The term RFID transponder is a combination of the two words transmitter and responder. Other common terms for an RFID transponder are RFID tag, RFID label or RFID tag. The RFID transponder has the task of uniquely identifying objects using the information stored in the RFID tag.
A RFID transponder consists of a microchip, which is connected to an antenna (coil or dipole). The relevant data is stored on the microchip, and transmitted to a reader by means of electromagnetic waves. Via the electronic coupling process, all data is exchanged by modulation. The power supply for the transponder chips is provided by many RFID systems also realized via the coupling.
The energy supply can be provided either passively, by using the RFID transponder obtains its required energy from the field of the reader, or in an active way via an integrated Transponder battery.
The right RFID transponder for every application
RFID systems belong to the radio systems. The difference between RFID systems and other digital radio technologies like mobile radio, W-LAN or Bluetooth is the electronic identification as well as the characteristic that RFID transponder only transmit data on demand.
RFID systems are used to identify the RFID transponder within a specified range, ensure that multiple RFID transponder within the range of the reader are managed simultaneously and perform fault detection. Furthermore they have the task to read the data of the RFID transponder and select the relevant transponder for the respective system.
The optical appearance of an RFID transponders can vary in shape and size as required. Depending on the area of application RFID tags be a few millimeters to a few centimeters in size, round and solid or flat and flexible in design.
Likewise, the other key figures, such as radio frequency, transmission speed, service life, cost per unit, storage space, range of functions, etc., can also change. distinguish.
The performance of the RFID transponder is significantly influenced by the material to which a transponder is to be applied. In addition, the RFID transponder from further influences from the environment such as heat, humidity, mechanical stress, etc. influences, which it must resist.
During the information processing in the RFID transponder there is also a wide spectrum between low-end and high-end systems. The 1-bit transponder or EAS system is used exclusively to detect whether a transponder is in the reception range of the detection device and is mainly used in the anti-theft protection of goods. A read-only transponder is equipped with a microchip on which a unique serial number is stored. If a read-only transponder is in the reception range of a reader, it begins to permanently transmit its serial number. Use this RFID transponder wherever an object needs to be uniquely identified. In a read-write transponder, on the other hand, powerful security mechanisms can be implemented and variable information on the transponder can also be re-stored by the application system.
A transponder with writable memory, either an EEPROM (passive transponder) or an SRAM (active, battery-supported transponder), executes simple commands of the acquisition device in a hard-coded state machine. This allows a selective reading or reading of the transponder. Writing to the memory. Finally, there are RFID transponders that function as contactless smart cards with an operating system. Due to the use of its own operating system (smart card OS) and a microprocessor, complex algorithms for encryption and authentication are possible.
Functionality of the data transmission
The identification of the objects takes place on the basis of an RFID transponder stored “Unique Identification Number” (UID). The transmission of the UID and other data can be encrypted according to Application area can be encrypted or unencrypted. The older types of RFID transponders transmit their information in plain text, as provided for in the ISO/IEC 18000 standard. Newer models additionally have the possibility to transmit their data encrypted or to make parts of the data memory not accessible to everyone. For special RFID transponders, used, for example, for access control of external mobile security media, the RFID information is already transmitted encrypted according to AES standard with 128-bit.
The object identification takes place at a certain distance between the reader and the transponder and depends on the speed of movement of the objects. The capturing device acts as an interface between application and RFID tag. The reader consists of a radio frequency interface, a controller and an antenna. It is able to read the data of the transponder and, if necessary, also to write to it.
The RF interface is used to generate the high frequency transmit power, to modulate the transmit signal and to receive and demodulate RF signals. With the RFID frequency the following different frequencies are distinguished: HF, LF, UHF and NFC.
Low Frequency (LF, 30-500 KHz) frequency range has low transmission rates and transmission distances. The RFID frequency has a simple design and is therefore inexpensive. The RFID transponder operate in the near field of electromagnetic waves, and can therefore be passively powered by inductive coupling. LF is mainly used within animal identification. Near field communication (NFC), on the other hand, is used primarily for cashless payment of small amounts or for calling up Web links when in the NFC chip a URL has been stored in the appropriate format.
High frequency (HF, 10-15 MHz), on the other hand, can be used universally and is characterized by high transmission rates and a high clock frequency. Since there does not have to be direct line-of-sight contact with the base unit, the technology of these RFID frequency more complex but also more flexible to use. Very high frequencies, such as Ultra High Frequency (UHF + Microwave, 433 MHz, 850-950 MHz, 2.4-2.5 GHz) have very high transmission speeds and are insensitive to electromagnetic interference fields. The range for passive transponders is between 3 and 6 meters and for active transponders more than 30 meters. Due to the shorter wavelengths, a dipole instead of a coil is sufficient as an antenna.
When transmitting data, the reader generates a magnetic or. electromagnetic field generated by the Transponder antenna is received. From there it is passed on to the microchip. The field transmits signals to the RFID transponder. The RFID tag responds to these signals and transmits into the electromagnetic field. The RFID tag changes the electromagnetic field of the reader. The reader in turn senses these changes and interprets the changes as a response to the query. This process takes only a few seconds. This contactless method of data exchange works over a distance of a few centimeters and also over longer distances.
