Category Archives: RF Hardware & Tags

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What is the best UHF RFID Label Tag in 2017? Best of 6 Common Retail UHF Label Tags

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,Learn,RF Hardware & Tags Tags : 

Tag Test 6 Common UHF RFID Label Tags by eChain Technology

There are hundreds of UHF RFID tags currently available on the market and new tags appearing every week (it seems).  Tags are customized to meet so many scenarios from on-metal, laundry, high-temp, small/micro, cable tags, zip-tie tags, wet inlay (adhesive backed sticker), printable label tags, and more…

Trying to find the best tag on the market for any given scenario can be extremely time consuming, and misleading capabilities documented by tag manufacturers don’t help at all.

From time to time, we evaluate available RFID tags to help us narrow the list to a manageable few tags for our customers and to recommend to RFID users based on a controlled tag comparison. This particular tag test provided results that was surprising even to us, and I think will help guide you to using a relatively new tag that had superior results compared to all other commonly used UHF RFID Label Tags.

Tags Tested:

  1. Alien Squiggle – ALN-9640 (Higgs 3) aftermarket, 4x.5 inch inlay
  2. AD-227m5 – Avery Dennison (Monza 5) from manufacturer, 4×2 inch label
  3. xWing – Invengo (Monza 5) from manufacturer, 3×2 inch label
  4. Alien Short – ALN-9662 (Higgs 3) aftermarket, 3×2 inch label
  5. Frog 3D, SMARTRAC (Monza 4) from manufacturer, 2×2 inch inlay
  6. AD-229r6 – Avery Dennison (Monza r6), from manufacturer, 4x.5 inch inlay

Methodology:

UHF USB Reader

UHF USB Reader

We decided to use the eChain High-Power USB Desktop RFID Reader for this test.  This reader is very easy to use, has a maximum output power of 26 dBm (0.4W), and connects directly to PC using USB Cable.  While we could have used a much more powerful reader like the Impinj R420, some of these tags can be read at over 60 ft using the R420 and extreme range testing is something we will plan for a future experiment.  For this test, we are focused on documenting both the reading capability of the (medium-range) eChain desktop reader on currently available, inexpensive label tags.

The reader was set to max power (26 dBm) and configured for FCC frequency hopping.  We mounted the reader on a flat surface in a vertical orientation 3 ft (1m) from the ground.  The test was conducted indoors with unobstructed field of view with a maximum possible range of 30 ft (10m).

The tags were randomly selected from batches we have available, one from each of the 6 tags listed above.  We mounted the tags on separated sheets of paper, with EPC and TID printed to help identify the tested tags.

For the test, we placed a tape measure on the floor directly below the reader extending straight out for 30 ft.   We moved all tags out of range and started the reader.  We selected 1 tag at random and slowly moved toward the front of the reader along the tape measure from the 30 ft mark (outside read range) until the reader “beeped” and the first read was recorded (distance, frequency, rssi).  We then marked the tag read location on the tape measure at precisely the greatest distance of the first read.  We repeated this with the remaining 5 tags until the test was completed, we documented the measurements of the tags, reset and repeated the experiment for a total of 5 tests for all 6 tags.

Results

We ware amazed to see the clear winner of the test was the AD-229r6 with a maximum read observation of 24 ft (7.3m) and average max read range of 19.2 ft (5.8 m). This is an amazing 10 ft greater than the next maximum read (Frog 3D) and more than 2x the reading range of the Aveny Dennison predecessor tag, the AD-227m5.

Max Read Distance in Inches (IN) (FT) (FT)
Tag Description T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 AVG AVG MAX
Squiggle (Alien) 98 102 110 96 103 102 8.5 9.2
AD-227m5 96 110 80 98 116 100 8.3 9.7
xWing (Invengo) 95 100 132 123 89 108 9.0 11.0
9662 Short (Alien) 132 151 132 110 155 136 11.3 12.9
Frog 3D (SMARTRAC) 168 129 132 117 140 137 11.4 14.0
AD-229r6 202 205 216 240 288 230 19.2 24.0
Totals 791 797 802 784 891

Key Takeaways

  • Clear Winner: AD-229r6 for both average and maximum range read
  • 24 Ft Tag Reads: Using eChain USB Desktop Reader
  • Most Improved: AD-229r6 HUGE improvement over previous version AD-227m5
  • Best Short Tag:  Alien Short (9662) 3 inch tag had amazing performance for its size

Final Thoughts

Apologies to Alien Technology for Squiggle and Short tag test results as we used aftermarket tags.  These tags do not use the latest Alien chipset, and may not have the performance of OEM Alien tags.  Our reasoning is these Alien tags are prevalent online and provide a great price point sought after by high quantity/production clients.

