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Electronic Tags and RFID Labels

What are Electronic Tags and RFID Labels?

Electronic tags are also called radio frequency tags, transponders, and data carriers. Readers are also called readers, scanners, read heads, communicators, and readers (depending on whether the electronic tags can rewrite data wirelessly). The electronic tag and the reader realize the spatial (contactless) coupling of the RF signal through the coupling element. In the coupling channel, according to the timing relationship, the energy transmission and data exchange are realized.

 

Word / Term:    Radio Frequency Identification

Working frequency:    125KHZ -13.56MHz

Aka:    Radio frequency tag

Abbreviation:    RFID

 

Table of Content

    1 Definition

    2 Composition

    3 Features

    4 History

    5 Core technology

    6 Working principle

    7 Chinese Standard

    8 Application

    9 Picking system

    ▪ Picking system principle

    ▪ DPS

    10 Asian market

    11 Open source projects

 

Definition

Electronic tag is the carrier of RFID technology, RFID is Radio Frequency Identification


Electronic label

Abbreviation, the term is radio frequency identification.

Working frequency

-125KHZ

-13.56MHz

-915MHz

-2.45GHz

-5.8GHz


Composition of Electronic Labels

The most basic electronic label system consists of three parts:

Tag (Tag): composed of coupling elements and chips, each tag has a unique electronic code, high-capacity electronic tags have user-writable storage space, attached to the object to identify the target object.

Reader (Reader): a device that reads (sometimes can also write) tag information, can be designed to be handheld or fixed.

Antenna: transfers radio frequency signals between tags and readers.


Characteristic

Data storage: Compared with the traditional form of tags, the capacity is larger (1bit-1024bit), the data can be updated at any time, and can be read and written.


Reading and writing speed: Compared with bar code, there is no need for straight line scanning, the reading and writing speed is faster, multi-target recognition and motion recognition.


Easy to use: small size, easy to package, can be embedded in the product.


Security: Dedicated chip, unique serial number, difficult to copy.

Durable: no mechanical failure, long life, and resistance to harsh environments.


Induction effect: much better than normal

 

History

In 1937, the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed the Identification Friend-or-Foe (IFF) system to distinguish Allied aircraft from enemy aircraft. This technology later became the basis of modern air traffic control in the 1950s. And it is the sprouting of early RFID technology, and is preferably applied in military, laboratory and so on.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems were common anti-theft systems in shopping malls.

In the 1980s, early commercial applications included railways and food.

In the 1990s, it began to standardize, and put forward the concept of EPC, each item in the world is uniquely identified.



Core Technology of Electronic Labels

RFID radio frequency identification is a non-contact automatic identification technology. It uses radio frequency signals to automatically identify target objects and obtain relevant data.

The identification work does not require human intervention and can work in various harsh environments.

RFID technology can identify high-speed moving objects and can identify multiple tags at the same time, and the operation is quick and convenient.


RFID electronic tag is a breakthrough technology: "First, it can identify a single very specific object, rather than only one type of object like a barcode.

Second, it uses radio frequency, which can be read through external materials Data is retrieved, and the barcode must be read by laser.

Third, multiple objects can be read at the same time, and the barcode can only be read one by one. In addition, the amount of stored information is also very large. "


Working principle of RFID technology

The basic working principle of RFID technology is not complicated: after the tag enters the magnetic field, it receives the radio frequency signal sent by the reader, and uses the energy obtained by the induced current to send the product information (PassiveTag, passive tag or passive tag) stored in the chip. Or actively send a signal of a certain frequency (ActiveTag, active tag or active tag).

After the reader reads the information and decodes it, it is sent to the central information system for relevant data processing.

The RFID (radio frequency identification) system consists of two parts: a read / write unit and an electronic transceiver.

The reader sends electromagnetic pulses through the antenna, and the transceiver receives these pulses and sends the stored information to the reader as a response.

In fact, this is the non-contact reading, writing or deleting of the data in the memory.


Technically, a "smart tag" contains an RFID circuit that includes an RFID chip with an RFID radio frequency section and an ultra-thin antenna loop. This antenna is embedded in the tag together with a plastic sheet.

Usually, a paper label is attached to this label, and some important information can be clearly printed on the paper label.

Current smart tags are generally the size of a credit card. For small goods, there are also tags with a size of 4.5 x 4.5 cm. There are also round tags with a diameter of 4.7 cm used on CDs and DVDs.

Compared with other ID technologies like barcode or magnetic stripe, the advantage of the transceiver technology is the wireless link between the reader and the transceiver: The read / write unit does not require visual contact with the transceiver, so it can Fully integrated into the product.

