Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) has developed the first components for the new RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) system in the UHF range.
The new write/read device for stationary use is compliant with the requirements of the EPC Global and ISO/IEC 18000-6 standards, and is suitable for the 865 to 868 Megahertz UHF bands in Europe as well as for the 902 to 928 Megahertz UHF range in North America. UHF technology permits long distances between the write/read device and the data media (tags). Equipped with a robust IP65 housing and capable of use in a wide range of temperatures, the write/read device also meets the demands of rough industrial environments, such as warehouses and loading ramps. As many as four antennas in IP65, designed for UHF bands in Europe and North America, can be connected in order to record tags quickly and reliably even under difficult conditions. With a high reading rate, multiple tags are identified simultaneously (bulk recording), and even fast-moving tags are reliably recorded.
The new write/read device is connected to PCs or Simatic controllers via the TCP/IP or RS422 interface and integrated in existing automation and IT landscapes. The device, with PC support, is put into operation, diagnosed and efficiently integrated in higher-order IT systems via a serial RS232 interface. Other write/read devices, namely a portable device for mobile use and an extremely compact version with integrated antenna, will be available soon.
RFID is a proven technology which has been used for quite some time now, for example in production environments in order, for instance, to automate automobile production. Siemens A&D has been supplying RFID technology for over 20 years, with more than a quarter of a million write/read devices installed. Under the product name Moby, the A&D portfolio consists of multiple RFID systems for different applications in production, logistics and distribution, for example for containers, boxes and charge carriers, for workpiece carriers and tools in assembly lines, for airports and automobile production, and for access control to company property and parking facilities.
Identification via RFID is being pushed in multiple commercial projects in order to optimize the value added chain. One objective is to lower warehousing costs, significantly reduce the error rate in the supply chain, and to be able to reproduce all links of the supply chain from goods production to end user. RFID technology is becoming increasingly attractive in a commercial sense because of falling semiconductor prices. The low prices for semiconductors lower above all the prices for data media (tags), the biggest cost factor in logistics solutions for mass products.
Siemens is pooling its activities in RFID technology on a cross-Group basis. A&D, Logistics and Assembly Systems (L&A) und Siemens Business Services (SBS) are working together to offer industry and commerce integrated RFID solutions for their entire value added chain, from production of goods over the transport and warehousing chain to the retail stores and the customers. Together with well-known companies from commerce, logistics and industry, Siemens is currently implementing multiple pilot applications in which the first new UHF write/read devices from Siemens A&D are already proving themselves in everyday practice environments.