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RFID Issues Instructions On the Fly

Omni-ID's "visual tags" tell workers what to do with the assets and work-in-process being tracked.
By Paul Prince
Jun 01, 2012—Many companies use printed cards, labels or work orders in their daily operations. In a factory, for example, goods traveling down an assembly line might be accompanied by printed instructions that tell workers what color paint to apply or what parts and options to add. At a warehouse, a card attached to a tote might list the items a worker must pick to fill an order.

But sometimes a company needs to change instructions in mid-operation for a specific product or order, or perhaps across an entire plant. That can mean halting production while new cards are printed, and then having a worker swap the old paper instructions for the new ones. Manual paper-based systems are not only labor-intensive, they also are time-consuming, costly (think of all that paper and ink) and error-prone.

Text and graphics can be displayed on the LCD screen.

Omni-ID developed a more efficient solution: The ProView Visual Tagging System lets businesses use RFID to track assets and work-in-process—and update instructions automatically, on the fly. The system features a bistable LCD screen with an active ultrahigh-frequency (869- to 928-MHz) RFID tag and an EPC Gen 2 passive inlay. Omni-ID offers four models of ProView tags, with display screens available in three widths: 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches. A ProView tag controller transmits the instructions, via a proprietary air-interface protocol. An Omni-ID printer driver lets the software program being used to print cards and labels display the text or graphics immediately on a ProView tag's screen. (Any standards-based EPC Gen 2 interrogator can read or encode a ProView tag's passive inlay.)
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