This means that the transceiver is suitable for harsh environments and the transceiver is not sensitive to moisture, dirt and mechanical influences. Therefore, the transceiver system has very high read reliability and fast data acquisition. The last and important point is to save labor and paper.


Chinese standard

The issue of China's electronic label standards has always been the focus of attention at home and abroad, and it is also a core issue related to whether it can promote the rapid development of China's RFID industry as soon as possible.

It was learned at the working meeting of the Electronic Tag Standards Working Group held in Beijing on June 26, 2006:

After joint efforts in 2007, the Chinese Electronic Tag Group has proposed the basic electrical characteristics of 13.56MHz RFID tags, 13.56MHz RFID read / write Device specification, RFID tag physical characteristics, three standard technical documents.

Preparations to be completed in 2008 include: 840-845MHz, 920-925MHz frequency tag standard draft, 13.56MHz / radio frequency identification tag basic electrical characteristics test method, 13.56MHz radio frequency identification reader / writer test method, RFID tag physical characteristics test Draft standard for method.

Attending this meeting of the Electronic Label Working Group were related leaders from the Science and Technology Department and the Product Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.


Meeting by electricity

Ms. Zhang Qi, the leader of the sub-label standard working group, presided over. The heads of each thematic group made a comprehensive summary of the work in 2007 at the meeting, and reported on the work of the 2008 electronic label standard formulation.

In the concluding speech of the meeting, Team Leader Zhang Qi clearly pointed out: The standard problem of electronic tags is related to the core issue of the RFID industry and the development of the entire industry.

Electronic Tags and RFID Labels

In the past year, everyone has done a lot of work in a pragmatic and Put a lot of effort.

Although many problems were encountered during the work, China has a broad market for RFID applications, so it is necessary to work out its own standards.

In 2008, the thematic groups of the Electronic Label Working Group must accelerate their work.

The leaders of relevant departments and departments in charge of industry and standards in charge of industry and informatization who attended the meeting also expressed that they will actively support the work of the electronic label working group to promote the rapid development of the Chinese RFID industry.

At the meeting, the Electronic Label Working Group issued the "Notice on Issuing the Technical Guidance Documents of the Electronic Label Standard Working Group" to promote the work of accelerating the development of electronic label standards.

In 2013, China National Standards Announcement No. 18, GB / T 29768-2013 "Information Technology Radio Frequency Identification 800 / 900MHz Air Interface Protocol" was officially released.

China's independent innovation of UHF national standards was officially released and implemented.


Application of Electronic Tags Readers

As a data carrier, electronic tags can play the role of identification, item tracking and information collection. In foreign countries, electronic tags have been applied in a wide range of fields.

The RFID system composed of electronic tags, readers, antennas and application software is directly connected to the corresponding management information system. Every item can be accurately tracked. This comprehensive information management system can bring many benefits to customers, including real-time data collection, secure data access channels, and offline access to all product information. Wait. In foreign countries, RFID technology has been widely used in many fields such as industrial automation and commercial automation.

Applications include:

1. Anti-counterfeiting

Through scanning, detailed logistics records are generated.


2. Production line management

Electronic tags can conveniently and accurately record process information and process operation information on the production line to meet the needs of flexible production.

The record of the worker's job number, time, operation, and quality inspection results can fully achieve traceability of production. It can also avoid mistakes caused by handwriting and seeing information in the production environment.


3. Warehouse management

The use of RFID system for intelligent warehouse cargo management effectively solves the management of warehousing cargo information.

For large warehouse bases, the management center can understand the cargo location and cargo storage in real time, which is of great significance for improving the efficiency of warehousing, feeding back product information, and guiding production.

It not only increases the number of goods handled in a day, but also monitors all the information of the goods. Among them, there are many forms of application. You can stick the label on the goods, and read and write by the reader on the forklift and the reader at the corresponding position of the warehouse. You can also use the barcode and the electronic label together.


4. Sales channel management

The establishment of strict and orderly channels and efficient management of invoicing and inventory are the strong needs of many enterprises.

Products are embedded with electronic tags in the production process, which contain unique product numbers. Manufacturers can use identifiers to monitor the flow of products. Wholesalers and retailers can use the readers provided by manufacturers to identify the legality of products.


5. Valuables management

It can also be used for theft prevention, settlement and after-sales guarantee of valuables such as cameras, camcorders, portable computers, CD Walkmans, jewelry, etc. Its anti-theft function belongs to an electronic article surveillance system (EAS).

The label can be attached or built into the item packaging. The special shelf scanner will scan the goods in real time and get real-time inventory records.

If the goods are taken from the shelf, the system will verify whether the behavior is legal. If the goods are taken illegally, the system will call the police.

