applications may only require very simple security while others may need the power of an AES type encryption. the idea is to not include the encryption algorithm informatuon in the air interface standard but to create another document where all the algorithms are detailed. The manufacturer of the tags would then be able to decide which encryption suite his tags will support.

In ISO, the air interface for UHF type C (ISO/IEC 18000-63) will be the first standard to be created for a secure RFID system. The basis for the security is already included in ISO/IEC 29167-1 which is currently in ballot. The specific information for each type of tag is then included in the air interface standards (ISO/IEC 18000 series). The standard that will specify the security suites has not yet been decided, but there is a proposal that ISO/IEC 29167 be the home for these suites.

Not all tags will require security, and the extra cost for the tags will not be something that all applications can bear so these specifications will all be optional.

The work has begun to create the standards for this concept, but it will not be complete for a while. In fact we will probably not see the standards published until late in 2012. As the work progresses, I will update the blog with information.

RFID Technology

RFID is about communication between modern objects. The different uses of RFID technology can be applied within a wide range of business processes.

RFID technology, which responds to the initials of Radio Frequency Identification, is nothing more than a system to communicate wirelessly between two or more objects, where one emits radio signals and the other responds based on the received signal.

From here we can complicate the issue all we want and go down to the technological depths of radio waves, chips, resistors, impedances; and a host of concepts with the end user unfriendly terminology.

However, and although it seems a bit contradictory, the clear mission of RFID technology is well understood if it is seen as a “new computer interface”.

Reliably automate much needed input in computers, in real time and without dedicating human resources.
The bar code is reliable only when you read when reading action is performed. RFID technology is to ensure automatic reading anytime and anywhere.

How do I know which frequency is right for my application?

Different frequencies have different characteristics that make them more useful for different applications.

For instance, low-frequency tags use less power and are better able to penetrate non-metallic substances. They are ideal for scanning objects with high-water content, such as fruit, but their read range is limited to less than three feet (1 meter). High-frequency tags work better on objects made of metal and can work around goods with high water content. They have a maximum read range of about three feet (1 meter). UHF frequencies typically offer better range and can transfer data faster than low- and high-frequencies. But they use more power and are less likely to pass through materials. And because they tend to be more “directed,” they require a clear path between the tag and reader.

UHF tags might be better for scanning boxes of goods as they pass through a dock door into a warehouse. It is best to work with a knowledgeable consultant, integrator or vendor that can help you choose the right frequency for your application.

Can I read long range RFID tags with any NFC enabled Android phone?

High power RFID uses 868MHz or 900MHz frequency bands, and up to 2W or 4W (i.e. LOTS of power) depending on the country or region you’re considering. In the US they use 900MHz (which is what it gets called. It’s 902 – 928MHz actually). In Europe the 868MHz band was allocated.

The range of high power RFID is approximately 30 yards or so, though I seem to recall there are slightly larger range applications too (though it may be a different, less common frequency band with differeny limits). Its typical usage scenario is Readers (wall-mounted devices with large panel-style antennas – like the security gates at the exit to a shop) which go on the exits of factories; scanning RFID tags on crates entering the factory on lorries. Alternatively you can have hand-portable Readers used to manually scan for tags using a different antenna style.

This is a cousin of NFC, but since the frequencies and tags are so different, NFC devices cannot make use of the 868/900MHz tags. Indeed, NFC range has been designed with ultra-close range in mind, which is managed by the power being VERY small: approxinately 0.2mW or less.

Interesting note: the “Near” of NFC does not hint at the close range (the range being a result of low power and nothing more. Similar to Class II Bluetooth and its low power causing low range): anything within 66 metres of an NFC device is within the device’s Near Field, which is where the technology gets its name.

EM4200

EM4200 is a CMOS integrated circuit intended for use in electronic Read Only RF transponders. It is designed to replace seamlessly the EM Microelectronic-Marin Read Only ICs EM4100/4102 and EM4005/4105.

The circuit is powered by an external coil placed in an electromagnetic field and gets its master clock from the same field. By turning on and off the modulation current, the chip sends back the unique code contained in a factory pre-programmed laser ROM.

The 128 bit unique code is stored in laser programmed ROM. Several options are available to use 64, 96 or 128 bits of ROM.

The IC offers also different resonant capacitor versions,selectable by mask option (0pF, 75pF and 250pF) providing the same reading performances to ensure seamless replacement.

NTAG413 DNA

The new NTAG 413 DNA chip adds cryptographic authentication using what NXP are calling ‘Secure Unique NFC’ or SUN. This generates a secure one-time authentication code each time the NFC tag is tapped.

This is an important feature. Most secure NFC operations at this point required the mobile phone to have a pre-installed App for authentication. The App, typically on an Android phone, would access either a password protected, encrypted area or a secure area of the chip and use this information to confirm that the tag was indeed what it claimed to be.

By using a unique generated code each time the tag is tapped the NFC chip can include this dynamically into a URL (web address) on the tag. Therefore, the NFC authentication can happen over a standard web connection removing the requirement for a pre-installed App. Perhaps the easiest way to understand this process is that it’s similar to one of those bank key cards that generate a new number each time you log in.

To an extent, this isn’t new – chip manufacturer HID have had their Trusted Tag NFC product for some time. However, NXP appear to have built the framework for this around their popular, high performance and easy to use NTAG product. This is likely to allow faster market penetration and easier access to the inlay tags themselves.