RFID in Asset/Inventory

Asset Tracking consists of identifying and tracking the movement of physical assets and equipment within a location as well as their incoming and outgoing movement to and from the workplace. Inventory Control is a process that manages the quantity of stock and tracks its movement through warehouse, manufacturing and supply chain. It applies to every item from raw materials to work-in-process to finished goods and covers every stage from purchase to delivery.

Management of assets and stock inventory is a complex task that faces several challenges. Lack of visibility regarding differentiation, location, movement and usage is the most common and also the most critical challenge in inventory tracking. This causes errors, misplacement, lost time, additional manpower requirement and maintaining duplicate inventory, resulting in higher cost of inventory management. Shrinkage due to lost assets, theft, expired stock and non-compliance is another factor that impacts business. Scheduling, life-cycle management and audit trail are other areas that suffer due to inefficiency in asset and stock control.

Efficient asset and stock inventory management requires the availability of the right item in the right quantity in the right place at the right time. Conventional tracking methods such as barcodes have distance constraints, require manual positioning within line of sight and can get easily damaged. Besides, they do not ensure that inventory is accurate and up-to-date. RFID offers the only assured solution that provides real-time automated tracking, ensuring total visibility and highest accuracy. RFID based real-time tracking results in real-time data and instant decision making on asset allocation, inventory levels, reorders and storage management.

RFID tagging of inventory enables each individual item or component to be allocated unique identification and be uniquely tracked throughout the production and distribution supply chain. RFID readers are placed at various locations within a factory or warehouse and at entry/exit gates. They continuously read tags that are within range and send this data back to the controlling system. Data associated with each unique tag gets easily updated on the server when the tagged items are moved from one location to another. RFID has no line of sight requirements since the tags can be read remotely over a considerable distance. Unlike barcodes, multiple tags can also be read simultaneously, enabling full shelf-loads or pallet-loads to be tracked at once. There is also no stoppage in movement flow since the tags can be read on the move as items pass through a portal that has mounted RFID readers.

Deploying RFID in asset and stock inventory enables maintenance of reduced inventory levels and just-in-time delivery scheduling. It provides improved batch control, better process control, accurate component management and maximum asset utilization. It enables automated reordering and reduces order lead-time. It improves shelf availability and speeds pickup in the warehouse. RFID significantly improves security through automated tracking and alarm triggers at exits, and also improves quality control through inventory history, automated shelf-life monitoring of items and asset life-cycle management. Improved asset and stock inventory management through RFID ensures that excess capital is not tied up and that there are further savings in time and labour utilized. RFID is a reliable, efficient and cost-effective method of tracking goods and assets for manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. It is being increasingly deployed by more and more enterprises as a transformational technology for the modern business world.

HOW NFC TAGS CAN REVOLUTIONIZE THE RETAIL EXPERIENCE

At their simplest, NFC tags can help bring brands and consumers closer together, streamline the retail experience and help collect customer insights

There’s been a lot of debate in the last couple of years about whether or not NFC will catch on with people. The tech savvy crowd has been familiar with NFC for a long time, but marketers have in general been a little wary of adapting this new technology, whether it is in NFC posters, NFC labels or NFC tags. Perhaps one big reason for this is that until recently, Apple, one of the biggest smart phone brands, had seemed wary of adopting NFC for its own devices, and consumer awareness of the technology was low. However, with its recent patent for an NFC-based cross-platform data transfer solution, it seems like the technology giant is slowly accepting that NFC has a firm place in the future of technology. This also means that now more and more people will be curious about the potential of NFC technology in all fields, from retail to research and education.

So how does this affect the retail experience? Already a number of smart phones have NFC capabilities; there’s also a growing awareness of now NFC can help to create a frictionless payment process. It’s only a matter of time before NFC becomes one of the main tools for bridging the real world with the digital.

This is good news for brands who are looking for new ways in which they can connect with their customers. There are, in fact, a number of ways of doing so, especially when it comes to the in-store experience:

Streamlining Customer-Brand Interaction
This is something that Hointer, a Seattle-based retailer, is already doing very well. One way in which they use NFC tags is to allow customers to select an item and have it drop directly, through a chute, into a changing room. The item will be in the right size and color, as picked by the customer. This eliminates the need for interaction with retail staff, who might take more time to locate the required piece.

