RFID Equipment Test Results Manufacturing

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RFID Equipment Test Results Manufacturing

  1. 1. RFID Wizards Inc. Implementing RFID Solutions Magically RFID Equipment Test Results Manufacturing Prepared by: RFID Wizards Inc. 3330 Yorkshire Court Adamstown, MD 21710 Tel: 301 674-3546 Fax: 301 874-6977 2033 Ralston Ave. #126 Belmont, CA 94002 Tel: 650 804-1953 Fax: 650 327-0262 http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  2. 2. Table of Contents Table of Contents.............................................................................................................................................. 2 Background........................................................................................................................................................ 1 Objectives and Scope..................................................................................................................................... 1 Manufacturing Process .................................................................................................................................... 3 Products Tested ................................................................................................................................................. 3 Alien Technology Equipment.......................................................................................................................... 4 Intermec Equipment......................................................................................................................................... 5 Intermec Tests ..................................................................................................................................................10 Conclusions ......................................................................................................................................................12 Appendix 1: Sample Test Results ..................................................................................................................13 About RFID Wizards Inc. .................................................................................................................................22 What We Do.....................................................................................................................................................22 Research and Development and Custom RFID Solutions.......................................................................22 Who We Work With .........................................................................................................................................22 Where We Work...............................................................................................................................................22 RFID Wizards Inc. Corporate Information ...................................................................................................22 Experience with RFID Technology................................................................................................................23 Information Technology Skills........................................................................................................................23
  3. 3. Background It should be noted that this document is not a hypothetical case study. All of the results in this document are real. Only the customer information has been removed to respect nondisclosure agreements. Customer approval was obtained prior to distributing this version of the document. Objectives and Scope The overall objectives of these tests are to determine: § the feasibility of using RFID equipment in the manufacturing and supply chain operations of Company B § the equipment best suited to Company B’s environmental conditions, manufacturing process, and products § the most optimal configuration of the equipment Due to the presently defined requirements, testing is limited to products with read/write capabilities operating in the 2.45 Ghz and 915 Mhz frequency ranges. These products include currently available off the shelf products from: § Alien Technology § Intermec Prior to the tests, each vendor was consulted and asked to recommend the RFID tags and equipment configuration that would be best suited for these tests. Test Conditions Test Facilities Tests were conducted at Company B’s manufacturing. This facility is one of the key operational locations and contains the typical activity and RF noise anticipated in all operations. It should be noted that other Company B locations and their customers may have slightly different conditions and therefore actual results could vary slightly. Test Measurements During these tests, many individual measurements are taken and evaluated. Combined, the measurements are used to help understand: 1. Tag readability – Are all tags read successfully under the given conditions? 2. Optimal equipment configuration - how does the equipment work best under the given conditions? RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 1 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  4. 