Through other tag tests, we have found that the aftermarket Alien Short 9662 tags do tend to perform very well and consistently with our results here.  However, bulk purchases of those aftermarket tags reveal quality issues that make reads inconsistent from tag to tag.

We are very happy with our little desktop reader providing label tag reads up to 24 Ft!

Through other tag tests, we have found that the Alien Squiggle tends to perform better than the results found in these tests.  We would be glad to revisit or retest these, or other tags on request.  Thank-you for your interest!  Lewis Kilby, eChain Technology


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RFID Reader Locates up to 5,000 items in 5,000 SQ Ft., 32 Zones!

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags,RF ROI Tags : 

The new Impinj Speedway Revolution model, R420-USA2M1 has maximum output power of 32.5 dBm.  This is 2.5 dBm more than the previous Revolution R420 and represents an amazing 178% increase in maximum output Wattage (1.78 W vs 1.0 W).  While you can’t use this extra power to exceed FCC (or your local government) guidelines on maximum RFID radiated power, you can now extend your RFID system by 25 Ft in any direction from a single reader with no net signal loss over previous reader model.  You gain 2,500 SQ Ft of extra RFID coverage area from a single reader!

LEARN MORE


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Invengo announces slimmest, high-performance UHF RFID tag for linen tracking

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Hardware & Tags Tags : 

PRESS RELEASE:  INVENGO ANNOUNCES SLIMMEST, HIGH-PERFORMANCE UHF RFID TAG FOR LINEN TRACKING. THE LINTRAK-SLIM 

Singapore, 14 February 2017 – Invengo, the global RFID technology provider, today announced the launch of a new generation linen tag, the LinTRAK-Slim, the slimmest UHF RFID tag for the Laundry and Textile Services industry, based on the latest chip available on the market. 

Specifically designed to be discreetly integrated into linen and various textile products used in commercial laundries and at their customers’ sites such as hospitals and hotels, the new LinTRAK-Slim tag is a woven label just 1.2mm thick, making it the thinnest UHF RFID tag on the Textile Services market. Small in size, 10mm wide and 59mm long, the new Invengo tag allows for rapid and seamless insertion into the hem of textile items. The tag is based on a unique and patented concept that couples a very small UHF device with a sewed, secondary antenna made from flexible stainless steel thread-like material.

The new LinTRAK-Slim integrates Impinj’ Monza® R6-P chip, the latest EPC Gen 2 UHF chip on the market, designed to drive high-volume applications by combining breakthrough features with unprecedented bulk, stack-reading capacity and speed.

LinTRAK-Slim, which has been tested by world renowned MRI test lab Magnetic Resonance Safety Testing Services, is MRI-compatible and can be used safely in all types of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems operating at 1.5- and 3-Tesla.

The new LinTRAK-Slim completes Invengo’s portfolio of industry-leading RFID tags and stations combined with a linen inventory visibility IoT platform called ACUITY, specifically designed to provide digital analytics and services to the laundry industry and their clients in the Healthcare and Hospitality markets.

“We are particularly excited about this new tag and its innovative features that are the result of fruitful discussions with our customers and end-users throughout the Textile Services Ecosystem, including linen manufacturers, laundry groups, major hotel chains and hospitals,” said Richard Bailly, President of Invengo Technologies. “With this slimmer tag, we deliver unique benefits to each layer of the linen value chain, resulting in a groundbreaking product that will fuel market growth.”

The new LinTRAK-Slim tag will be available for orders by the end of February 2017.

ABOUT INVENGO TEXTILE SERVICES
Invengo Textile Services provides a smart-linen system called ACUITY, enabling real-time inventory visibility of textile assets, through reliable tracking and monitoring of their flow, usage and life cycle from linen suppliers to laundry groups and their customers.

Its innovative and proven technology platform, combining software, RFID hardware and services, adapts to our customers’ evolving requirements in terms of stock volumes and multiple site deployments. It significantly contributes to: efficient monitoring of linen, increased financial gains through reduced operational costs, optimized stocks and purchases, and improved customer satisfaction. For more information, visit www.invengo.com/textile

ABOUT INVENGO TECHNOLOGY 
Invengo – the global RFID technology provider – is a leading developer and manufacturer of high quality, intelligent RAIN RFID (UHF), HF and NFC inlays, tags and connectivity solutions utilized in the Internet of Things (IoT). With a focus on RFID innovation, Invengo has created a leading product line in retail, library, (industrial) laundry,  pharmaceutical, healthcare, (public) transportation and many other industries. With over 20 years of experience in RFID, Invengo is fully dedicated to enabling efficiency in applications such as ticketing, identity management, supply chain management, authentication, asset management and brand equity.

