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RFID News Roundup

William Frick & Co. intros RFID label for tracking high-voltage insulators ••• Farsens announces passive UHF tag with switch-monitoring sensor ••• IDTronic unveils new flexible, lightweight UHF tag ••• IPC Media delivers magazine discounts via beacons at One Stop stores ••• Orderella, TAMOCO team up on beacon- and NFC-enabled apps for pubs and bars ••• Identytec offers e-kanban system made with steute Schaltgeräte wireless sensors.
By Beth Bacheldor
Aug 28, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: William Frick & Co.; Farsens; IDTronic; One Stop, IPC Media; Orderella, TAMOCO; and steute Schaltgeräte and Identytec.

William Frick & Co. Intros RFID Label for Tracking High-Voltage Insulators

Frick's SmartMark WF-SM-SI01 insulator tag
William Frick & Co. has announced that it has expanded its SmartMark product line with the new WF-SM-SI01, an RFID label designed for electric power insulators. Electric utilities, including transmission and distribution companies, can use the tags to bring greater accuracy and efficiency to the process of managing, deploying and replacing insulators.

The WF-SM-SI01 contains a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID tag compliant with the ISO 18000-6C standard, with a read range of up to 35 feet and 128 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory. According to William Frick, polymer (also known as composite or nonceramic) electric insulators are typically difficult to attach an RFID label to, but the WF-SM-Sl01 features a special peel-and-stick adhesive that bonds securely to insulator surfaces, such as glass, porcelain or silicone. Composed of ultraviolet (UV)-resistant and outdoor-tested materials, it is designed for use in severe industrial environments and to withstand outdoor exposure. Utilities can employ a standard RFID reader to track tagged insulators and other assets as they enter and exit storage facilities and yards. When attached to insulators deployed out in the field, William Frick reports, the label offers a long read range, so workers can track overhead and long-distance assets. Custom configurations are available for porcelain or glass insulators, and labels can also be sized to conform to almost any silicone insulator.

Farsens Announces Passive UHF Tag With Switch-Monitoring Sensor

Farsens' X32 switch-monitoring tag
Farsens, a Spanish developer of passive RFID sensor tags, has unveiled a battery-free ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID tag that can be used to determine whether as many as 32 switches are open or closed. The X32 is capable of transmitting a unique identifier, as well as each switch's status, to a commercial EPC Gen 2 reader, without the need for a battery on the sensor tag. Built in a compact PCB format, the tag is designed for monitoring switch status in applications for which accessibility is restricted, or for which the use of batteries is not recommended. The tag lets users leverage existing UHF readers to automate regular product checks, such as the status of their connections. Such checks typically require a complicated manual inspection process or expensive automation tools, according to the company. Any mechanical contact that is electrically conductive can act as a switch, Farsens notes; for example, each switch monitor could be connected to a safety belt, so that the belts' status could be read wirelessly using an RFID reader.

The X32 consists of Farsens' proprietary RFID integrated circuit—the ANDY100—for energy harvesting and wireless communication, start-up circuitry based on a voltage monitor, a microcontroller and a connector with multiple general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins (one for each switch) and signal-conditioning circuitry for monitoring up to 32 switches. The tag contains a 96-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC) number, a 32-bit tag identifier (TID) and a password-protected kill command, and its reading distance is more than 1.5 meters (5 feet). The X32 tag is available in a variety of antenna designs and sizes, depending on the specific application, according to Farsens. It can be embedded in a wide variety of materials, such as plastics or concrete, and can be encapsulated in an IP67 or IP68 casing for use within harsh environments. Evaluation kits are available.

IDTronic Unveils New Flexible, Lightweight UHF Tag

iDtronic’s Flex Tag UHF
IDTronic has announced a new flexible, lightweight passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag made of PVC and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Suitable for tracking moving objects, such as automobiles and parts, the Flex Tag UHF (model ST-FT-115-UHF-HG3) features Alien Technologies' Squiggle inlay, made with a Higgs-3 chip compliant with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards. The tag can be operated worldwide, in the global UHF band of 840 to 960 MHz. It can accommodate an Electronic Product Code (EPC) of 96 to 480 bits, and has 512 bits of user memory and a 64-bit unique tag identifier (TID). The tag measures 115 millimeters by 20 millimeters by 2 millimeters (4.5 inches by 0.8 inch by 0.08 inch), and has standard mounting holes that make it easy to affix to a variety of materials. It is rated IP54, signifying that it is protected against particles and liquids. IDTronic offers full, individual, four-color offset printing for the Flex Tag UHF.

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