4. Specific Test Measurements These tests are designed to determine tag readability and optimal equipment configuration under a variety of conditions. These conditions include: Category Condition/Parameter Reader Configuration Reader used Antenna configuration Number of external antennas used: 2, or 1 Side mount, antenna(s) distance above floor Distance between antenna and object Tag Specific Tag used Tag orientation Vertical (Relative to floor) Horizontal Objects tagged Foam seats Tagged Material is Foam Tag is embedded in foam Number of tags Location of tagged objects On floor In Metal bin On conveyor Hand carried Tag motion passing antenna(s) Stationary Moving normal speed (< 5 mph) Moving high speed (5+ mph) On conveyor ~ 90 ft/min Walking speed Tag reading challenges Reading tags through multiple seats Reading tags at right angles RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 2 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  5. 5. Manufacturing Process At the request of the customer, no photographs were taken of the process to create a foam product. The process is as follows: 1. The RFID tag is verified with the respective reader to ensure it to be functional 2. The RFID tag is placed in the center of an open metal mold on a motorized conveyor 3. Foam is injected into the metal mold by a robotic arm 4. The lid to the metal mold is closed 5. The foam product and RFID tag are baked at 150 degrees Celsius for 7 minutes 6. The lid to the metal mold opens and compressed air is used to loosen the foam product from the mold 7. A manufacturing worker removes the foam product from the mold and places it on a different motorized conveyor 8. The foam product and embedded RFID tag moves through a compression machine to eliminate air pockets 9. The foam product is removed and visually inspected by a quality assurance (QA) person for defects 10. The QA person returns the foam product to the motorized conveyor 11. The foam product is removed and the RFID tag is tested Products Tested Several foam products were tested. Radiolucent Materials Some products and their packaging are radiolucent, that is, RF signals can easily penetrate their materials. Radiolucent materials include primarily organic and synthetic fibers with plastic or cardboard packaging. The foam products produced by Company B are classified as Radiolucent materials. Problematic Materials Problematic materials are products that contain metal (which can block RF signals). Other problematic materials include liquid (which can attenuate, absorb or divert RF signals). Several foam products tested contain metal inserts. Although these inserts are not large, they could interfere with RF signals and reduce read range. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 3 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  6. 6. Alien Technology Equipment Alien Technology 915 MHz Stationary Reader • Two addressable antenna ports. • Designed for indoor industrial environments. • Connected via RS-232 cable to a Toshiba Satellite laptop. Antennas The reader was tested with two sets of Cushcraft 915Mhz antennas. Set 1 uses circular polarization (designed to increase signal reception in environments with significant RF signal scattering). Set 2 uses linear polarization (designed for longer range). Each antenna was connected via a 3' cable. Alien Technology 915 MHz 'I' Tag AutoID Center Class 1 compliant. Alien Technology 915 MHz 'S' Tag AutoID Center Class 1 compliant. Alien Technology 915 MHz 'U' Tag AutoID Center Class 1 compliant. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 4 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  7. 7. Intermec Equipment Intermec 915 MHz PA RS232 Stationary Reader • Four addressable antenna ports. • Designed for indoor industrial environments. • Connected via RS-232 cable to a Toshiba Satellite laptop. Antennas The reader was tested with Cushcraft 915Mhz antennas with circular polarization (designed to increase signal reception in environments with significant RF signal scattering). Each antenna was connected via a 10' cable. Intermec 915 MHz 1555 Handheld The Intermec 1555 is a portable data collection device capable of scanning bar codes as well as reading & programming radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and labels. Although not thoroughly tested, the reader had no problems scanning any UPC product barcodes. Intermec 2.45 GHz Stationary Reader Two addressable antenna ports. Designed for indoor industrial environments. Connected via network crossover cable to a Toshiba Satellite laptop. 2.45 GHz Antennas The reader was tested with Intermec 2.45 Ghz antennas with circular polarization (designed to increase signal reception in environments with significant RF signal scattering). Each antenna was connected via a 6' cable. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 5 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  8. 8. Alien Technology Tests Product 45518 Alien 'U' tag. The Alien 'U' tag maintained good position through the foaming process. The tag was barely visible and did not have any noticeable effect on the product. Performance of the tag with a single Cushcraft circular polarized antenna and stationary reader achieved a 77.5 CM at a right angle. Product 45749 Alien 'S' tag. The Alien 'S' tag maintained good position through the foaming process. The tag was barely visible and did not have any noticeable effect on the product. The circular polarized antenna achieved further distances at 90 degree angles with a 127.5 cm read with 1 antenna. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 6 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  9. 