Evaluation Kit for RFID
Whether in production for recording machine or product statuses, in environmental technology or in mining: the prerequisite for comprehensive and profitable monitoring and remote control of industrial plants are intelligent sensor networks that consist of a large number of sensor nodes, operate wirelessly and have a reliable power supply. Passive RFID sensors are ideal for this purpose because they measure and transmit physical variables of all kinds without contact and do not require their own power supply, since they use the electromagnetic field of a separate reader as an energy source. They are maintenance-free, have an almost unlimited service life, and can also be installed in inaccessible places. But do RFID transponders also work in special applications? And is the data then also automatically available in company networks or Internet applications for further use? Finding this out requires not only adapting the sensor technology, the electronic circuitry and the antenna geometry of the RFID sensor nodes to the customer's specific needs, application scenarios and environmental parameters. The new RFID components also have to be integrated into the existing process environments or those that are to be set up. Fraunhofer IPMS offers this service to its customers in the context of feasibility studies as well as advanced development services in the areas of RF simulation, antenna design, RF mixed signal ASIC design, sensor integration, reader implementation, system integration and qualification.
Our proof of concept uses evaluation kits with commercial and proprietary RFID transponder ASICs for different frequency ranges. Thanks to a flexible interface concept for external sensor technology, we are able to integrate analog and digital sensor technology. This means that our sensor nodes are modular and can be equipped with any sensors according to our customers' requirements. In addition, our evaluation kits contain a software solution, the so-called RFID OPC UA AutoID server (ROAD server), as middleware. This implements the OPC-UA AutoID Companion specification accordingly for RFID components and thus enables manufacturer-independent, standard-compliant communication for industrial automation. In this way, any readers, identification and sensor transponders in the various frequency ranges (LF, HF, UHF and NFC) and from different manufacturers can be addressed uniformly.