New: Product technology advances in RFID

By Control Engineering Staff February 1, 2007
AeroScout calls its T2 Tag an advanced Wi-Fi tag for asset tracking.

Many radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies reflect the richness of recent product introductions and activities. Developments include active and passive tags, and integration with an I/O system.

AeroScout suite uses standard Wi-Fi
The AeroScout suite of products uses standard Wi-Fi wireless networks and Active RFID tags to accurately locate assets and use that location to deliver benefits such as asset tracking, process automation, theft prevention, and increased utilization. The suite includes the following.

  • AeroScout Wi-Fi Tags are small, long-life active RFID tags using the wireless LAN communications standard. The T2 Tag combines real-time location tracking with active RFID, telemetry, tamper-proofing and call button functionality.

  • Enterprise Software for Asset Visibility: AeroScout MobileView is the end-user management software application, which turns asset location information into business solutions. It’s said to include mapping, rules-based alerting, and reporting functions in a scalable, enterprise software platform.

  • The AeroScout Exciter extends the AeroScout system to provide RFID detection capabilities, using the same Wi-Fi-based Active RFID tags. The Exciter triggers AeroScout’s T2 tags as they pass through a choke point (gateway) to transmit an additional message. This provides instant knowledge that a tagged asset or person passed through a gate, doorway or some other tightly defined area.

  • The AeroScout Engine enables location-based applications in a wireless LAN environment. It processes information received from AeroScout’s Wi-Fi-based Active RFID Tags and standard Cisco Aironet series wireless Access Points to produce location and presence data. The AeroScout Engine uses time difference of arrival and signal strength algorithms to determine the location of devices, in indoor and outdoor environments.

Intermec’s Large Rigid tag is a passive UHF RFID transponder, or tag.

Passive transponder, 2 versions
Intermec’s Large Rigid tag is a passive UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) transponder that delivers superior performance on surfaces including plastic, wood, and metal, company says. The tag, available in Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6B versions, is said to have an impressive range with a rugged, compact package designed for harsh industrial applications and temperatures of -40 to 250 °F (-40 to 121 °C). No other tag on the market can claim the ruggedness and worldwide usability of these tags, the company says.

RFID integration from assembly to shipping
Flextronics (electronics manufacturer for Motorola, Dell, Microsoft, Xerox, and others) implements RFID in warehousing and shipping operations, and extends RFID to assembly. Some products include an RFID tag (manufactured by UPM Rafsec ) that reads and writes manufacturing lifecycle information to a Samsys RFID transceiver. The transceiver sends data at four points over Ethernet-based network to an Opto 22 Snap Ultimate I/O system. The Snap system checks, validates, or rejects products appropriately.

Read more by searching on RFID atop www.controleng.com . Watch for the “What’s Your RFID Spin” cover story at www.controleng.com/archive , 2007 February.

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering editor in chief