Friday, September 14, 2012

RFID News Roundup for the Week of Sept 13th

Sept. 13, 2012—The following are news announcements made during the past week.

India's State of Maharashtra Adopts Confidex RFID Technology for Border Checkpoints
Confidex, a supplier of specialty RFID tags, has announced that its RFID Windshield labels are being employed in a fully automatic border checkpoint control system in the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to Confidex, the solution is the first of its kind in the country, and represents the kickoff for modernizing all border checkpoints throughout India, as mandated by the government. In Maharashtra, Confidex reports, the commercial capital state of India, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corp. (MSRDC) is currently in the process of modernizing the state's border checkpoints, which had been using manual systems that often resulted in high processing times and traffic jams at those borders. The new border-control system utilizes automatic vehicle identification (AVI) ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID technology designed to enable reliable, large-scale vehicle and traffic management, as well as enhanced traffic flow. Intermec's IF2 Network readers are being used in the system's implementation. The Confidex Windshield Label—which is compliant with the EPC Gen 2 ISO 18000-6C standard and is being resold by Confidex's partner, Rajkamal Barscan System—is issued and affixed to each vehicle's windshield, and automatically reads when the vehicle approaches the checkpoint. Several million cars will be RFID-enabled within the first few years, says Hanna Kosunen, Confidex's marketing director for object ID, though she is unable to provide specific numbers. The vehicle's tax, insurance, permit, pollution and driver information is instantly retrieved from the central database, according to Confidex, allowing border officers to make quick decisions regarding border control. Border checkpoint IT system infrastructure is provided by HCL Infosystems Ltd., which is serving as the project's systems integrator. The complete border check station infrastructure is contracted by Maharashtra Border Check Post Network Ltd. (MBCPNL), a sister company of Sadbhav Engineering Ltd., one of India's major infrastructure and construction firms. According to MBCPNL's Web site, the project's goal is to "construct, operate, maintain and transfer twenty-two modernized and computerized integrated Border Check Posts." Confidex and Impinj are hosting a 30-minute webinar about AVI RFID technology on Oct. 3, 2012; those interested can register here.

IDTronic Intros Bluebox Basic UHF RFID Reader Supporting Four External Antennas
IDTronic, an RFID hardware provider based in Germany, has announced a new version of its Bluebox Basic Controller that comes with four external TNC antenna ports. The new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader supports the ISO 18000-6C and EPC Gen 2 standards, and is now available as an addition to IDTronic's existing line of UHF Bluebox readers. This includes a read-write device and an integrated antenna that plugs into a computer's USB port, the Basic Controller with a single antenna port. With its ruggedized housing, the latest UHF four-antenna Bluebox Basic Controller offers a reading distance up to 10 meters (33 feet) and has adjustable output power of up to +32 dBm, IDTronic reports, making it suitable for professional long-range RFID applications. The device is available with an RS232/RS485 or Ethernet interface; supports several standard read nodes, such as scan mode and notification mode; and has integrated I/O ports and three LEDs for status information. In addition, IDTronic offers a software developer's kit (SDK) and suitable antennas that can be used with the reader.

Hong Kong RFID Announces RFID-enabled System for Electronic Fuel Delivery Management
Hong Kong RFID Ltd., an RFID hardware manufacturer, distributor and consultancy firm in Hong Kong and the South China Region, has announced its electronic fuel delivery system (EFDS). The EFDS solution leverages 2.4 GHz active RFID tags, and is designed to replace existing systems employing bar-coded labels for the identification of vehicles receiving fuel. According to Hong Kong RFID, the bar-coding can be easily damaged, and the process of locating and reading the bar code can be time-consuming. The EFDS is designed to track the delivery of fuel to cranes and other large vehicles in the field. EFDS active RFID tags are installed on vehicles, so that fuel-truck operators can identify target vehicles using Hong Kong RFID's Empress Mobile Handheld Reader. An operator chooses a specific vehicle to receive fuel via the handheld device, causing an LED on that vehicle's RFID tag to light up for the purpose of identification, then presses a "start" button on the reader for fuel delivery. An ES-Box installed within the fuel truck will then record the starting and stopping time, along with the amount of fuel injection. In addition, each delivery's operational time is recorded and stored in the Operation Timer install in the fuel-delivery vehicle. All data in the ES-Box and Operation Timer can be automatically downloaded to the Mobile Handheld Reader, which can then be connected to a PC to generate an efficiency report for further analysis. By analyzing fuel-efficiency data, companies can better monitor and understand the health of a vehicle or machine, such as whether it requires motor oil or lubricant, as indicated by poor efficiency operation. Hong Kong RFID is marketing the EFDS primarily within the Asia Pacific region, but intends to eventually extend that reach to the remainder of the world. According to Hong Kong RFID, both Shell and Chevron are utilizing the EFDS solution in Hong Kong, with plans to introduce the system to their headquarters and bring it to their North American and European operations.

Balluff Announces New Version of Its RFID System
Balluff Inc., the North American subsidiary of Germany's Balluff and a manufacturer of a variety of sensors, has announced a new version of its RFID system. The Balluff BIS V solution, which supports the ISO 14443 and ISO 15693 standards, is built on a new generation of RFID processors that, according to the company, maximize flexibility by providing a single device for both low-frequency (LF) 125 kHz and high-frequency (HF) 13.56 MHz read-write heads with an IO-Link master port. Each of the four heads can be set up to interrogate either 125 kHz or 13.56 MHz passive RFID tags. Balluff sells a very wide range of passive RFID tags for both of these frequencies, to support both industrial and logistics applications. These include read-only tags for mounting directly to metal, tags that can withstand high temperatures of up to 230 degrees Celsius (446 degrees Fahrenheit) and others with longer read distances of up to 280 millimeters (11 inches). The new system combines up to four-head capability on both LF and HF frequencies, with local analog, valve manifold or I/O access/control, and delivers a solution that can be applied to a variety of RFID applications. The solution saves time and money, Balluff reports, by employing a single processor platform across an application installation base. Typical applications include the tracking and tracing of materials or parts for assembly-line work in progress (WIP), the company adds, as well as inter-logistics in automotive, industrial equipment, electronics, medical and packaging applications. The BIS V processor provides a functional display and LEDs designed to make setup easier, and includes a USB service interface for connectivity to PCs. In addition, the processor offers four asynchronous 125 kHz and 13.56 MHz read-write antenna channels, an LCD display with control buttons for setting and displaying the network address and data carrier/tags' unique IDs, an industrial IP 65-rated metal housing (meaning that testing has confirmed that housing to be dustproof and waterproof), a power plug option for saving parameters on the device, and flexible mounting options.


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