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  • RFID System Lifecycle University of Houston RFID Programming Spring 2007
  • RFID Deployment Framework
    • The decision to deploy RFID technology in an enterprise is a business decision, not a technology decision.
    • Should be driven by business drivers such as competitive advantage, creating new services to deliver more value to customers, streamlining operations, or complying with rules and regulations
    • Right reasons: Alignment of strategy, and execution .
  • RFID Deployment Framework
    • Conceptual framework:
      • Identify problems and surrounding issues
      • Define possible solutions and their attractiveness (ROI etc)
      • Create a plan for successful deployment and support
    Identify Business Problem Define & Pilot solution Build & Deploy solution Sustain & Improve Organizational mobilization Knowledge Base
  • RFID Deployment Framework
    • Identify Business Problem
      • Strategic imperative & Competitive assessment
      • Vendor assessment and Selection
      • High-level cost-benefit analysis & Stakeholder analysis
      • Existing process discovery
      • Scenarios
    • Define and Pilot Solution
      • Technical architecture (robust and scalable)
      • Business and organizational architecture (process flows, stakeholder alignment)
      • Risk identification and mitigation plan
      • Detailed cost-benefit analysis & stakeholder buy-in
      • Pilot selection and execution
      • Detailed business plan
      • Success metrics
  • RFID Deployment Framework
    • Build and Deploy Solution
      • Sourcing & procurement
      • Solution build (tracking, lessons from pilot, resources, authority, milestones, SMEs) and testing (unit, module, and system levels)
      • Stakeholder communication and training
      • Business and technology infrastructure testing
      • Marketing
    • Sustain and Improve
      • Problem resolution
      • Process improvement
      • Product improvement
      • Results tracking
  • RFID Deployment Framework
    • Knowledge Base
      • Locating and leveraging sources of tacit and explicit knowledge
      • Creating knowledge map
      • Locating knowledge gaps
      • Involving top management and sponsors
    • Organizational mobilization
      • Soft skills - motivating and aligning people to get results
      • Often the most difficult and most important to achieve
        • Communicate shared vision
        • Engage support and resistance
        • Institutionalize results and lessons
  • RFID Sourcing Decision
    • Develop In-house vs. outsource
      • Focus on core competency
      • Availability of resources
      • Tax benefits
      • Quality of hardware, software, and expertise
      • Timeline
      • Proprietary concerns
      • ROI/ clear benefits to outsourcing
  • RFID Deployment Execution
    • Key Steps
      • Site Survey
      • Installation Procedure
      • Safety
        • People
        • Equipment
  • Site Survey
    • Purpose: identify all sources of interference
      • Since the signal coming from the tag is very small, it can be swamped by the signal from other RF Sources. Goal is to see all invisible electronic, magnetic, and radio waves that flow through a location and then design an RFID network to live within the environment
    • Full Faraday Cycle Analysis
      • Analysis of ambient electromagnetic noise (AEN)
      • RF past loss contour mapping (PLCM)
    • Product or SKU testing
      • Check for RF signature. Test reflection, absorption etc.
      • Output: Facility diagram
      • Places for interrogators
      • Sources of interference
  • Site Survey
    • To identify all sources of interference, you may need to collect RF interference data for a 24-h period
    • A Spectrum analyzer can be used to capture the sources of interference
    www.h5.dion.ne.jp/ ~s.d.k/subpage2.htm
  • Site Survey
    • Spectrum analyzer measures power (voltage) versus frequency
    • An antenna needs to be attached and tuned to the needed frequency to measure field strength
    • The analyzer will “sweep” across frequencies
    • The antenna has to be placed in the middle of the interrogation zone
    • The monitoring procedure should be performed for 24 hours
    • Spikes mean RF interference
  • http://www.crc.ca/images/spectrum-explorer/home/analyzer.gif
  • Installation
    • RFID equipment must be tested before installation begins
    • Obtain copies of the latest firmware and any application software
    • Compare the location with the previously obtained diagram and see whether new sources of interference were added
  • Installation
    • Make sure the radiation patterns of antennas cover the needed interrogation zones
    • Proper cables must be used to connect the interrogator to each antenna
    • A cable of wrong length and configuration can:
      • Prevent operations
      • Damage equipment
      • Illegal
  • Installation
    • Record cable locations on the site diagram
    • After all the hardware and software is installed, test the system.
  • Safety
    • In any industrial environment there are many sources of Electro-Static Discharge (ESD)
    • ESD can occur when two surfaces rub or separate repeatedly
      • Example: conveyor belt
  • Safety
    • ESD can damage the tag (IC)
    • ESD is a common cause of tags not working properly
    • ESD can also damage interrogator, but this is less likely
    • However, is an interrogator is not properly grounded, ESD can also damage the IC of the interrogator
  • Safety
    • In order for any electrical system to work properly, it must be grounded
    • Most modern facilities have an earth ground with the AC power line
    • The earth ground is required for electrical safety to give a safe path to ground for any AC power short that might occur as well as for ESD
    • Lack of proper grounding and equipment is dangerous of people and equipment
  • Human Safety
    • RF Signals contain energy – the same type of energy used in microwave ovens – so there is the potential of injury if power level is high enough
    • Regulations establish the maximum power that can be safely used
    February 5 th , 2007 Research News Military Shows Off Experimental Heat Ray The military demonstrates a "heat ray" developed as a way to disperse threatening crowds. Officials say the electro-magnetic device does no permanent damage, but makes people feel as if their skin is burning. the ray gun penetrates 1/64th of an inch into the skin. (www.npr.org)
  • Human Safety
    • Do not exceed the recommended power level; do not try to “customize” a system
    • Do not use an antenna that has not been recommended by a manufacturer
      • A highly directional antenna can concentrate RF energy so that it exceeds safe limits
    • Do not intentionally permit long exposure to the RF energy
  • Human Safety
    • Local regulations may require signs that inform people that RF equipment is in use
    • Make sure that RF equipment does not interfere with other mission critical systems
    • Some medical implants can be damaged by RF equipment
    X-Ray Backscatter Technology The TSA is testing a new technology based on EM Backscatter which provides a high-resolution image at the Phoenix airport. Critics claim that the technology is too invasive. The procedure is 100% voluntary at present.
  • Equipment Safety
    • Mount RFID equipment in such a way that it won’t get damaged by people and other processes
  • Conclusion
      • Deploying RFID is a business decision
      • RFID Deployment Framework
      • RFID Deployment Execution
    • References
      • RFID Field Guide: Deploying Radio Frequency Identification Systems, Bhuptani, M. and Moradpour, S., Sun Microsystems Press, Prentice Hall, 2005.
      • RFID for Dummies, Sweeney, P. J. Wiley Publishing, 2005.
      • www.npr.org
      • www.tsa.gov
      • www.comptia.org