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RFID News Roundup

Balluff unveils new long-range RFID reader ••• Identiv, Dai Nippon Printing partner on UHF RFID tags for monitoring bridge cracks ••• Tönnjes RFID system identifies automobiles in Kenya ••• Telink Semiconductor releases updated BLE chip SDK for Apple HomeKit ••• Haldor RFID products count and track sponges, surgical instruments ••• Harting showcases Industry 4.0 solutions incorporating RFID.
By Rich Handley
Mar 23, 2017

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Balluff; Identiv, Dai Nippon Printing; Tönnjes C.A.R.D., Kenyan National Transport & Safety Authority; Telink Semiconductor; Haldor Advanced Technologies, Harvard Medical School; and Harting.

Balluff Unveils New Long-Range RFID Reader

Balluff reports that it has begun fulfilling orders in North America and Europe for its BIS VU-320 UHF reader. The company's BIS V multichannel processor can now accept readers in the low, high and ultrahigh frequencies, operating simultaneously. In situations for which there may be a mixed environment of tag frequencies, Balluff explains, the BIS V system is intended to simplify the RFID architecture.

"A driving force behind the development of the VU-320 reader was the need to read tags at 1 to 3 feet away," said Wolfgang Kratzenberg, Balluff's marketing manager for industrial identification, in a prepared statement. "Typical read range of LF and HF readers is just a few inches, and with UHF readers the read range can extend out to 20 feet or more, making it virtually impossible to single out one tag on a production line. This reader is going to be perfect for those flexible manufacturing applications where the read range will vary based on the size of the product being manufactured."

Balluff's BIS VU-320 UHF reader
The VU-320 is built to withstand tough manufacturing environments, thanks to its IP67 rating. Four highly visible LEDs simplify the troubleshooting process, eliminating the need to access a Web server or PLC to determine if a tag is being read or if the antenna is sending a signal. Because the VU-320 is a part of the BIS V portfolio, it can communicate via Profibus, Profinet, Ethernet IP, CC-Link or Ethercat. Mounting accessories and cables are also available.

The BIS VU-320 read-write head expands the company's range of BIS-V products by adding UHF functionality. The compact UHF read-write head offers function and status LED indicators that can be seen from any direction, the firm reports. With a typical reading range of 1 meter, the UHF system is suited to monitoring production processes and controlling material flow, and for use in assembly plants. It is also suitable for traceability solutions, due to its multi-tagging capability that allows up to 50 data carriers to be detected simultaneously.

The device contains an integrated Power Scan function which allows for automatic matching to the UHF data carrier being used, and ensures optimal configuration in any application without the cumbersome manual setting of parameters. This is possible with the touch of a button on the device itself. The read-write head automatically adjusts itself to local conditions, minimizing startup times.

The short-range read-write head is intended for use in for harsh environments. The use of standard connection cables for the BIS V processor unit makes it possible to utilize a cable length of up to 50 meters.

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