Whether it is in the industrial age, the information age, the artificial intelligence that has been in full swing in recent years, or the digital age, human production tools have been undergoing great evolutionary changes, but at the same time, the evolutionary system of labels is also like a companion. It has never stopped its development. From paper labels to barcodes, from barcodes to QR codes, and now RFID tags have come again. It seems that we can think so. With the progress of the technological era, our life has always been based on a “tag that closes before opening and then opens.” times” in the development chain.
More practically speaking, from the perspective of the domestic environment, more and more industries have begun to apply the new RFID tag technology and put it into daily applications. Instead, the industry began to doubt the advanced nature and necessity of RFID. So today, let’s share and preview, now and even for a long time in the future, those industries that are inseparable from RFID and the real advantages of RFID tags.
Wire management under RFID tags, the position of industrial digital transformation
Industrial wire management may be one of the less popular among many RFID tag applications, but it is the strongest in terms of necessity. Such an accident happened in Texas, USA in 1983, because Texas has a tornado season every year, a tornado smashed thousands of cable cables in a small town, and the repair of these cables happened after the accident. The one-to-one correspondence of cable interfaces not only caused a lot of trouble to the cable repair department in Texas, of course, they repaired it in the end, but we can actually find that the management of cables is very difficult and obvious. Even now, this problem is still not easy to solve.
The first reason is the sudden increase in the use of electric wires, data cables or other cables. This magnitude of data does not refer to the surge in cable manufacturing output in a region or country, but refers to the amount of cables that are simultaneously performing operating functions in a unit back-end warehouse or cable usage area. In the past, if the number of cables in the back-end database room was in thousands, now it has reached the level of more than 100,000, which is a very serious test for cable management. It is a big project to find the corresponding cable in the data cable.
Second, data reading is a difficult point. Generally speaking, for large enterprises, such as power groups, transportation industries, etc., they will be equipped with super-large enterprise management ERP or EAM systems to assist in locking problem areas and cable locations. However, the disadvantage of this solution is that it still cannot be precisely locked to a certain cable. At this time, it is necessary to manually go to the fault area and use various readers to manually detect and lock. And this will lead to the second difficulty: there may be a situation where multiple cables are intertwined on a single device, which will cause misreading, multiple reading, and missing reading during reading, thus missing the discovery of the problem, and even generating greater cost loss.
On this issue, RFID will reflect its powerful functions and advantages. From the frequency point of view, the current RFID tag technology and product categories are concentrated in two frequency bands: high frequency (HF) and ultra high frequency (UHF). The frequency of HF is stable at 13.56MHz, and the frequency of UHF is in the interval of 856-928 MHz. As the frequency rises, it means more accurate reading ability, longer reading distance and smaller RFID tag component volume. This is the right remedy for wire management. Engineers only need to install a small RFID tag on the cable, then hold the reader, and then use the handheld display or LED light mark to quickly find the corresponding cable. At the same time, most of the current top RFID tags are resistant to metal interference, which can perfectly avoid the problem of reading interference.
From the perspective of other types of label functions, you can never imagine how barcodes and QR codes can manage and cope with industrial management work of this magnitude. More importantly, for industrial wire management, there are reasons to believe that it will be an important territory for the digital transformation of domestic industries, especially manufacturing, in the next 5-10 years. “Emphasis on manufacturing and light on management” has always been a bad habit of the domestic manufacturing industry for many years. Of course, because of the domestic and foreign market demand, this is actually understandable, but with the explosive growth of the size, maintaining this state is obviously not enough to support the sustainable development trend of large-scale industrial formats. Therefore, how to use digital management tools to pragmatically improve the utilization efficiency of all aspects of industrial equipment management on the actual execution side is bound to be a top priority.
“One item, one code” is a great underestimation and contempt for RFID tags
Some people say that the biggest advantage of RFID tags is that they provide absolute “one code for one item”, which provides an irrefutable proof for anti-counterfeiting and traceability in the retail and logistics industries. For this point of view, my opinion is that “one object, one code” may be a great underestimation and contempt for RFID tags. QR code or barcode, which one is not one code for one item? In fact, there are three greatest values of RFID tags in retail and logistics. One is the storage and classification of the amount of information, the other is to release the restrictions on reading, and the other is to be indelible.
Before explaining the storage classification, I need to add a premise. Under the rules of the V109 version of the Class1 Gen2 (referred to as G2) protocol, RFID tags generally have 4 internal storage spaces for information, which are Reserved, EPC (Electronic product code), TID (tag identification number) and User (user) four independent storage blocks. Among them, Reserved is the storage block for storing Kill Password (kill password) and Access Password (access password). Generally, the authority will not be released to any party to read. The real effect is EPC, TID and USER. What are they used for?