Sharing Recommendations and Reviews
NFC tags can also be used by brands to share product-specific information, such as user-generated reviews and recommendations. For example, by scanning an NFC tag on a pair of jeans, a customer could get access to reviews of that particular style from other customers. They could also check style recommendations for the jeans, through text, video or images.

Collecting Customer Feedback
With NFC tags, customers don’t need to fill in long feedback forms; by simply tapping the NFC tag on a purchased item, a customer will be able to register it with the brand. This will give brands access to more personalized insights; for examples, a brand will be able to tell what the buying patterns and preferences of a particular customer are.

The UHF RFID Tag has Effectively Reinforced Management in Livestock Industry

OPRFID, as a leading company who is dedicated to producing RFID products, has come out with a series of high-quality UHF RFID tag which has already been widely used in the livestock industry to identify and track large animals, such as sheep, cattle and pigs.

Take UHF Ear Tag-02 for example. In virtue of the special material, this UHF RFID passive tag is used in healthcare and not easy for bacteria to grow. Therefore, this RFID passive tag plays an important role in reducing the infection of livestock. What’s more, with unique ID number in each UHF RFID tag, livestock owners can easily get animal’s information, such as feeding, location, vaccination, etc.

With a large population that requires to feed the livestock, the UHF RFID passive tag has widely used in the intensive livestock farming to increase efficiency. By right of the benefits of high-effective and low-cost, the UHF RFID tag in livestock industry will become an important part of the modern farm management in the near future.

Latest NFC Tags Near Android?

NFC­ tags-the merging technological tags and more finely honed version of RFID tags. At present, with the growing number of Android users, NFC Tags have been an increasing popular way to take advantage of this NFC sprouting technology. Though these NFC tags for Android, customers could carry NFC-capable Android to enjoy various contactless events like contactless ticketing and automatic fare collection programs, then increase personal experience. As the leading RFID NFC products manufacturer, DAILY RFID has released the latest NFC Tags for Android devices to payment. By just tapping the NFC Tags on the Android, the payment could be finished in a few seconds. Generating the most creative and efficient ways, NFC Tags are filled with possibilities in the near future.

As we all know, that the NFC Tags adjust efficiently a series of system settings basing on the arrival or departure of commonly visited locations is the most normal way in which Android owners are using NFC tags. In the car, people can stick the NFC Tags near the dashboard and have it disable Wi-Fi, increase volume and enable Bluetooth for a headset. If people have the Android hooked up to the car speakers, NFC Tags could be read to fire up an app like Pandora. And besides, when people is working at a office, they can place the NFC Tag on a NFC-capable Android or the surface of desk and program the tag to decrease brightness, disable sounds or enable WI-FI. Also, people can have the NFC tags launch a music app, open daily to-do lists, and check them into Foursquare.

As a result of supporting encryption, the NFC Tags for Android from OPRFID RFID can ensure high security between the information exchange and payment processes with NFC-capable handsets. More importantly, delivering the powerful force to the NFC industries by Android, NFC Tags have been all the rage. And with new generation NFC technology, the potential applications of NFC tags are promising. In addition to the NFC payment function, these tags can also be utilized for authentication. In the future, the users of NFC-enable phones may be allowed to forgo paper tickets in airports, movie theaters and event stadium.

RFID contactless card

RFID contactless card is a plastic or paper card which is embedded with a microchip and antenna inside, it is widely applied as access control card, employee ID card, hotel key card, parking card. Dual frequency RFID card is also available on request.

Size:CR80; CR50; size can be customized
Chip Available:
Low Frequency (LF): 125KHz
High Frequency (HF): 13.56MHz
Ultra High Frequency (UHF): 840~960MHz
Card Thickness:From 0.54mm~0.84mm; Thickness can be customized

We are providing RFID cards with various shapes, chips (Low Frequency, High Frequency, Ultra High Frequency) and material to meet different customers’ requirements. Standard RFID credit card size of CR80 is the most common sizes in Nexqo’ experience.

