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Demystifying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) The Basics

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  • 1. Demystifying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) The Basics Susan Jordan
  • 2. Objectives Provide basic concepts of RFID technology including technical considerations, benefits, and challenges. Explain the relevance of RFID technology as a process improvement enabler that can reduce defects, cycle times, and maintenance and engineering costs. 2
  • 3. What is RFID? A technology that uses radio-frequency waves to transfer data between a tag and a reader to identify, categorize, track and trace an item. 3
  • 4. RFID is a type of AIT Automated Identification Technologies (AIT) are a suite of data collection tools for facilitating dramatic improvements in our business processes. 4
  • 5. Commonly used AIT 1D Linear bar codes 2D Data Matrix codes Contact memory buttons RFID tags Also: Optical Character Recognition, Speech Recognition, & Vision Systems 5
  • 6. Desirable qualities of AIT Improved data collection: Accuracy Manual data entry is prone to Reliability error, inconsistent, and slow. Speed Previously hard/impossible data collection: Behind bulkheads Line of sight and/or Inside boxes and pallets physical contact is no longer a constraint with Dangerous locations RFID. 6
  • 7. Manual data collection 7
  • 8. Manual data collection is it 150602VC? or 8
  • 9. Manual data collection is it ISOGOZUL? or what? 9
  • 10. Consider the cost of errors! Accuracy Automated Identification Technologies Slower input Cost of correcting errors Waste from wrong orders Waste from missed opportunities Etc. Etc. Savings (time Manual collection and money) & typing errors 10
  • 11. AIT is a process improvement enabler! Improved asset utilization Reduced waste Controlled access to facilities Faster turnaround Assured complement of equipment Improved fleet management Many, many others – limited only to your imagination. This is the reason Boeing and Airbus jointly promote this technology 11
  • 12. RFID started with aviation Decade Event 1940 - 1950 - Radar refined and used, major World War II development effort. RFID invented in 1948. 1950 - 1960 - Early explorations of RFID technology, laboratory experiments. 1960 - 1970 - Development of the theory of RFID. Start of applications field trials. 1970 - 1980 - Explosion of RFID development. Tests of RFID accelerate. Very early adopter implementations of RFID (i.e., animal tagging, custom proprietary solutions). 1980 - 1990 - Commercial applications of RFID enter mainstream (electronic toll collection). 1990 - 2000 - Emergence of standards. RFID more widely deployed; gets more press time RFID becomes a part of everyday life. 2000 – now - AutoID Center, EPCglobal, completion of standards Wal-Mart, Tesco, DoD mandates, FAA approval, Spec 2000. RFID follows a progression of inventions that began with WWII RADAR and made possible today by research, microelectronics and standards. 12
  • 13. Considerations for an RFID system Strategic Financial How can RFID enable our overall strategic What is the expected return on our RFID vision? investment? Should we be a leader or a “fast follower”? What specific RFID applications can drive Which trading partners should I pilot with value for us? and when? What is a realistic adoption pattern/rate of How will we operate in a world of dual RFID and how will that impact my business processes? And for how long? case? Organizational Technical What are the change management What are our technology requirements for implications? an RFID implementation? What are the risks involved in an RFID What is the architecture that best delivers implementation? on my strategic technology plan? Impact on people in the process How will an RFID implementation impact our current applications? 13
  • 14. Walking your process How far? (away do you need to read the tags) How fast? (do you need to read the tags) How many? (tags do you need to read at once) How much? (data do you need to read) Where? (will the data be used) To What? (will the tags be attached) 14
  • 15. Elements of an RFID system One or more RF tags Two or more antennas One or more readers Business Application One or more host computers Software Appropriate software Interface RFID Software Application (Middleware) RFID Tags Reader Computer/ Application 15
  • 16. How the RFID system communicates Is anyone there? Air interface protocol: antenna receives query, retrieves data on the Passive RF signal chip, and modulates Backscatter the signal. RFID Tag Reader Yes! Here is my identification and all of the data on my memory chip. 16
  • 17. Substrate & Antenna The material into which the RFID integrated circuit and antenna are embedded. Integrated Circuit Antenna Substrate Antenna design is critical in determining range and performance 17