Invengo Technology Pte. Ltd, located in Singapore (with subsidiaries in the US and Europe), is the international headquarters of Invengo Information Technology Co. Ltd, listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE: 002161.SZ). Employing over 600 people worldwide, Invengo is one of the largest publicly traded, RFID-oriented companies in the world, with design and manufacturing plants located in both the United States and China and sales offices spanning all major geographies.

Media Contact
Invengo Technologies
Angeline Fraud
Manager – Marketing Communications
Textile & Custom Application Services

+33 4 1396 1127
marketing.tcas@invengo.com
www.invengo.com/press


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PRESS RELEASE: INVENGO ACQUIRES A 10% STAKE IN SML HOLDINGS LTD

Category:eChain News,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags Tags : 

INVENGO  ACQUIRES A 10% STAKE IN SML HOLDINGS LTD, THE HONGKONG-HEADQUARTERED BRAND IDENTIFICATION SOLUTION PROVIDER FOR THE WORLDWIDE RETAIL & APPAREL INDUSTRY

eChain Technology, a US-based RFID technology and solutions company, is working with Invengo to provide affordable samples and small-quantity options for purchase to sample and test Invengo RFID tags. Check out our shopping cart for our Invengo RFID tag options.

InvengoSingapore, 27 October 2016 – Invengo, the global RFID technology provider, today announced the acquisition of a 10% stake in SML Holdings Ltd., the Hongkong-headquartered total brand identification technology and solution provider for the global retail and apparel industry. With a presence in over 30 countries and manufacturing facilities around the world, SML delivers best-in-class products and solutions built on a great technology and thorough understanding of their customers and the retail market. The extensive SML offerings include product branding and labeling, RAIN RFID tag solutions, retail RFID software solutions and data management services, anti-counterfeit and product packaging design and engineering. SML has an enviable customer list that includes such leading fashion brands and retailers as Levi’s®, American Eagle, American Apparel®, Ann Taylor, GAP, Tesco, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and Adidas®.

Retailers frequently struggle with inaccurate inventory and that inaccuracy has significant negative impacts to their business such as: lost sales, excess shrink, ineffective omnichannel processes, poor employee productivity and bloated inventories. As retailers work to improve efficiency they are entering a new era of retailing (Retail 3.0) by using RFID technology and solutions which is enabling retailers to achieve over 98% inventory accuracy and thus more efficiently manage their inventory and deliver new levels of customers service. This Retail 3.0 retail world includes: dramatically reducing out of stocks, creating better instore experiences and enabling more effective omnichannel delivery models. And likewise, in supply chains, RFID technology and solutions from SML are being used to improve inventory accuracy through the lifecycle of a product.
Based on the IDTechEx forecast for 2016, the number of tags used in 2017 is expected to reach over 5 billion. SML, as a market leader in traditional clothing labels and packaging, is already serving the needs of the apparel retail industry. As a result of adding RFID technology and solutions to its existing programs, SML is in an excellent position to benefit from the shift towards comprehensive retail inventory management and the Internet of Things.

The aim of the investment is to establish optimal synergy between Invengo and SML in areas such as products, marketing, sales and innovative RFID solutions. Blending the extensive RFID product and solution depth of Invengo with the proven retail technology and global reach of SML will strengthen the global leadership position of both companies in apparel inventory management solutions for the retail sector.

“We have admired SML for years as they built a world-class data management system to support the global expansion of their locally based service bureaus. Coupled with an excellent track record in on time delivery and price efficiency, an experienced and highly-valued management team and in-company know-how, we are in an excellent position to benefit in this fast-moving growth market,” comments, Jiann Hsieh, CEO of Invengo International.


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PRESS RELEASE: INVENGO TECHNOLOGIES MOVES TO NEW FACILITY TO SUPPORT GROWTH

Category:eChain News,RF Hardware & Tags Tags : 

eChain Technology, a US-based RFID technology and solutions company, is working with Invengo to provide affordable samples and small-quantity options for purchase to sample and test Invengo RFID tags. Check out our shopping cart for our Invengo RFID tag options.

