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RFID read/writer performs in challenging environments

18 December 2012

A new UHF RFID system from Sick is said to be achieving high levels of performance in challenging factory environments, overcoming the problems of poor signals caused, for example, by close proximity to heavy metal machinery and plant.

The RFU 630 read/writer avoids signal reflection and distortion in ‘high noise’ conditions, making it suitable for use in factory, production and logistics environments. It operates with high accuracy where barcode and other part marking is masked, covered by dirt and paint or is not line-of-sight.

“Extensive trials of the unit conducted by Sick with a European car manufacturer confirmed metal component identification to over 99.98% while located in the paint shop in up to 2300C conditions,” said Tim Stokes, RFID specialist for SICK (UK). “And, because it operates on the SICK IDpro platform, the RFU 630 is easily integrated with a wide range of SCADA/Ethernet systems, as well operating easily with other SICK auto-ident technologies such as 1D/2D barcodes for a factory-wide system.”

The compact and rugged device includes an integrated antenna and capacity for connection to three external antennae for transponder identification in complex goods flows. The multi-ident and anti-collision features ensure high accuracy and digital inputs, such as from a trigger photo-electric sensor, can be accommodated.

The RFU630 range to transponders is up to 1.2m, and the device will detect all data carrier transponders conforming to EPCglobal and ISO 18000-6 standards with very high degrees of reliability. Configuration is via the company’s SOPAS tool with auto-ID function, and as well as application-specific software.

With the SICK IDpro function, connectivity with a range of factory control systems is possible, including Ethernet RS232/422/485 CAN, CANopen. Other fieldbus systems such as PROFIBUS and Ethercat can be addressed via external gateways.

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