CR80: 86*54mm (3-3/8*2-1/8”)
Card Material: Plastic PVC, BioPVC®, PET and Paper available
Card Surface: Matte/Glossy/Frosted Finish

Chip options:
LF Chips: EM4200, EM4305, EM4450, Hitag256, ATA5577
HF Chips: Mifare S20, Mifare S50, Mifare S70, Ntag213, Ntag215, Ntag216, Desfire2k, Desfire4k, Desfire8k, Plus 2k, Plus 4k, I-Code2
UHF Chips: Alien Higgs3, Impinj Monza 4E, Impinj Monza 4D, Impinj Monza 4QT, NXP UCode

Besides, OPRFID provides programming and encoding services which exactly fit customer’s programming or encoding requirements. Customized information or data could be encoded into the microchip. With doing this, customers could put some corresponding information into the cards to make sure they are running on the right system and belong to the right person.

Available Crafts
All the following features can be added on our RFID cards.
Hot stamp (gold/silver/red), Laser silver/gold, Laser Engraving, Ink jet printing, Scratch off panel, Bar-code/QR code, Thermal printing, Hologram, Embossing, Adhesive sheet, UV ink, Hologram, Hole punch, etc.

NFC tags types

NFC tags have many types, commonly type 1 through type 4.

Type 1 and Type 2 tags can be written to multiple times. These tags can also be permanently locked, or encrypted, so that no one can manipulate the data. Type 3 and Type 4 tags can only be written to once, like a CD or a DVD, and they lack the security of types 1 and 2.
Tags with higher memory and stronger antennas are larger in physical size. Generally, tag size ranges from just a centimeter or two to a few inches.¹

NFC Type 1 Tag
Type 1 Tag is based on ISO/IEC 14443A. Tags are read and re-write capable; users can configure the tag to become read-only. Memory availability can be many kilobytes* depending on the chip model and manufacturer.

NFC Type 2 Tag
Type 2 Tag is based on ISO/IEC 14443A. Tags are read and re-write capable; users can configure the tag to become read-only. Memory availability can be many kilobytes* depending on the chip model and manufacturer.

NFC Type 3 Tag
Type 3 Tag is based on the Japanese Industrial Standard (JIS) X 6319-4, also known as FeliCa. Tags are pre-configured at manufacturing to be either read and re-writable, or read-only. Memory availability is variable, theoretical memory limit is 1MByte* per service.

NFC Type 4 Tag
Type 4 Tag is fully compatible with the ISO/IEC 14443 standard series. Tags are pre-configured at manufacturing to be either read and re-writable, or read-only. The memory availability is variable, up to 32 Kbytes per service; the communication interface is either Type A or Type B compliant.²
*Note: reading & writing large memory can take a prohibitively amount of time for many applications.

Sticker tags are RFID tags with a self-adhesive backing. Tags come in a variety of shapes and sizes and may be purchased in rolls or strips. Often used for inventory.

A badge or identification card containing an RFID chip. May come blank or can be customized with logo and/or image. Often used for work, school, and memberships.

On metal RFID tags are designed specifically to work on metal and surfaces with similar characteristics as metal. These are commonly used for industrial and enterprise applications.

PROX tags are defined as a “contactless” smart card or disc tag read by an RFID Reader. Can be active or passive. Widely used for security or access control. PROX name comes from the word “Proximity” as these are normally used in badges for physical access.

An animal tag is a plastic or metal tag commonly placed on the ear of livestock. Used to identify, track, and monitor the animal. May be flag, disc, or button shaped. Usually read by an RFID wand or RFID antenna. Some animal tags are embedded under the skin commonly used in pets like dogs and cats.

Jewelry tags are ideal for inventory and tracking of small items; jewelry tags range from paper-like stickers, to plastic tags with punch holes, and more

Wristband tags come in numerous colors and styles. From silicone to paper to fabric, from disposable to reusable, the customization options for these tags are countless.

An “inlay” is the working part of an NFC tag. The inlay is the chip with connected antenna (commonly aluminum, copper, silver) bonded to a pet material that keeps the antenna and chip in place. The inlay is typically covered by durable material like a plastic badge, but inlays are used in thousands of applications, even poured into concrete and built into walls. Inlays can be provided “dry” (no adhesive) or “wet” (with adhesive). Wet inlays can have 1-sided or two-side adhesive and most commonly can come in rolls with one or two release liners.

What is RFID Technology?