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Connect Things to the Internet of Things

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Hardware & Tags,RF ROI Tags : 

It is hard to deny that the Internet of Things (IoT) has reached a critical mass of sorts and is now feeding and growing on its own momentum. Every day there is news from all over the world of companies adopting and utilizing IoT technologies in very interesting ways that improve their business, reduce problems and risks, and provide automatic accountability in a world of global availability. And IoT is finding its way into the consumer market as well, providing home safety and automation, secure access and accountability for school children, and the capability to locate indispensable items like bikes and car keys.

Every technology used in IoT is different. Primary technologies in IoT include RFID, Bluetooth and Wifi. These technologies have extremely different capabilities, strengths and weakness that ensure the best technology is available for specific scenarios. For example, do you want to track many things (clothing in a department store) or a few things (car keys)? Do you need extremely short range (contact-based access control, contactless secure payment system with read distance of a few millimeters). Medium-range (retail checkout scan of a few inches), or long-range (employee/patient tracking, long-range stock tracking at 30-50ft). Or do you need extremely long range sensors that indicate a mechanical failure or issue (lead level in water supply, miner experiencing oxygen issues in a mine shaft) at a distance of a quarter mile or more?

RFID Tag Serial Output

RFID Tag Serial Output

Each technology communicates using different comm protocols, timings, ranges, security levels, etc., and each technology requires a unique system to interpret and process the data to ensure relevant information is immediately communicated, while non-relevant information (redundant status updates) are filtered out.

00:16:25:11:22:C3 4 0C210501607131472202319F 1434760116623735 61

Unlike EDI or XML, each IoT technology communicates differently with no existing standard. Here is a great article by Sanjay Sarma of MIT Technology Review titled The Internet of Things: Roadmap to a Connected World.  Data from IoT sensors typically includes a sensor/tag identifier (in Hexadecimal) and sometimes a sensor data element (on/off or sensor reading like 121 degrees). Some IoT items communicate directly with the internet (onboard Wifi or Bluetooth). Others need a device to read the signal from the sensor/tag (Reader) and relay the signal to the internet (or server application). The Reader will add additional metadata to the tag/sensor data (reader identifier, timestamp, signal strength, etc.), translate the tag signal and transmit the enhanced signal data to a local application or to the internet.

The resulting data string might look something like this: “00:16:25:11:22:C3 4 0C210501607131472202319F 1434760116623735 61”

Professor Plumb in the Library with the Candlestick Holder

Professor Plum

Professor Plum

In the end, all you really want from your IoT device is the WHAT (Professor Plumb), the WHERE (Library), the WHEN (9:36PM) and possibly a sensor reading (Alive/Dead?). You expect your IoT application to monitor other tracked items in the vicinity (Candlestick Holder) and the relationship of items that would make the game of Clue extremely short if played using IoT technology. Of course, we would also know that Mrs. Peacock “expired” at 9:36PM in the Library… This status would trigger an alert to the designated authorities with the relevant information.

Big Picture

Sensors and machine-to-machine interaction is just the beginning of the IoT revolution. The real value lies in integrating these disparate data feeds into your day-to-day operations. Ask yourself – do I want to maintain a bunch of new applications and interfaces?

eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

eChain Technology Advanced Solutions that Automate Global Commerce

Do I want to deploy and maintain internet and “Edge” servers to reduce thousands of data records continuously generated (per minute) to extract the one relevant record (item x has stopped)? Do I want to spend the next 2 years experimenting with IoT and RFID technology to find out what works for me and my specific business scenario? How do I leapfrog existing legacy systems to take advantage of emerging IoT technologies and other related technology?

Ask yourself, would it be valuable for me to have multiple systems working together to provide a single view of the entire history of an item – including assembly steps and components, warehouse locations and movements, shipping updates from multiple carriers, quality inspections, service records, and record of employees who touched the item? In the case of catastrophic item failure (airliner crash, food poisoning) knowing where each component has ever been will be extremely important.

About eChain Technology

eChain Technology was founded in 2001 to design, develop and deliver innovative supply-chain solutions and enterprise project execution that improves efficiency and maximizes operational performance. We have a 100% success rate delivering more than $150 million in net income and value to Fortune-500, multi-national companies and government agencies. eChain Technology specializes in RFID, supply-chain and enterprise solutions that immediately address business cost areas and improve operational performance. We provide full service consulting, system integration and application development.