  • 18. Inlay Integrated Circuit and Antenna mounted on a Substrate. Inlay Integrated Circuit Antenna Substrate 18
  • 19. Tag (aka Transponder) An inlay is placed into a package appropriate for its intended use 19
  • 20. Integrated smart label Labels with RFID inlays embedded inside the label material. The label also contains human readable and bar coded information. Bar Code SE R2 63 26 59 30 Human Readable RFID Inlay 20
  • 21. Surface insensitive mounting A technique to package an inlay so that it will operate effectively whether mounted to a conductive or non-conductive surface. Water absorbs (attenuates) RF Metal absorbs and/or reflects RF 21
  • 22. Categories of tags Passive Tags – used by EPCglobal and Spec 2000 Tag powered by radio signal from reader No active components, therefore little maintenance Good read range (4 inches - 30 feet) Battery-Assisted Passive Tags Tag triggered by radio signal from reader Battery allows environmental monitoring Battery may also assist transmission Good read range (4 inches - 300 feet) Active Tags Contains an active transmitter Battery powered memory, radio & circuitry Faster data transfer rate High read range (300 feet +) 22
  • 23. Layers of Logistic Units : RFID Satellite Line Replaceable Units Active RFID Passive e.g. Life Vest RFID
  • 24. Tag memory types Read-only: Programmed during manufacture and subsequently can only be read. Write once, read many (WORM): Information can be user-programmed onto the tag once, but read many times. Read-write: Information can be read from and written to an RFID tag with an appropriate reader. Memory space can be written to over 100,000 times (read/write cycles) Commercial aviation has an interest in all of these 24
  • 25. Commonly used tag sizes Physical dimensions ≈1 1”x 1” ≈1 1”x 2” 2”x 2” 4 3”x 2” 4”x 4” 4 Price range (approx) US$ 0.25 to US$ 100 25
  • 26. Tag environments With proper design, tags can be attached to almost any item or material: Pallets and cases Vehicles – airplanes, trucks, cars Company assets People, livestock, or pets Consumer electronics In aviation - Line Replaceable Units (LRUs), time-controlled and life-limited parts 26
  • 27. RFID readers Readers can be at a fixed point: Portal Point of sale Warehouse Readers can also be mobile: Wireless Handheld Tethered 27
  • 28. RFID readers Anti-collision Ability to communicate with several tags simultaneously Important in longer range readers Must be implemented in the integrated circuit of the RFID device 28
  • 29. Spectrum regulation The radio frequency (RF) spectrum is a scarce and shared resource, used nationally and internationally, and subject to a wide range of regulatory oversight. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission is a key regulatory body that allocates spectrum use and resolves spectrum conflicts. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a specialized agency of the United Nations which plays the same role internationally. 29
  • 30. Electromagnetic spectrum Electric Radio Infra-red Visible Ultra- X-Rays Gamma Cosmic Waves Waves Light Violet Rays Rays Radio Spectrum 9kHz 30kHz 300kHz 3000kHz 30MHz 300MHz 3000MHz 30GHz 300GHz 3000GHz VLF LF MF HF VHF UHF SHF EHF Not designated Long Medium Short Wave Wave Wave VLF Very Low Frequency VHF Very High Frequency The RFID LF MF Low Frequency Medium Frequency UHF SHF Ultra High Frequency Super High Frequency HF High Frequency EHF Extremely High Frequency Frequencies 125-134 kHz 13.56 MHz 860-960 MHz 2.45 and 5.8 GHz 30
  • 31. Comparison of common RFID frequencies Frequency Regulation Range Data Speed Comments 120 – 150 kHz Basically unregulated < 1m Low Animal identification and 18000-2 factory data collection (passive) 13.56 MHz ISM band, differing power < 1m Low to moderate Popular frequency for I.C. 18000-3 levels and duty cycle Cards (Smart Cards), (passive) Libraries 433 MHz Non-specific Short Range 1 – 100 m Moderate Container Security and 18000-7 Devices (SRD), Location Tracking. Asset tracking (active) Systems for U.S. DoD (Pallets) – Active 860 – 960 MHz ISM band, increasing use 2–5m Moderate to high MH 10.8.4 (RTI), AIAG B-11 18000-6 in other regions, differing (tires), EPC (18000-6C), DoD (passive) power levels and duty Passive cycle 2450 MHz ISM band, differing power 1–2m High IEEE 802.11 b/g, Bluetooth, 18000-4 Mode 1 levels and duty cycle cordless telephones (passive) 31
  • 32. Advantages of UHF (860 – 960 MHz) Best available frequency for distances of >1m Effective around metals Smaller antennas Good non-line-of-sight communication High data rate; large amounts of data Controlled read zone through antenna direction 32
  • 33. Disadvantages of UHF (860 – 960 MHz) Does not penetrate water Regulatory issues in different parts of world (differences in frequency, channels, power, and duty cycle) 33