In principle, it can be said that a greater range is also associated with greater effort. RFID systems are divided into three areas in terms of range: Close-coupling, remote-coupling and long-range systems. The range of RFID systems can range from a few millimeters (low frequency range, passive transponders) to more than 10 meters (microwave range, active transponders).
Power supply of the RFID transponder
The RFID transponder requires electrical energy for power supply and data transmission. A distinction is made between three variants
Active RFID transponder
have their own energy source for generating electromagnetic waves. They are battery-powered, but remain in an idle state until they receive an activation signal from a reader.
in turn are supplied with energy by the readers via radio waves during reading processes. They have a shorter range than the active transponders and require particularly powerful readers. Furthermore, significantly less information can be stored than with active tags.
have an internal backup battery, which is used to power the microchip. However, to send the stored data, they use the energy of the field generated by the reader.
Application areas of RFID transponders
RFID transponders find their application in different areas. The areas of application are divided into three main categories – personal, animal and object identification.
Within the Personal identification electronic passports serve to speed up the process of checking people at the border and offer increased protection against forgery. These so-called ePassports have a contactless microprocessor chip that holds all passport data, including personal as well as biometric data of the holder, in digital form.
Serve in the hospital environment RFID transponder Of patient identification, support the capture and management of patient records, thereby providing accurate patient-to-patient data mapping. To Patient identification are passive, reusable RFID label uses. These will be in the form of RFID-chipped wristbands, RFID tags or contactless ISO cards are used to “tag” and identify patients. Patient data can be linked to the hospital’s patient information system via the doctor’s mobile device, for example.
The use of RFID systems in hospitals facilitates the work of staff and doctors, who often suffer from high time pressure and overload. In addition, errors and risks can be greatly minimized and patient safety increased.
Also at the Animal identification especially for farm animals electronic identification systems are used. The animal identification per RFID transponder is a key driver in the development of advanced RFID systems. The application possibilities are manifold and the RFID label can be used both inside and outside the company.
For internal use, the main focus is on functional safety. In the case of inter-company labeling, the focus is again on counterfeit protection. Furthermore, with the help of RFID, animal welfare can also be supported and this despite increasing production volumes with the requirement of lower costs.
Intrinsically the RFID transponder mainly used for concentrate feeders, basic feed allocations, access authorizations for certain areas, automatic weight determinations, recognition and performance recording at the milking parlor, activity controls, temperature monitoring and tracking.
Your intended use will find the RFID label on the other hand, in the case of inter-company use in disease tracing, breeding and quality control, transport monitoring, weight determination during sale, sorting in drifting aisles as well as in the traceability of animals.
With the animal identification come three types of RFID transponder to the operation. Collar transponders are particularly suitable for internal use, for example, as they can be transferred very easily from one animal to another. Ear tags, on the other hand, can be used internally and externally, but the protection against counterfeiting is only given with an additional biometric identifier stored in the chip (DNA, iris recognition, nose print). Another way to identify the animal is to look at the RFID tag injected under the skin. Injectable transponders are placed under the skin of the animal with a special tool. They are particularly suitable for inter-company use, because the RFID transponder and the animal are firmly connected and the RFID tag can only be removed again by surgical intervention.
Last but not least, objects can also be built with the help of RFID systems be identified. Especially in the field of logistics, production goods, goods, objects, etc. can be. within the supply chain through RFID transponder be monitored without gaps. On the basis of the RFID tags can be determined at any time where an object is located at a given time. This makes it possible to organize both stock and storage more efficiently. This not only reduces costs but also minimizes rejects and ensures faster and simpler workflows.
Within the tool identification can RFID systems for example, ensure that tool inventories are optimized and that only the number of tools that are actually needed are carried. Further you can minimize the search effort by the locating function clearly and shrinkage is reduced thereby. The software solution L-mobile trace equipment offers a tool for process optimization and cost saving for this purpose. Besides the Tool tracking tracking via RFID of orders, workpieces and containers is also possible. But also in cold chain management find RFID transponder their use: RFID systems can be used in the cold chain management The new decals will allow you to keep your goods in compliance with the law, save time due to easy traceability, and easily detect if the cold chain has been broken or if goods are spoiled and need to be replaced.
Again, in the industrial production e-label a high priority. E-labels come in a variety of lay-on, hang-on, magnetic attachment, screw-on and clip-on styles. With the integrated RFID option, marked orders can be automatically identified. Status changes don’t have to be placed manually anymore, because the electronic labels can be updated with new information at any time. With the push of a button you can transfer the old data with the new information. Just in the area industry 4.0 deliver these novel RFID labels a huge step forward with regard to the goal of the glass factory.
Your Kanban processes also benefit RFID systems. The software solution L-mobile e-canban offers you, for example, more transparency and greater process reliability for your operations. In addition, replenishments are triggered fully automatically. But also C-parts supply Gets added value from the use of RFID. work processes are accelerated by automated booking procedures and stock quantities are reduced due to real-time demand reports.
There are a lot of other ways how you can use RFID systems can facilitate your work in the industrial environment. We will be happy to advise you personally on your request.