Products & Solutions

RFID

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) systems from HARTING identify metal containers, machines, tools, trains, concrete parts or other assets in highly demanding and harsh industrial environments.

Digitising processes requires that components, workpiece carriers and tools are identified. Even the optimisation of throughput times in production, punctuality analyses in railway traffic and simple classic identification of products are increasingly being implemented with RFID.

The interplay of RFID chips with RFID tags

HARTING offers UHF RFID products which provide the same robustness and reliability that you are accustomed to in our connectors. Our portfolio includes special transponders (known as RFID tags) for transport applications, as well as on-metal transponders for container/tool identification and smart labels. Our readers (all with read and write functionality) and antennas are also designed to meet almost all industrial requirements; near range, gate applications and wide temperature ranges are familiar and present features for HARTING.

Using our products, you can implement group reading without line of sight, add readers onto forklifts, and, of course, write information to the transponders. Our hardware always functions according to the latest RFID standards. Products featuring WLAN, Bluetooth Low Energy and GSM are also available, so that your investment is ensured well into the future.

Ha-VIS RFID middleware

Not only is our hardware quite convincing – our Ha-VIS middleware helps you to connect these readers to your infrastructure. It enables you to manage several readers, manipulate the data strings, connect to a higher-level system (e.g. ERP system, database, etc.), control I/Os and much, much more. This software can run either directly on our readers (RF-R350), detached on our MICA® as a container, or as a virtual machine on your server infrastructure. If you are not confident about doing the integration yourself, we would be happy to enlist the help of our competent partners (from our MICA® network). They can help you with specific issues and integrate our hardware into your environment according to your wishes.

Often, your requirements are the same as our requirements concerning production or logistics, transparent processes, verification of operational data, reduction of costs, and improvements to operational reliability. This is because we also use RFID hardware to implement these goals in our supply chain managment.

RFID FAQ

What does RFID mean?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification It involves a process which uses radio waves to read or write data of an electromagnetically coupled data carrier (transponder).

How does an RFID work?

Put in simple terms a reader for the UHF frequency band uses an antenna to send a signal and power to its environment. An exchange of data can take place if a transponder can be activated by the power. The transponder also sends signals in response to the commands of the reader. The advantage of RFID is that it does not need a line-of-sight connection between reader and transponder, such as optical processes using barcodes or QR codes. Moreover, the data contents of the transponder can be read as well as changed as required.

Where is RFID used?

The application areas differ greatly; they are used wherever it makes sense or is of interest to identify objects or living beings. RFID is the first choice particularly when a line-of-sight connection is not possible between the objects or the data needs to be changed.

For example: access control, tool ID, pallet tracking, theft protection, tier identification, product identification

What is an RFID reader?

An RFID reader is a piece of hardware for recording and generally also for writing to transponders.

What is a RFID-transponder?

A transponder is a small data carrier. It is normally attached to the object to be identified and contains a small circuit with a memory area and an antenna for reading and writing. Passive transponders do not require a battery. They function using energy harvesting, i.e. they draw the required energy solely from the energy provided by radio waves. This enables them to be used self-sufficiently and maintenance-free over long periods of time.

Does RFID also function on metal?

Special conditions require special solutions. Special transponders (on-metal transponders) are tuned to compensate for the effects of metal or they provide a physical distance to the metal.

What is the difference between RFID and UHF RFID?

There is no difference, UHF is merely a frequency band for RFID. In addition, there are other popular RFID frequency bands, such as LF (low frequency) or HF (high frequency). UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency and works in the frequency range from approx. 850 to 950 MHz and above.

What are the advantages over other ID methods, in particular barcodes?

RFID does not necessarily need a line of sight with the object to be identified. The transponder can be read and written to as long as it is in range. On the other hand, a barcode must always be "seen" by the barcode reader.

Normally, a RFID TAG can be overwritten repeatedly, however, with a printed barcode changes are unfortunately not possible. Another big advantage of RFID (particularly UHF) is bulk reading, which enables quick detect of multiple transponders (up to a few hundred depending on the reader). For example, you can use a device to detect the objects on a pallet while driving by it in a forklift truck. With barcode systems, this could only be done for a relatively small number of objects using sophisticated vision systems and only with line-of-sight.