Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) has existed for 50 years now – and it is no longer possible to imagine today’s industry without it. But how was the breakthrough possible? Even before RFID was used commercially, the technology played an important part in identifying friend or foe during World War II. However, the transponders were the size of a suitcase and cannot be compared with today’s RFID tags.
In the 1970s, RFID was first used to tag animals in agriculture. The US-American Mario Cardullo is now considered the inventor of the RFID chip. In 1973, he received the first patent for a passive RFID with read and write access. But the RFID chip from the 1970s also has nothing in common with today’s wafer-thin RFID tags. In 1973, the RFID chip was still a transponder that consisted of a combination of coils and circuits.
Years passed before RFID technology was finally brought to the general public in the 1990s – with vehicle immobilizers, ski passes, and fuel cards. DENSO may not have invented the first RFID products in the 1990s, however, the company invented the QR Code with Masahiro Hara in 1994.
Applications of RFID: numerous possibilities
Simply put, RFID technology is a further development of the classic barcode. RFID accelerates the exchange of information through the use of radio waves. This acceleration is particularly advantageous in logistics and warehousing, e. g. when receiving and shipping goods. With the robust UR40, DENSO offers an RFID reader that is ideal for this particular use.
The UR40 is a fixed-mountable, industrial RFID reader with antenna for warehouse applications. With a reading speed of up to 700 RFID tags per second, it is one of the fastest in the industry. The UR40 is suitable for distances of up to eight meters. For shorter distances, the UR20 comes into play.
Like the UR40, the UR20 is a powerful RFID device that can be fixed-mounted. However, its shorter communication range of 80 cm makes it more suitable for use in retail, especially at the POS. A special benefit: The UR20 can eliminate queues as it can scan multiple products simultaneously instead of having to scan each product individually.
The UR20 is also ideal for modern self-checkout counters. Smooth integration into existing cash register systems is quick and easy. In order to avoid reading RFID tags at neighbouring checkouts, the communication range can be freely adjusted depending on the environment.
World’s best reading performance through RFID coupling
Companies from logistics, transport, retail, and manufacturing achieve another level of process acceleration with the SP1 from DENSO. The high-speed UHF RFID scanner ensures acceleration of more than 50 percent and offers the world’s best reading performance with modern Autopilot. The SP1 reads 700 tags per second and manages a reading distance of up to 13 meters.
Depending on the situation, the reading mode of the SP1 adapts automatically: first, the highly sensitive tags and then the difficult tags are scanned. That is how the SP1 with Autopilot achieves time savings of 50 percent.
The SP1 can be quickly and easily paired with other existing smart devices or handhelds from DENSO, such as the BHT-M80. To do so, a QR Code is read on the SP1. Both devices are then automatically paired with each other.
Looking forward to more decades of RFID
RFID technology undoubtedly offers clear advantages in the industrial environment. Data collection processes and entire production processes can be automated and made more flexible and efficient.
In addition to RFID scanners and readers, DENSO WAVE EUROPE also offers practical companions such as the so-called navigation TAG, which lights up as soon as it is detected. The semi-passive UHF band RFID tag helps locate goods in warehouses. Even decades after the first use of RFID technology, the success story continues – and DENSO is one of the protagonists.