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RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. The main goal of an RFID system is to carry data on a transponder (tag) that can be retrieved with a transceiver through a wireless connection. The ability to access information through a non-line-of-sight storage in a tag can be utilized for the identification of goods, locations, animals, and even people. Discerning specific information from these tags will have profound impacts on how individuals in commerce and industry keep track of their goods and each other. Early use of this technology concerned the evolution of barcode applications, changing the application scenario perspective. The acronym RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, encompasses a number of technologies usable to identify objects by means of radio waves. The origin of the technique is the “Identification Friend or Foe” IFF system used in World War II by the Royal Air Force, that was able to get a code back only from “friendly” aircrafts identified with RADAR. Under this very wide umbrella the term is today mainly referring to systems where electronic equipment can “read” information from a multitude of “tags” by means of radio waves. The RFID
tag can come in various shapes e.g. as a paper sticker, just as barcode tags are, as a plastic Credit
Card, or even as a rugged, chemicals and heat resistant, plastic capsule. The tag might be even
powered by a very small battery to support local functions such as storing temperature readings or
enhancing the reach of the radio communication. Although RFID is a mature technology, it took
several years for a large scale implementation to occur. The first ones were in the United States. The
implementation eventually included supply chain, freeway toll booths, parking areas, vehicle track-
ing, factory automation, and animal tagging. The most common application of RFID technology
today is for tracking goods in the supply chain, tracking assets, and tracking parts from a manufacturing production line. Other application areas include the control of access to buildings, network security, and also payment systems that let customers pay for items without using cash.
Nevertheless some technology related issues still condition the possible applications. As an ex-
ample, liquids, water especially, absorb radiations while metals reflect it. This means that passive tags applied to bottles of water or to aluminum cans can be hardly read though placed very carefully with respect to the reader antenna and with dielectric support. This is due to the properties of the radiations in relation to their wavelength It is true for HF tags but even more relevant for UHF tags. The three basic components of a typical RFID system are an antenna or coil, a transceiver(reader with decoder), and a transponder (RFID tag) with electronically programmed information. In an RFID system, an antenna continuously emits radio signals at a given frequency. When a transponder (that is set to detect that specific frequency) comes into contact with these signals, the badge is activated and communicates wirelessly with the reader through the modulation of transmittance frequencies. Through the use of an antenna, the information that is stored on the transponder can be read or written from the transponder. Typically, the antenna is packaged with the transceiver into a larger structure called a reader (interrogator) that is in charge of the system’s data communication and acquisition. The data that is obtained and analyzed by the reader can then be transported to a computer. Avery important feature of the reader is the capacity to avoid collisions among the RFID tags using specific methods. By using collision avoidance a reader can perform multiple readings accelerating the overall reading process in comparison with barcode systems. The performance of collision avoidance systems are evaluated in number of readings per seconds. The typical collision avoidance systems are based on Aloha and slotted Aloha process,2 well known in literature. The use of an efficient collision avoidance system is essential to calculate the data transmission rate of the reading process.
RFID SYSTEM FEATURES
Passive, semi-passive, active
RFID tags can be characterized as either active or passive. Traditional passive tags are typically in “sleep” state until awakened by the reader’s emitted field. In passive tags, the reader’s field acts to charge the capacitor that powers the badge. Due to the strength of the signal that is required, passive tags are most often used for short read-range applications (<1.5 m) and require a high-powered reader with antenna capable of reading the information. Passive tags are often very light, compact, and have unlimited life spans. The contactless smartcards, plastic with a credit card size that can be accessed through a radio reader device, are often confused with pas-
sive RFID. Although the communication method is quite the same, the contactless smartcards have on-chip processing and memory capability that is not needed on RFID. RFID just holds an identifier while contactless smartcards might hold personal identification data, complex encryption capabilities, or application specific logic. The active tags are typically powered by an
internal battery (that lasts several years but whose duration strictly depends upon the application)
and are utilized for long read-range applications up to 100 m. Active badges can continuously emita detectable signal and are typically read/write with a higher total memory. Due to these in-
creased capabilities, active tags are heavier, more expensive, and have limited life spans. Another category of tags is commonly referred to as semi-passive (also called semi-active and/or
battery assisted RFID). These tags communicate with the reader as if they were passive tags but
have a battery on board in order to support specific functions, e.g. to store periodic temperature
information from an onboard temperature sensor.
THE FACTORS AFFECTING THE READING CAPABILITIES ARE
Radio technology and reading distance
Radio frequency and tagged materials
RFID AND BARCODES
Although it is often thought that RFID and barcodes are competitive technologies, they are in fact complementary in some aspects. The primary element of differentiation between the two is that RFID does not require line-of-sight technology. Barcodes must be scanned at specific orientations to establish line-of-sight, such as an item in a grocery store,and RFID tags need only be within range of a reader to be read or ‘scanned.’Although RFID and barcode technologies offer similar solutions, there are significant advantages to using RFID:
â€¢ Tags can be read rapidly in bulk to provide a nearly simultaneous reading of contents, such as items in a stockroom or in a container.
â€¢ Tags can be read in no-line-of-sight conditions (e.g. inside packaging or pallet).
â€¢ Tags are more durable than barcodes and can withstand chemical and heat environments that would destroy traditional barcode labels. Barcode technology does not work if the label is damaged.
â€¢ Tags can potentially contain a greater amount of data compared to barcodes, which commonly contain only static information such as the manufacturer and product identification. Therefore tags can be used to uniquely identify an object.
â€¢ Tags do not require any human intervention for data transmission.
â€¢ Changing the data is possible on some RFID tags.