9. Product 45768 Alien 'I' tag. Although the Alien 'I' tag maintained good position through the foaming process, the tag came through the exterior of the product. This would not be acceptable for production and the product would not pass Company B's QA process. The tag achieved acceptable facing read distances. However, the 90 degree angle read was the least of the Alien Technology tags at 17.5 CM with a circular polarized antenna. Product 45768 Alien 'S' tag. The Alien 'S' tag maintained good position through the foaming process. Unlike the Alien 'I' tag on the same product, the tag was barely visible and unlike the Intermec tag on the same product, it did not have any noticeable effect on the product. Strangely, the linear polarized antenna achieved further distances at 90-degree angles with 65 CM and 75 CM. The circular polarized antenna achieved a 42.5 CM read at right angles with 1 antenna. Product 45769 Alien 'S' tag. The Alien 'S' tag maintained good position through the foaming process. The tag was barely visible and did not have any noticeable effect on the product. The read performance from the Alien tag was over twice that of the Intermec tag in the same product at right angles. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 7 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  10. 10. Again, the linear polarized antenna achieved further distances at 90-degree angles with 65 CM and 67.5 CM. The circular polarized antenna achieved a 37.5 CM read at right angles with 1 antenna. This test is the closest comparison of the two different RFID products. Product 45776 Alien 'U' tag. The Alien 'U' tag maintained good position through the foaming process. The tag was barely visible and did not have any noticeable effect on the product. It should be noted that this product is particularly challenging due to an extra layer of overhanging foam. The tag was also placed at a 90-degree angle. This proved to enhance the right angle read distance. Even with the additional foam, the tag achieved a facing read distance of 255 CM. The 90-degree angle read was an impressive 280 CM with a circular polarized antenna. Most likely, this was due to the change in tag orientation. Product 45776F Alien 'U' tag. The Alien 'U' tag maintained good position through the foaming process. The tag was barely visible and did not have any noticeable effect on the product. Performance of the tag with a single Cushcraft circular polarized antenna and stationary reader achieved a 72.5 CM at a right angle. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 8 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  11. 11. Product 45624 Alien 'I' tag. Like the other Alien 'I' tag, this tag maintained good position through the foaming process. Yet the tag came through the exterior of the product. This would not be acceptable for production and the product would not pass Company B's QA process. This tag achieved one of the greatest distance reads of 415 CM facing the product. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 9 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  12. 12. Intermec Tests Headrests Due a prior arrangement, 2.45 GHz Intermec tags were embedded in headrests prior to arrival. The read range was tested. The tags performance varied greatly depending on the orientation of the product. A slight movement would reduce the read range by several centimeters. The maximum read range was 30 CM and minimum was 5 CM. These distances are below the minimum requirements for Company B. Therefore, no additional tests were performed using this tag. Only the Intermec 2.45 GHz tag was tested with headrests. Product 45768 Intermec 915 Mhz 17x100 tag. During the foaming process, the tag in this particular product achieved a very unusual orientation. The corner of the tag pointed towards the surface of the foam. Due to the rigidity of the tag, the point was very sharp and could easily be felt. The product would not pass Company B’s QA process. Performance of the tag was respectable with a single Cushcraft circular polarized antenna and stationary reader achieving a 45 CM at a right angle. Using the 1555 hand scanner, a minimum of 30 CM at a right angle proved noteworthy. Product 45769 Intermec 915 Mhz 17x100 tag. Unlike product 45768, the final orientation achieved in product 45769, was very good. Unfortunately, the read distance was not. The different density of the foam most likely accounts for the variance. Performance of the tag with a single Cushcraft circular polarized antenna and stationary reader achieved a 32.5 CM at a right angle. The 1555 hand scanner performance was very disappointing, achieving a only 2.5 CM at a left angle and 7.5 CM at a right angle. These results seemed very unusual and additional steps were taken to improve results, including recharging the battery and trying the test RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 10 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  13. 13. a second time. Even though the hand scanner performed well with the other products, this product could not be read from the side well. Product 2749001 Intermec 915 Mhz 17x100 tag. The best performance from the Intermec tags was achieved with Product 2749001. Performance of the tag with a single Cushcraft circular polarized antenna and stationary reader achieved 272.5 CM facing read and a 40 CM at right face. It was also noted that the green tag was very close to the surface of the foam and therefore the product would not pass Company B's QA process. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 11 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  14. 