TID, the official name is the storage tag identification number, you can call it a more representative name “global unique code”, it is this code that provides the only proof of the existence of the RFID tag, it cannot be written or modified after leaving the factory Yes, then if the label is unique, the product attached to it must also be unique. This is the principle of anti-counterfeiting. The role of EPC is to provide factory-writable product factory information or original information. For an easy-to-understand example, you bought a bright black P40 Huawei mobile phone made in Shenzhen in Shanghai, and its EPC contains a lot of information. There may be a paragraph: szbk40sh, which represents the information just now. In principle, EPC can only be written by the manufacturer, and it follows a record rule, which is decided by the manufacturer, so this provides an absolute technical basis for the original product information record. Looking at User, User is a more flexible user-defined number, which provides the possibility of retaining write permissions after the product leaves the factory. For manufacturers, because some products involve transportation or the confidentiality of product information, it needs more characters to carry the data information of the product, and the storage capacity of EPC is limited on the one hand, and on the other hand It cannot be changed after leaving the factory, so they will need the User number. It should be noted that not all RFID tags have User storage capacity. Simply put, each RFID tag has 4 storage blocks, but according to the RFID tag The user storage capacity of some tags is 0, that is, data cannot be written. The separate use and associated use of these three types of memory provide absolute support for all retail anti-counterfeiting and logistics traceability mechanisms and possibilities for a long time now and in the future.
The second most important value is the release of reading restrictions. Put aside the inherent impression of holding a scanning reader in your mind and aligning the product codes one by one to read. The reading scene under the RFID tag can become very grand or very invisible. For example, the following reading methods:
In terms of improving work efficiency and providing more efficient response speed, RFID tags have created advantages that other tags cannot compete with.
The third great value is indelibility. This indelibility, in addition to the fact that most of its stored information cannot be modified and written, specifically refers to its packaging. Judging from the application cases and adaptation scenarios of most RFID tags, it is not an external fool-like package combination, but is packaged into the product core. This is a good solution to the problem of lawbreakers tearing off and smearing anti-counterfeiting codes, so that product information is truly embedded in the genes of the product itself. For traceability or anti-counterfeiting, if it is separated from the protection of its own anti-counterfeiting and traceability mechanism, the so-called anti-counterfeiting and traceability are just marketing methods to deceive consumers, and there is no real security at all.
The medical field is the dark horse in the RFID tag application industry
The application of RFID tags in the medical field, I will write a more detailed article later, here is a rough description of its field advantages.
I think the medical field is the darkest horse in the RFID tag application industry. Before the new crown epidemic, this demand was not so strong. However, with the help of the new crown epidemic, the absolute and unique identification of some medicaments, medicines, liquid medicines, surgical tools and even laboratory organizations in the medical and health system is necessary and rigid.
Perhaps many people do not realize the urgency of this question. Let’s take a simple example. Taking nucleic acid testing as an example, according to network data, some cities in my country, such as Beijing, have a maximum daily testing volume of 458,000 nucleic acid samples, and the maximum daily testing volume of a single testing unit takes into account the blessings of surrounding testing institutions. , it can reach 17,000. If the low-risk population is mixed at a ratio of 1:5 in the sampling process, more than 80,000 people can be detected in one day. In such a huge detection chain, in addition to detection equipment and tools, the most critical issue is the upper limit of personnel and work efficiency. In addition to carefully preserving and collecting test specimens, each tester must also carefully and accurately identify, manage, submit, store and accurately retrieve all specimens. But in fact, if these tasks are adapted to the tag function of RFID, it is conservatively estimated that the cumulative loss of various costs can be reduced by more than 30%. The operating principle is also relatively simple. Compared with the previous detection methods, which are mainly sticking barcodes on the test tubes, the barcodes need to record some identity information of the personnel, while the RFID label detection will encapsulate a label element at the bottom of the test tube to measure the test tube. The former identity information is readily available on the components. The advantages are: first, low-cost digital sample management can be carried out in one step; The paper itself is a kind of external interference, which is not conducive to the detection and research.
The same adaptation scenario takes place in the operating room. In recent years, there have been more and more sophisticated surgical tools, which has resulted in new absolute standard requirements for surgical tools. All surgical tools, even materials that can be decomposed by the human body, must be included in the list of surgical tools. “Items that need to be recovered” require one-to-one and foolproof retention confirmation after surgery. At the same time, doctors and even patients need to confirm the authenticity and sealing of some disposable medical tools before surgery. For these tools, because they are often exposed to acidic liquids, high temperature and high pressure, etc., sticking barcodes or even printing barcodes is ineffective. At this time, it is time for RFID to appear again. Take Murata’s LXTB-010 RFID tag as an example, in addition to being resistant to acid and metal interference, it can also work in a high temperature and high pressure environment. The application requirements of medical equipment have been considered in the external adaptation scenario. In this regard, these foreign companies, especially Japanese companies, do have their foresight and uniqueness. In addition to Murata, Kyocera in Japan, Omni-ID in the United Kingdom, and Xerafy in Singapore are all in this regard. Has absolute technical advantages.
Above, I believe that there will be a conceptual understanding of RFID. I saw some sayings on the Internet, some say that RFID tags only have a memory capacity of tens of K, some say that it is a technology made for logistics, and some put RFID and NFC against each other. learn. In the next article, I will systematically focus on the value of RFID tags for the medical industry.
Editor in charge AJX