Security encryption methods can be embedded onto the tag to ensure that the information on
it can only be read or written by authorized users. The creation of encryption specifications for RFID tags by the standards organizations, now in progress, is a vital step for ensuring widespread protection. Security encryption algorithms have already been established for the 13.56 MHz-based ISO/IEC 14443 standard used for automatic fare collection in public transit applications. In order to create high security RFID systems a defence against the following individual attacks would be needed:
Unauthorised reading of a data carrier in order to duplicate and/or modify data.
The placing of a foreign data carrier withinthe interrogation zone of a reader with the
intention of gaining unauthorised access to a building or receiving services without payment.
Eavesdropping into radio communication and replaying the data, in order to imitate genuine data carrier (‘replay and fraud’).
ORGANIZATIONS DEVELOPING INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
As RFID technology continues to expand, the need for establishing global standards is increas-
ing. Many retailers have completed RFID trials within their supplier communities, adding pressure on manufacturers and suppliers to tag products before they are introduced into the supply chain. However, manufacturers cannot cost-effectively manage RFID tagging mandates from disparate retailers until global standards are established. This process requires the creation and acceptance of data standards that apply to all countries, and it requires scanners to operate at compatible frequencies.
EPC global is a member-driven organization of leading firms and industries focused on developing global standards for the electronic product code (EPC) Network to support RFID. The EPC is attached to the RFID tag, and identifies specific events related to the product as it travels between locations. By providing global standards on how to attach information to products, EPC enables organizations share information more effectively. The vision of EPC global is to facilitate a worldwide, multi-sector industry adoption of these standards that will achieve increased efficiencies throughout the supply chain-enabling companies to have real-time visibility of their products from anywhere in the world.
Global data synchronization
Global Data Synchronization (GDS) is an emerging market in Supply Chain Management. It is the foundation for next-generation applications such as RFID-based tracking, and more. GDS is
designed to keep supply chain operations synchronized by ensuring that basic product data, such as the description and category stored by one company, matches the data stored by its trading partners. Organizations submit product data in a specific format to data pools around the globe, and the data is then validated against a global data registry.Standards for GDS are guided by the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI), a collective group of retailers and manufacturers. The standards are being developed by the European Article Numbering Association International and The Uniform Code Council (EAN and UCC). These standards assign attributes to product data that enables manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and other participants in the supply chain to share product-related data across the globe. For example, manufacturers could have their product catalogue accessible worldwide, and retailers could search for any type of product and take advantage of unlimited global access.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a network of national standards in-
stitutes of 148 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments,
industries, and business and consumer representatives. The ISO asserts jurisdiction over the Air
Interface (the frequency spectra used for RFID transmission) through standards-in-development
ISO 18000-1 through ISO 18000-7. These are represented in the United States by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Federa Communications Commission (FCC).
The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in collaboration with the International
Electro technical Committee (IEC) has produced a set of standards for the interface between reader and tag, operating at various radio frequencies. As mentioned, these standards are numbered in the series ISO/IEC 18000-n.
AIM Global is the global trade association for the Automatic Identification and Mobility industry
that manages the collection and integration of data for information management systems. Serving
more than 900 members in 43 countries, AIM Global is dedicated to accelerating the use of automatic identification data collection (AIDC) technologies around the world.
POTENTIAL CHALLENGES OF RFID IMPLEMENTATION
In addition, to choosing the appropriate tag/reader technology in a specific application area, the following list represents potential challenges to consider when implementing an RFID solution:
â€¢ Large volumes of data-Readers scan each RFID tag several times per second, which generates a high volume of raw data. Although the data is redundant and discarded at the reader level, processing large volumes of data can be difficult.
â€¢ Product information maintenance – When a high volume of RFID tags are processed by the reader, the attributes of each tagged product must be continually retrieved from a central product catalogue database – a process that results in challenges for large scale implementations.
â€¢ Configuration and management of readers and devices – When a large number of readers and related hardware devices are deployed across multiple facilities, configuration and management can be challenging. The implementation of automated devices for these processes is essential.
â€¢ Data integration across multiple facilities – In an enterprise with multiple facilities that are geographically distributed, it is increasingly difficult to manage data in real time while at the same time aggregating it into the central IT facility-a process that can place a significant burden on the network infrastructure.
â€¢ Data ownership and partner data integration – When there are different companies involved in business processes, such as commonly found in the Retail supply chain, it can create issues pertaining to the ownership and integration of the data, thereby compromising the integrity of the solution architecture.
â€¢ Data security and privacy – Depending on the nature of the business application and the solution scenario, security and privacy challenges could have a significant impact on the architecture.
RFID Related Radio Law (INDIA)
The Radio frequency band allocated to India for RFID is 865 – 867 Mhz. This band has been freed solely for RFID since March 2005. THe power has been set to 4W.
GOVERNING BODY (INDIA)
Wireless Planning & Coordination Wing, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Department of Telecommunications.
MAJOR RFID CHALLENGES:
Return on investment.
Radio standards & spectrum allocation.
RFID vs barcode
SECURITY THREATS OF TAG:
Falsification of contents
Detaching of tag
Falsifying readers identification
RFID LIFE CYCLE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY –
RESEARCH TYPE :
A two stage Research will be conducted:
Information will be collected through websites & different research papers available on internet to have a better understanding of the RFID technology & form a base for primary research.
Data will be collected from a industry where RFID is successfully/ unsuccessfully implemented by questionnaires & interviews.
SAMPLE SIZE : 10
STATISTICAL TOOLS: histograms, pie-charts, and/or higher level statistical tools like, correlation, regression, tests of significance etc
TENTATIVE STRUCTURE / CHAPTER OUTLINE OF THE THESIS
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
RESULTS & FINDINGS
SUGGESTIONS & RECOMMENDATIONS
CONCLUSIONS & LIMITATIONS
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