  • 34. A global view of UHF RFID frequencies Europe: Middle East: 862–870 MHz Potential for US and Canada: (869 MHz) 862–870 MHz 902–928 MHz China: 840-844 , 920-924 MHz Japan: 952-954 MHz Pacific Rim: Mexico: Singapore 866-869, 920-925 Typically 915MHz, MHz, Taiwan 915MHz Case by case basis South America: Undefined but 915 Northern Africa: New Zealand: MHz is typically 862–870 MHz Australia: 862-928 MHz with accepted (869 MHz) 915MHz Typically FCC power levels Southern Africa: permit FCC 915MHz Typically permit approved devices FCC approved devices 34
  • 35. Varying power regulations Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP): The measure of the output of an RFID reader’s antenna expressed in watts. Frequency Range Region Power 869.4 – 869.65 MHz Europe 0.5W EIRP 865.5 – 867.6 MHz Europe 2.0W EIRP UHF 902.0 – 928.0 MHz America 4.0W EIRP 860.0 – 930.0 MHz Others Varies 2.400 – 2.4835 GHz Europe 0.5W EIRP 2.400 – 2.4835 GHz Europe 4.0W EIRP 2.400 – 2.5835 GHz America 4.0W EIRP 2.400 – 2.5835 GHz Others Varies 35
  • 36. Reader geographic mobility challenge RFID Tags can be designed Readers are constrained by to respond to all frequencies national regulation to smaller in this range. segments of the spectrum. 860 MHz 862 MHz China 86 86 6M 9 M Hz Hz USA z MH 9 15 923 MHz 925 MHz Singapore 954 MHz 952 MHz Japan 960 MHz 36
  • 37. AIT and data capture standards organizations International International Organization for International Electrotechnical International Telecommunications United Postal Union Standardization (ISO) Commission (IEC) Union (ITU) (United Nations) (UPU) (United Nations) EPCglobal ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC 1) SC 31 TC 122 Automatic Data Capture SC 17 ITU-T (fka CCITT) Packaging WG 1 - Symbology IC Cards Telecommunications WG 2 - Data Content TC 104 ITU-R (fka CCIR & IFBR) WG 3 - Conformance Radio-frequency Issues Freight Containers WG 4 - RFID TC 8 WG 5 - RTLS ITU-D (fka BDT) Ships & Marine Tech Telecommunications Development Regional Comité Européen Normalisation Comité Européen Normalisation Comité Européen Postal & ODETTE ECMA (CEN) Electrotechnique (CENELEC) Telegraph (CEPT) National Australia (SAA) British (BSI) French (AFNOR) American (ANSI) German (DIN) Japan (JISC) MHI AIM UCC EIA IEEE INCITS Other T6 B10 Industry CompTIA ATA EIA AIA HIBCC AIAG UCC Other SAE VDA 37
  • 38. Standards organization: EPCglobal A non-profit organization chartered to develop global, interoperable standards for RFID use. EPCglobal publishes standards about the format and the content of RFID tags. Specific industry action groups (IAGs) work on solving problems unique to their industry; e.g., Aerospace & Defense IAG encompasses commercial aviation interests 38
  • 39. Format of an EPCglobal C1G2 UHF RFID tag EPC Header EPC Manager Object Serial Number Class Number Assigned by Assigned by EPC EPCglobal Manager Owner • Header • Identifies length, type, structure, version, generation of EPC • EPC Manger Number • Entity responsible for maintaining the subsequent • Object Class • identifies a class of objects 96 bits total • EPC Serial Number = 12 characters • identifies the particular item
  • 40. Format of an EPCglobal Class 2 UHF RFID tag EPC Header EPC Manager Object Serial Number Class Number Assigned by Assigned by EPC EPCglobal Manager Owner The Class 2 UHF RFID tag specification is being defined by the EPCglobal UHF Class 2 Working Group. Additional features may include encryption, read locking, recycle features, sensor support, and structured user memory. 64 kilobytes total = 32 typed pages
  • 41. Standards organization: Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) A non-profit organization chartered to develop standards for technical and engineering sciences. SAE published Aerospace Standard AS5678 “Passive RFID Tags Intended for Aircraft Use” AS5678 establishes the environmental performance requirements for developing aviation-use passive RFID transponders. Typical environmental performance requirements include temperature, altitude, humidity, shock, vibration, fluid susceptibility, magnetic effects, and flammability. 41
  • 42. Standards organization: Air Transport Association (ATA) An airline trade association chartered to foster global air safety, service, and efficiency within commercial aviation. The ATA creates international technical standards related to commercial aviation engineering and maintenance practices. An ATA task force has defined the mandatory and conditional data elements to be contained on an RFID tag. 42
  • 43. Key messages RFID technology will enable dramatic process improvements by enhancing the accuracy and availability of information. An understanding of governing RFID frequency and power regulations is essential for global business entities such as airlines. Boeing and Airbus are working together to establish common RFID standards and solutions to create value for our shared suppliers and mixed fleet customers. 43
  • 44. Questions? Thank you for your attention!

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