When the purchase order is out of the warehouse, all items in different categories can be scanned at one time through the scanner, and the anti-theft function is released while generating the sales order at the cash register. In this way, when the customer leaves with the shopping item, the alarm will not sound.

When the customer pays the bill, the cashier will write the date of sale to the label, so that the items purchased by the customer are also guaranteed and promised accordingly.

6. Library management, rental product management

Putting electronic tags in the books can easily receive the book information. There is no need to move the books when sorting the books, which can improve work efficiency and avoid work errors.

7. Others such as logistics, automobile anti-theft, and air package management.


Picking system

Principles of Picking System

Electronic label picking system (ComputerAssistedPickingSystem), its working principle is to use the electronic label to indicate the variety and quantity of the warehouse, so as to replace the traditional paper picking list and improve the picking efficiency. In the actual use of electronic tags, there are two main ways-DPS and DAS.


DPS (Digital Picking System)

The way is to use the electronic label to achieve the method of fruit picking. First of all, the warehouse location, variety and electronic label should be realized in the warehouse management.

When leaving the warehouse, the outbound information is processed by the system and transmitted to the electronic label of the corresponding warehouse, which shows the quantity of the goods to be stored in the warehouse, and emits light and sound signals to instruct the picker to complete the operation.

DPS eliminates the need for time-consuming pickers to find storage locations and check commodities, but only needs to check the number of picks. Therefore, while improving the picking speed and accuracy, it also reduces the labor intensity of personnel.

When using DPS, multiple picking areas can be set to further increase the picking speed.

DPS generally requires that each variety be equipped with electronic tags. For many companies, the investment is relatively large. Therefore, two methods can be used to reduce system investment. One is to use an electronic label that can be displayed on multiple screens, and use one electronic label to realize the indication of multiple goods; the other is to use DPS plus manual picking:

For the 20% -30% products with the highest outbound frequency (about 50% -80% of outbound volume), adopt DPS to improve the picking efficiency; for other products with low outbound frequency, the paper picking list is still used.

The combination of these two methods can save investment while ensuring the improvement of picking efficiency.


DAS (Digital Assorting System)

The method is another common electronic label application method (the electronic version is omitted below). Based on this information, the sorting operation can be performed quickly. Like DPS, DAS can also operate in multiple zones to improve efficiency.

Electronic tags are used for logistics distribution, which can effectively improve the efficiency of outbound storage and adapt to various demanding operational requirements, especially in the distribution of bulk goods.

They have an absolute advantage in chain distribution, pharmaceutical circulation, and frozen products, clothing, apparel, audio-visual products It has wide application prospects in logistics. DPS and DAS are flexible applications of electronic tags for different logistics environments.

In general, DPS is suitable for the situation of multiple varieties, short delivery time, high accuracy, and large business volume; while DAS is more suitable for the situation of concentrated varieties and multiple customers.

Both DPS and DAS are extremely efficient. According to statistics, the use of electronic label picking systems can increase the picking speed by at least twice and the accuracy by 10 times.

 

Chinese Electronic Label Market

China's electronic label market is in the start-up period, and various regions have carried out application work based on electronic labels, which are mainly used in the field of logistics management, medical industry, tracking and monitoring of goods and dangerous goods, civil aviation luggage and parcel management, mandatory inspection products, and certificate anti-counterfeiting. Road and bridge non-parking charges, electronic tickets and other aspects.

The electronic label industry chain includes seven aspects including standard formulation, chip design and manufacturing, antenna design and manufacturing, chip packaging, read and write equipment development and production system integration, data management software platform, and application system development.

In terms of standard formulation, by 2006 China had formulated application standards such as "Integrated Circuit Card Module Technical Specification" and "Construction IC Card Application Technology". In December 2006, the recommended national standard for RFID animal applications, Animal Radio Frequency Identification Code Structure, was officially implemented.

On April 20, 2007, the Ministry of Information Industry issued the "Notice on Promulgating the Regulations for the Trial Implementation of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Technology in the 800 / 900MHz Band".

 

Open source radio technology project

Open source software radio technology has a profound impact on the radio industry, and electronic tags are no exception.

GNU Radio is a free software development tool suite. It provides signal operation and processing modules, which can be used to implement software-defined radio on low-cost radio frequency (RF) hardware and general-purpose microprocessors that are easy to make.

This kit is widely used by amateurs, academic institutions and commercial institutions to research and construct wireless communication systems.

The application of GNU Radio is mainly written in Python programming language. But its core signal processing module is built by C ++ on a microprocessor with floating point arithmetic. Therefore, developers can easily and quickly build a real-time, high-capacity wireless communication system.

Although its main function is not an emulator, GNU Radio supports the study of algorithms for signal processing of pre-stored and (signal generator) generated data without radio frequency RF hardware components.

 

 

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