RAIN RFID use has grown rapidly and implementations are expanding. Nowadays RFID is business as usual and quality management is an essential part of normal business operations. Quality really matters in RAIN tag manufacturing as high readability of tags is expected practically in all applications. In this text I describe how some quality management principles relate to tag manufacturing.Read more →
I frequently lecture in RFID training events and every now and then a question comes up from RFID users and system integrators: “When buying RAIN RFID tags, what should we ask from suppliers, and what should we tell to the potential supplier?”. I asked the same question from some RFID tag manufacturers and spiced the answers up with my own experiences and collected the following summary from the answers.Read more →
I had the pleasure of attending a networking event of Americas Apparel Producers’ Network - AAPN a few weeks ago. The presentation topics and discussions ranged from lighter reminiscences of past gatherings to hard core statistics around today’s retail.
As a take-away I thought a grim view was painted of the main stream apparel value chain of brand owners and retailers. This traditional apparel retail value chain seems slow and rigid; and is definitely challenged by online sales and vertically integrated fast fashion companies. Recently I’ve also heard presentations from a couple of vertically integrated retail chains – with focus on their RAIN RFID projects. Those stories painted a more positive view of the retail value chain.
Read on to see how these two opposite forecasts might merge.Read more →
Electronic Vehicle Identification (EVI) tags are a perfect match to RAIN RFID (UHF RFID) technology. Once a vehicle is tagged, the possibility to identify the vehicle remotely enables a lot of applications and services. While the vehicle tagging is of high interest, it is not the easiest task. In the past few months I have worked with some vehicle tagging projects and learned that the application requires some special attention from technology providers.Read more →
RAIN RFID Alliance just published a recommendation for RFID reader sensitivity testing. Why is such a recommendation important for RFID industry? I was deeply involved in the work for creating the recommendation and can open up some reasoning behind the recommendation.Read more →
I am frequently lecturing to RFID users and technology providers about quality and performance in RFID. Every now and then a question about the terminology comes up. RFID technology has developed through several paths and as a result there are a lot of names and definitions for RFID. A beloved child has many names, says a Finnish proverb. Understanding the different points of view in naming and the origins of the terminology help to understand the many names.Read more →
When selling RAIN RFID tags: wouldn’t it be great to prove that the proposed tag is really the best possible for the customer’s application; and not just send out loads of free samples hoping that customers test them properly? And when purchasing: wouldn’t it be great to have comparable data of how each tag works in your application instead of “our tags are the best ones, you can trust us” statements?
Guess what: it is possible, and in most cases the sales person or buyer just needs to know what to ask. Tag developers have a lot of characterization data ready. Read on to see how to leverage that data following the 3-step approach!Read more →
ISO 18000-63 (6C, EPC Class 1 Gen 2) has been by far the most used UHF RFID standard for several years. There have been some competing standards such as Tagidu, IP-X (tag-talks-only) and ISO18000-62 (6B), but they are nowadays rarely used in new applications. However, new RFID standards still emerge: for example in Brazil, SINIAV has created a protocol aimed for vehicle tracking applications, and in China, a new UHF standard, GB/T29768-2013 has been recently published.
There are several chip and tag manufacturers working with these new standards. Why do these national RFID standards exist? And what does it mean for performance testing?Read more →
Retail and the retail supply chain are among the biggest users of UHF RFID technology. However, retail RFID projects are not the most simple ones. Items in retail come in all shapes, sizes and materials. They are shipped in different boxes, and stored and displayed on all kinds of racks, shelves and tables. Also different readers are used in different applications: logistics tracking, inventory count, RFID EAS, POS, and so on. I have been involved in a number of retail RFID projects, and I have seen how complicated the performance optimization can be.
GS1 Tagged-Item Performance Protocol (TIPP) was developed to help retail RFID by making buying and selling tags easier. But what do the TIPP guidelines mean, and what kind of testing is required?Read more →
RFID reader frequencies are controlled by governments and limited to narrow frequency bands that vary around the world. When the performance of an UHF tag is evaluated, focusing only on the narrow reader frequency bands is misleading. I have seen in several RFID projects, how the tag performance in field conditions is different from what is expected, leading to delayed projects and expensive re-planning. Testing in a wide frequency band is needed to get the correct information about and good visibility into UHF RFID tag performance. Read more about wide band testing and what it reveals from UHF RFID tag performance!Read more →