In Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, an RFID reader is a radio signal initiator and receiver that listen to signals sent from RFID passive tags. RFID technology helps increase data identification, acquisition efficiency and data integrity, which helps to lower the total cost of an operation. Unlike bar code technology, which requires line of sight (LOS), an RFID tag does not need to be seen to be read or written. Even an RFID tag covered in dirt can be read. RFID tags offer a reading range from few centimeters to meters.
Multiple tags can be read simultaneously with RFID technology. When the trigger on the RFID reader is pulled, all the tags that can respond to the radio energy emitted by the reader are read. RFID tags are small in size and have no moving parts. They are embedded in protective material based high impact resistant case and have a multi-year lifespan. Tags may be placed in extreme environments and withstand rough handling.
EPCglobal is leading the development of industry-driven standards for the Electronic Product Code™ (EPC) to support the use of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in today’s fast-moving, information rich, trading networks. Commonly known as the "Gen 2" standard, this standard defines the physical and logical requirements for a passive-backscatter, interrogator-talks-first (ITF) radio-frequency identification (RFID) system. One of the standards defines requirements for operating in the 860 MHz - 960 MHz frequency (commonly known as UHF) range. The system comprises Interrogators (also known as Readers), and Tags (also known as Labels). UHF is the recommended frequency for goods and asset inventory management.
A class of RFID tags are produced with a unique identification code (UIC) or serial number from the manufacturer. This information is embedded digitally and may not be changed, making the microchips extremely resistant to counterfeiting. The combination of UIC, user data, serial number and on-board memory makes it possible to track, recall or document the life span of a single item.
TSP has developed a special curved rugged tag casing for the industrial cylinder industry based on global EPC Gen 2 standards. Ultra High Frequency (UHF) RFID is recommended for asset and inventory management. The UHF RFID tag is encased in a long-lasting, impact proof casing and is attached to a cylinder with an epoxyacrylic bonding agent. TSP solution for RFID reader reads the unique id of the tag. Depending on usage requirements a user may write additional information to the tag.
As cylinders are returnable assets, no data resides on the tag. This also reduces the operation cost: the tag does not need to be programmed every time it is used. The tag simply works as a pointer and all the information is stored in a central database or is selectively downloaded to the handheld reader.
TRAKAID tags are passive tags, which are smaller, lighter, less expensive and more durable than active tags. Active tags are battery assisted, emit continuous signals, have larger read range and are more expensive.
Before batches of jobs are started, the handheld reader is synchronized with the tracking system. The handheld reader scans the tag on the cylinder and the data is validated and saved on the reader. Once a job is completed, the handheld is placed on a cradle for synchronization. Synchronization is then activated and the data from the handheld reader is uploaded to the tracking system.