RFID Readers use electromagnetic waves to scan tags and process the data. They can be handheld, fixed, or built into a cabinet or portal.
Passive RFID tags are powered by electromagnetic energy from the reading antenna that induces an electric current in the tag’s IC. They typically hold less than 2,000 KB of non-volatile memory, which stores a unique tag identifier and serial number.
A microchip that stores data and an antenna make up an RFID tag. When the tag receives radio frequency waves from the reader, it activates and transmits its recorded information back to the reader. This information may range from a simple identifying number to detailed facts about the item.
An RFID system optimizes identification and data capture, reducing management work time and improving processes. Industries focused on RFID Reader supply chain management will particularly benefit, as they can use the information obtained to improve their productivity and competitiveness.
RFID is less likely to be tampered with than barcodes, because there is no visible scanning area or line of light to disrupt the chip’s function. Additionally, it is possible to read an RFID tag from a greater distance than one can see a printed barcode from.
The standard specifications for RFID (known as the EPC Gen 2 or RAIN protocol) enables basic interoperability between tags and readers of different manufacturers. However, each reader and tag must have the same ‘language’ to communicate with each other. For example, an RFID reader with a proprietary air interface will only work with tags or cards that are programmed with the same facility code. This prevents someone from purchasing a Nedap TRANSIT card for their access control system, and then using it with another vendor’s reader without having the right interoperability between the two devices.
Inventory management is an integral part of most business operations. It involves sourcing, storing and distributing products to different areas of the store or warehouse. It also includes monitoring, tracking and estimating profits and restocking levels. RFID helps to simplify the process of identifying and tracking items. This system provides accurate data that helps businesses to avoid stockouts and overstocking issues. It can be set to alert the responsible staff when the inventory level drops below a specified number.
The RFID reader is network-connected and comes in two types: fixed readers and mobile (handheld) readers. It is equipped with a radio-frequency signal generator and transmitter, receiving antenna and a microcontroller. It can detect a large number of tags simultaneously. It uses a method known as “frequency hopping” to avoid reading the same tag multiple times.
In order to manage the inventory, a warehouse or store manager must first define the location groups of each product type. Then, a handheld reader is used to scan the labels and collect inventory information. This information is then compared with the inventory plan to achieve dynamic inventory management. After this, the warehouse manager confirms the shipment information with the supplier. After the goods are transported to the warehouse, the fixed RFID reader at the door of the warehouse checks the cargo information again.
Unlike magnetic stripe cards, which have to be swiped for identification, RFID tags embedded in cards and tokens can simply be presented to the reader. The tag and the reader each have an antenna that emits a short-range radio frequency field. If the tags or cards are present within the range of the reader the RF signal is detected by the tag’s or card’s coil and a feedback signal is sent back to the reader. This signals the reader that a valid card is being presented.
The reader then sends the unique identifying number of the card to a door lock access desfire ev1 control system, which either grants or denies access to the building depending on its settings. A centralized access control management software (typically on the cloud) keeps the list of authorized people and their respective access rights.
Many RFID systems are able to be connected to existing IP security camera networks to create logs of when the reader is interacted with. This makes it easier for the team to find relevant footage in the event of a security incident. It can also reduce the time that security staff spend on manual checks of specific areas, allowing them to focus more of their attention on more urgent tasks.
The RFID reader sends a signal to an antenna that emits radio frequency waves. When these waves reach an RFID tag, the tag activates and transmits information back to the reader. The reader decodes the information and sends it to an IT system, such as a database or ERP, for processing.
RF-based security systems offer advantages over other types of access control. The ability to quickly and accurately identify individuals can help prevent unauthorized entry into areas that should be secured. Additionally, the ability to integrate RFID systems with existing CCTV networks enables security teams to locate and view relevant footage more efficiently in the event of an incident.
Concerns over privacy and security have been raised in connection with RFID, especially when tags contain a serial number that can be linked to a specific individual. These concerns have mainly been related to retail use where a purchase can be traced back to the purchaser, but have also been raised in military or medical settings, where it may be a matter of life or death.
Some of these concerns can be addressed by using a communication protocol that requires the tag and reader to communicate with one another in a predefined manner. This can ensure that data is only transmitted when both the tag and reader are certain that they are communicating with the same device, preventing skimming and eavesdropping. Many RFID readers and tags also offer encryption features that can further protect data from unauthorized access. Some, such as the Impinj Protected Mode, require a password to be entered before a tag can communicate, protecting against skimming and unauthorized readers that may try to “spoof” or intercept a signal.