Whether implemented in production to detect both machine and product conditions, in environmental engineering or in mining, RFID sensors wirelessly measure and transfer all kinds of physical quantities. RFID sensors successfully operate in difficult-to-access or fast, rotating environments in which other measuring devices fail. RFID tags fitted with sensors use the electromagnetic field of a reader as their source of energy and are therefore maintenance-free, because they don't have their own power supply. The flexible RFID monitoring system developed at Fraunhofer IPMS measures and evaluates application-specific parameters in order to determine, for example, the risk of plant failures. In concrete application, this allows for the decrease of maintenance and downtimes and the increase of plant availability.
Sensor transponder development is just part of the complete range of RFID services offered by Fraunhofer IPMS. Comprehensive services begin with an initial individual consultation on RFID applications, followed by the development of RFID circuits with an integrated sensor-bridge to allow for the connection of almost any sensor and the installation of hardware for sensor transponders as well as their individual adaptations to specific application scenarios. Services are completed with final integration into existing software systems including data analysis, process control and cloud applications.
Fraunhofer IPMS development team leader, Dr. Andreas Weder explains, „Recent testing has shown that our system also works reliably when integrated in permanent installations in metal environments. In addition, the current version is multi-tag-capable at a distance of up to two meters, making it possible to record several sensor tags simultaneously.”
At the 2017 Embedded World Exhibition and Conference, the world's leading trade fair for embedded systems, Fraunhofer IPMS will introduce a function demonstrator for passive RFID sensors which is also available as a customer evaluation kit. The Fraunhofer IPMS ROAD-server RFID middleware is also part of the system. Dr. Weder continues, „RFID components sometimes differ too much according to manufacturer, frequency band, protocol, interface and sensor and cannot be combined with one another. Our ROAD-server makes it possible to address any reader as well as any identification- or sensor-transponder from different manufacturers in the LF, HF, UHF and NFC frequency ranges via a common OPC UA interface, allowing them to be easily integrated into production processes.“
Visitors to the 2017 Embedded World from 14.-16. March can find the Fraunhofer IPMS exhibition at Stand 123 in Hall 3. Those participating in the parallel conference are also invited to attend the „RFID Sensor Transponders – Transparent and Secure Integration into Industrial and Cloud Environments Using OPC UA“ presentation to be given by Dr. Andreas Weder on Tuesday, 14. March at 4:30 p.m.