There’s a great deal of public discussion is currently surrounding credit cards that have RFID technology. Many people don’t know what it is, how it works, or what it is for. In brief, RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification which involves an “RF tag” and a “reader”. These components allow for what they industry calls “contactless payments”.
Here’s some background:
In 2005, the first RF Credit Card was introduced. These “contactless” cards could be simply waved in front of a special reader or swiped through a traditional terminal.
An RFID Credit Card is a standard credit card with a Radio Frequency Microprocessor embedded in it. At its most basic level it is nothing more than a “Read Only” Chip with your personal credit card information embedded in it which can be read by an “RFID Enabled Point of Sale Terminal”.
It has been said that the RFID chip contains all of your pertinent account information, such as the customer’s name, the account number and expiration date of your card (more about this later).
The benefits of RFID credit card transactions are convenience, speed, and the elimination of employee contact with the card. Not having to part with your card reduces the risk of leaving it somewhere. To minimize accidental scanning of these cards, they are designed to be read at a distance of 1 – 4 inches from the reader.
There is, however, public concern as to whether RFID card can be “hi-jacked” by use of an unauthorized RFID scanner with the information then being used for fraudulent purposes. It is important to note that there are two parts to this process: scanning the card to retrieve the information, and then being able to use the retrieved information to make a fraudulent financial transaction. The implication in recent media articles is that it is easy to “hi-jack” the RFID information and that it is easy to then use this information to make fraudulent purchases. But reality is less cut and dry.

Are these new RFID credit card safe?

Summer travel season is upon us. Many of you are already starting to pack for this year’s big trip, and for more than a few of you the likely destination is Europe. That being the case, this is the perfect time to talk about a subject that is creeping more and more into vacation planning – do I need to take a RFID credit card and how safe are they?

A “radio frequency identification” credit card is one that has a chip embedded in the card. The chip contains and broadcasts much of the same information that a traditional card carries on the magnetic stripe on the back. A great many retail establishments in Europe, especially restaurants, no longer swipe credit cards. Rather they read the chip in the card at table side using a device held one to four inches from the card, and essentially the card never leaves the diner’s hands. You can even just hold your wallet up to the scanner. Reports are, in some establishments, no RFID card – you had better be prepared to pay cash.

RFID cards are still not commonly available here. Most of the big card issuers will send you one upon request. Then too, in point of fact, most European establishments will also have a magnetic card reader available to swipe your card should you not have a card with a chip. But as the use of chip embedded cards become the norm abroad, and eventually in this country, the next generation of cards will all likely have them.

Which leads to the obvious question – are they safe?

Since the new technology allows the card to be read while still in the owner’s wallet, can identity thieves steal credit information simply by placing an RFID scanner nearby? The answer seems to be a conditional maybe, but a rather extraordinary set of circumstances would have to be present.

Remember we said the card is read by a scanner held one to four inches from the chip. That would mean a bad guy would have to get his scanner within four inches of your card. Some argue this would be possible by a scammer bumping into you in a crowd and running a wand over where your wallet is – pocket or purse.

Some argue that scammers can develop more highly sophisticated scanners that can work at greater distances, but that will take a leap in technology that would be costly, and in the end probably not worth it.

The current generation of RFID cards represents not only an ease of use for both the merchant and the card holder, but also an advance in protective technology. Most RFID card now being issued encrypts the cardholder’s information. So even if the card is read by a remote scanner, to even access personal information, the scammer must also be able to break the card issuer’s encryption code.

Moreover, RFID card also create a new authentication code for each transaction. Unlike a magnetic stripe card a thief can use over and over until the card is shut down, with a single authentication code it is pretty much a one and done situation for the scammer.

(But if the card contains both a chip and a magnetic stripe, and it physically falls into the hands of a bad guy – you are in the same boat as with any stolen credit card, it can be used until the account is shut down.).

Much of the studies cited as showing the danger of RFID cards are several years old and were based on what can be characterized as first generation cards. Today’s cards are much more sophisticated than those issued three and four years ago.

However, as the summer travel season approaches ads are everywhere on the web, and in print publications, saying you “must” purchase a new scanner proof wallet or risk your card being scanned by a thief in a crowd. These scanner proof wallets usually are aluminum-lined lined or you might be warned you must by card sleeves designed to disrupt unwanted radio waves. But if you are worried, you can accomplish the same by simply wrapping your card or cards in aluminum foil, or an empty Altoids mint tin works just fine.

