A long-range read-write RFID device has been launched by SICK, which delivers compact, standalone RFID identification and traceability without requiring complex programming or separate external antennae. The RFU650 offers a rugged and affordable device with a typical sensing range of up to five metres that can distinguish accurately between transponder tags on assembly parts, goods or packages, even when they are moving in opposite directions.
For the first time, direction of entry and movement, as well as the position and angle of product assemblies, goods and packages can be reliably detected in an automated factory, goods handling or logistics environment with standards compliant communication in real time to the factory fieldbus and DCS system.
Mark Harris, SICK UK’s Systems & Auto Ident Manager, said: “The performance of conventional RFID systems over long distances is limited by the sender power, aperture angle, tag properties, and application environment. Until now, directions of movement could only be derived by using additional, external antennae and specialist algorithms.”
Harris continued: “So, for automated assembly, receiving and outgoing logistics operations, for example, the SICK RFU650 solves the problem of accurate tracking without the need for complex and costly RFID sensing portals with multiple antennae and shielding to read, record and write data. The RFU650 delivers essential data, even at intersections, cross traffic and multi-product holding points.”
Position sensing, passage, angles of up to +/-45° and direction detection are all standard features thanks to the RFU650’s integral advanced algorithms, Harris added. “This avoids the need for additional software and hardware to obtain accurate information on product progress through the plant or warehouse. The software even allows static tagged objects to be filtered out.”
The built-in technology of the RFU650 also makes it easy for integrators or OEMs to link the RFU650 into factory and warehouse network. With SICK’s proprietary 4Dpro connectivity, the RFU650 communicates with all common industrial fieldbuses and is compatible with other SICK RFID read/write devices, making it highly flexible as part of an upgraded or enhanced installation for improved tracking and control. Additional software functions can be programmed in the SICK software environment and integrated into the device to via the SICK APPSpace platform.
The durable IP67 enclosure rating enables the RFU650 to be used in rugged environments and external locations. The RFU650 conforms to ISO/IEC 18000-63, meeting requirements for data integrity and quality.
Different options for parameter cloning between systems (e.g. the integrated microSD memory card feature) reduce maintenance time. The integrated feedback LED can be used to read diagnostic or process feedback.