RFID Explained

What is RFID?

RFID is a system of identifying unique objects by wireless non-contact radio waves to communicate information from a tag to a reader for the purposes of identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

The one minute video below explains RFID technology and provides an overview of how RFID technology is being used today to empower businesses.

How our Clients use RFID Technology

The power or RFID technology is that it can be used across a wide spectrum of industries and a solution can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual client.

Datanet’s RFID experts work with their clients to identify the business requirements and can provide either an off-the-shelf or tailored solution.  A Datanet RFID expert will work through the phases of an RFID Technical Design Workshop. The outcome of the technical design and workshop will form the foundation of a recommendation report from which the project can evolve.

The first step to investigating how RFID can assist your business is easy, simply contact a Datanet consultant using the form on the right, or speak to a Datanet Consultant in your state.

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Examples of RFID at Work

RFID in Health Care

The Challenge: Easily count pharmaceuticals that are placed as consignment stock in metal shelving at more than 40 sites across the state.

The Project: Supplied Motorola MC3190 RFID enabled handheld readers with custom written software by Datanet to rapidly conduct a stocktake and upload the data via the internet to the supplier backend systems for automatic replenishment stock picking the following day.

Results:  Reduced stocktake time from 40 minutes to less than 2 minutes. Greater accuracy and instant data feed back into the suppliers back end system for replenishment levels and warehouse picking the following day.

RFID in Manufacturing

The Challenge:  Easily track work in progress of goods being manufactured in a labour intensive factory at a cost effective price to track WIP and stock on hand quickly.

The Project:  Designed and supplied RFID portals and fixed mount antennas in conjunction with low cost RFID tags that can be inserted into the item being manufactured.  During the manufacturing process the items pass through heat and pressure sensitives stages therefore it is essential that the RFID tags are fit for purpose.

Results:  Dramatic benefits in being able to find parts in production quickly and the ability to expedite the process via a Geiger counter search and find style system. Ability to provide highly accurate WIP data on which stage the items in manufacture are at and rapid stocktake process at any location in their supply chain.

RFID in Rugged Conditions

The Challenge: Identify complex and unique parts after they have been sandblasted and painted as part of a refurbishment process.

The Project: Datanet designed and supplied robust re-useable RFID tags that can be attached to the metal items before they are sandblasted and re-painted.

Once completed a portable RFID reader (Motorola MC3190) generates a new identification label that is attached to the item for easy identification while it is waiting re-installation into the machinery.

Results: Dramatic savings due to the reduction in the number of lost items caused previously by misidentification.

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The Power of RFID

RFID is true enabling technology that can be tailored to meet the ever changing demands of business.

The benefits of RFID include:

  • Automation – system requires minimal manual handling once up and running;
  • Efficiency and read rate – high throughput, 100 plus tags can be read simultaneously;
  • Line of sight is not required and items can face any direction as long as they are in the read range;
  • Read, write capability – ability to read, write, modify and update information on RFID tags;
  • Durability – extensive range of RFID tags available dependent on the environmental conditions and tags are selected to match the project;
  • Security – RFID tags can be internally attached ensuring they are protected;
  • Security – data can be encrypted, password protected or include a “kill” feature to remove data permanently;
  • Event triggering – RFID technology can be used to trigger certain events (like door opening, alarms etc).

RFID Today

Advances in radar and RF communications continue and today RFID technology works in the background simplifying data collection and enhancing processes while we go on with everyday life.

History of RFID

The first use of RFID technology can be traced back to World War II.

A significant benefit of RFID technology is that direct line of vision is not required to identify objects.  In World War II this allowed the opposing forces to identify approaching planes while they were still miles away.

Initially the radar crew were unable to tell whether the approaching aircraft was friend or foe.  The Germans, however, soon discovered that if the pilot rolled the plane a certain way it changed the radio signal reflected back signalling that it was their own aircraft.

This method of RFID technology has since been referred to as Passive RFID which essentially means that the responder has no power source and cannot actively broadcast a signal.

Meanwhile the British went to work developing the first active system and a transmitter was placed on each British plane.  When the transmitter received signals from the radar stations on the ground it began broadcasting a signal back that identified the aircraft as friendly and hence the birth of active RFID.

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