Or, if you are carrying two RFID cards, carry them together. Anyone scanning them will get interwoven information from both that will be impossible to separate and decipher.

There is no doubt that RFID chips and the wave of the future. By 2017 all U.S. passports will contain chips. There is a new method of embedding radio frequency identification chips in paper allowing for “smart” paper to be used in banknotes, legal documents, and tickets. Already the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan and the Saudi Arabian treasury are studying chip embed currency.

So, as the say – what’s in your wallet?” If it’s an RFID credit card, you probably don’t have to worry, and if your travel is to many places in Europe, you’ll be ready to handle any transaction.

RFID Tags

RFID Class-1 Generation-2 (“Gen-2”) tags are used for item level identification in retail environments. “Class-1” refers to the functionality of the tag while “Gen-2” refers to the physcial and logical standards of tag and the encompassing system. These standards are maintained by EPCglobal. “Gen-2” standards were adopted in December of 2004 and offer many advantages over “Gen-1” such as:

– An interoperable, global standard
– Faster and more flexible read speeds
– Faster, more accurate performance through the use of advanced anticollision protocols
– An easier way to deploy many readers at one time to end users
– Enhanced sercuirty and privacy .

RFID TAGS ARE CLASSIFIED AS CLASS 0 THROUGH CLASS 5, DEPENDING ON THEIR FUNCTIONALITY:

Class 0 UHFl read-only, preprogrammed passive tag
Class 1 UHF or HF; write once, read many (WORM)
Class 2 Passive read-write tags that can be written to at any point in the supply chain
Class 3 Read-write with onboard sensors capable of recording parameters like temperature, pressure, and motion; can be semipassive or active
Class 4 Read-write active tags with integrated transmitters; can communicate with other tags and readers
Class 5 Similar to Class 4 tags but with additional functionality; can provide power to other tags and communicate with devices other than readers

(Class-1 Gen-2 RFID tags are backward-compatible with Gen-1 Class-0 and Class 1 tags.)

Types of RFID

RFID products fall into two basic categories: Passive and Active. Passive tags do not have batteries and have indefinite life expectancies. Active Tags are powered by batteries and either have to be recharged, have their batteries replaced or be disposed of when the batteries fail.

RFID products are then broken up into different frequencies. Tags and Antennas are tuned or matched much the same way as a radio is tuned to a frequency to receive different channels. These frequencies are grouped into Four basic ranges: Low Frequency, High Frequency, Very High Frequency and Ultra-High Frequencies.

LF: low Frequency range:30KHZ-300KHZ;RFID USES:125KHZ
HF: HIGH Frequency range:3MHZ-30MHZ;RFID USES:13.56MHZ
VHF: VERY HIGH Frequency range:30MHZ-300MHZ;RFID USES:Not used for rfid
UHF: ULTRA HIGH Frequency range:300MHZ-3GHZ;RFID USES:868MHZ,915MHZ

Each frequency range has its advantages and disadvantages. Europe use 868 MHz. for its UHF applications while the US uses 915 MHz. for its UHF applications. Japan does not allow the use of the UHF frequency for RFID applications. Low Frequency tags (LF) are less costly to manufacturer than Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tags. UHF tags offer better read/write range and can transfer data faster then other tags. HF tags work best at close range but are more effective at penetrating non-metal objects especially objects with high water content.

Once a frequency range is determined, then it is time to choose an antenna that best fits the application. Antennas come in all sorts of sizes and shapes. The size of the antenna determines the range of the application. Large antennas used with Active Tags can have a range of 100 feet or more. Large antennas used with Passive Tags generally have a range of 10 feet of less. There are dock door antennas (some times called Portals) that allow a forklift driver to drive between two antennas. Information can be collected from the tags without the forklift driver having to stop. There are antennas that mount between rollers on conveyors for reading/writing from below. While other antennas are available that mount to the side of or above the conveyors. Handheld Reader/Writers are available as well.

Controllers are available to communicate with most Networks (Ethernet, DeviceNet, ProFibus, etc). They typically have serial ports for programming and data transfer. Controllers are usually shipped with programming software to set-up and customize the application. Controllers typically operate on 120VAC or 24VDC.