14. Conclusions The tag best suited for Company B is the Alien Technology 915Mhz 'U' tag. The tag read at a maximum 375 cm and a minimum 60 cm at 90-degree angles. A respectable second place goes to the Alien Technology 915Mhz 'S' tag. The tag achieved a superior maximum read distance of 395 cm, but the minimum 32.5 cm at 90-degree angles may not be sufficient for all requirements. For canopy mounting above the robotic arm, a single Cushcraft linear polarized antenna with the Alien 'U' tag achieved a minimum 157.5 CM facing distance through foam. Due to shorter read distances, rigidity of the tags, and visibility through the product, the Intermec tags are not well suited for Company B’s requirements. For conveyor mounting, a single Cushcraft circular polarized antenna with the Alien 'U' tag achieved a minimum 60 CM at right angles through foam. It also read through 3 stacked foam products at a 60 CM minimum. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 12 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  15. 15. Appendix 1: Sample Test Results This section contains a sample of the completed test results. It is designed to provide a more detailed example of how tests were documented. For complete results, please contact RFID Wizards Inc. Threshold Tests RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 13 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  16. 16. Threshold Tests, continued. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 14 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  17. 17. Threshold Tests by Tag, sorted RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 15 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  18. 18. Threshold Tests by Product RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 16 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  19. 19. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 17 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  20. 20. Sample Test Details RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 18 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  21. 21. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 19 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  22. 22. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 20 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  23. 23. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 21 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  24. 24. About RFID Wizards Inc. What We Do RFID Wizards Inc. provides professional consulting services in the following areas: § Calculate Return on Investment: Evaluate RFID technology to determine if it will produce an ROI in 12-18 months § Business Process Modeling: How exactly will RFID technology impact your business? § Independently evaluate RFID technology based on our customer’s requirements § Installation and configuration of RFID equipment § Integration of RFID equipment with back-end systems (detailed list below) § Training: Using RFID Technology in Your Business Research and Development and Custom RFID Solutions RFID Wizards Inc. R&D team can work with you to design, develop, & build a proof of concept. Our engineers have designed custom RFID tags and antennas. We can manufacture RFID tags to specification including labels, cards, badges, and plastic injection molded forms. Our antenna design team can construct antennas to fit unusual areas. Who We Work With § Commercial (wholesale & retail) § Industrial § Manufacturing § Healthcare § Legal § Logistics and Transportation § Government Agencies (we offer services on GSA Schedule) Where We Work RFID Wizards' consultants have developed solutions for customers throughout North America and Europe. We have experience implementing products that operate internationally. RFID Wizards Inc. Corporate Information RFID Wizards Inc. is a Maryland S Corporation specializing in the design and implementation of RFID systems. RFID Wizards Inc. corporate headquarters is located just 45 minutes north of Washington D.C. Our west coast location is located in Silicon Valley between San Francisco and San Jose, California. We work with companies throughout the globe. Corporate & East Coast West Coast 3330 Yorkshire Court 2033 Ralston Ave. #126 Adamstown, MD 21710 Belmont, CA 94002 Tel: 301 674-3546 Tel: 650 804-1953 Fax: 301 874-6977 Fax: 650 327-0262 http://www.RFIDWizards.com AND http://www.BuyRFID.com RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 22 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com
  25. 25. Experience with RFID Technology RFID Wizards Inc. staff is experienced working with equipment from numerous manufacturers including: • Alien Technology • Matrics • Intermec • Feig Electronic • Diester Electronic • Texas Instruments • AARFID • AWID • NordicID • Samsys • Axcess Technologies • ThingMagic Information Technology Skills RFID Wizards Inc. has staff that can integrate RFID technology with the following: Relational Databases: • Oracle, MS SQL Server, Sybase SQL Server, IBM DB2 • mySql, PostgreSQL /Redhat • MS Access, Foxbase Object Oriented Database: • Lotus Notes and Domino ERP / SCM / WMS: § SAP § Oracle ERP § Advanced Logic Systems § CoreWMS Programming Languages & Environments • C/C++, Assembly (8x86,68K,6809,z80,6502), • XML, Java, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Perl, PGP • Microsoft Visual Basic, MS.NET/ActiveX, ASP • Lotus Script, Notes API, Lisp, Natural Adabase. Platforms: • Windows XP/2000/NT/9x • Linux and *nix Other: • Numerous Warehouse management systems • 3D Programming experience in various modeling scenarios. RFID Test Results - Manufacturing Page 23 ©2003, RFID Wizards Inc. http://www.RFIDWizards.com

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