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eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

Desktop RFID With Cloud Connectivity

Category:eChain News,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags Tags : 

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain Technology adds an inexpensive Plug and Play Desktop RFID Reader to our comprehensive RFAST Cloud Asset Management solution. Our eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader connects to computer USB port for instant RFID tag reads. Experiment and test reading various RFID tags to understand the capabilities and limitations of this fascinating technology. This is one of the highest power USB desktop readers available, with max power output of 26 dBm and ability to read UHF EPC Gen2 tags up to 3 meters (9 ft). Adjustable frequency means you can legally use this reader in most countries in the world.

Do Something With Your Data

eChain Connect

eChain Connect

For most RFID experiments, this is there the fun ends. You realize that the tag data is displayed on your computer and goes no further. You can’t map the data to an actual asset or location. You can’t even get the data into another system. It simply displays on your computer in its own proprietary application.

So eChain Technology has created a communication app that installs onto your computer and interfaces with the desktop reader. eChain Connect takes the tag data streaming from the reader and securely transmits it using HTTP Post method to the internet where it is loaded into our RFAST application. Now, those seemingly random RFID tag reads become a real-time sensor feed to an enterprise asset management application tracking location and location history of your key assets up to the second.

RFID is Really Fun

eChain is well established in the global technology scene and member of associations like GS1, Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). We have been in business since 2001, and have seen RFID capabilities and technologies explode in the last two years, partly due to the focus brought by the Internet of Things (IoT).

RFID Scan Items In BoxRFID is no longer a glorified barcode scanner, but is a true game-changing technology! Low cost tags and antenna technology for long-range reading means that you can literally tag and track anything and everything of value or importance. Read hundreds of item tags at 35 – 50 ft. (instead of 1-5 inches) Count items inside boxes and boxes on pallets automatically. There are literally hundreds of uses for RFID technology.

With UHF RFID, you can see tags inside boxes or drawers. Notice that some tags can be read much further than others. Play with signal strength (RSSI) and frequency bandwidth. How do these settings affect read range? Notice the number of tag reads per second/minute. Can you hide a tag from RFID? Is there anything in your wallet that RFID can scan? How about your toll sticker in your car? Do the tags work on metal, people or liquid? It is really fun to test all these capabilities to fully understand the power and limitations of RFID.

Arduino Linksprite RFID AS3992

Arduino Linksprite RFID AS3992

A significant contributor to RFID visibility and adoption has been the low cost AS3992 UHF RFID Passive Reader Module Kit by Arduino and Cottonwood/Linksprite. At around $220 on eBay, an aspiring engineer can purchase this kit and experiment with UHF RFID. Many emerging tech companies are developing custom applications using the AS3992 for RFID tracking, access control and sensor-based applications.

However, because the AS3992 is actually a science project (circuit board/development kit), moving your work into a real-life production environment requires significant effort including manufacturing enclosures, finalizing software and applications, upgrading power and interface and many other challenges. This is where the eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader proves superior. In addition to being a complete, production-ready RFID reader and solution, the eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader is more powerful and flexible than AS3992.

Production Ready ROI

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader

eChain RFAST is designed to work quickly in your environment so that ROI can be generated immediately. No development required! Use the eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader reader to familiarize yourself with RFID technology and capabilities while configuring the RFAST Cloud application to monitor real asset and workflow movements. Test from the hundreds of RFID UHF tag options to find the best tags for your particular environment.

UHF RFID and eChain RFAST Asset Management supports Unique Device Identifier (UDI) regulations, eliminates expired goods and lost inventory, enforces FIFO stocking policies, identifies specific stolen goods and returns, and provides to-the-second tracaebility across the globe and in different languages. Customers use RFAST to help anti-counterfeiting, ensure critical stock is always available, track chain of custody, and to quickly identify, locate and remove recalled products. Perform mobile inventory count sweeps simply by walking through a truck or stock room. The uses for this technology are absolutely countless.

How Does RFID-Automation Help Your Business?

Get started today learning how this disruptive technology can work for your business. The eChain USB Desktop RFID Reader is a great way to better understand RFID, and it comes with an easy upgrade path to a production RFID solution for your business. Contact us today. Our RFID Experts are glad to work with you on your specific business challenges and show you what is possible with RFID automation.


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eChain Executive RF Device

eChain Executive Mobile RF Scanner

Category:eChain News,eChainRF-Asset Mgt,RF Asset Management,RF Hardware & Tags,RF Healthcare Tags : 

eChain Executive Mobile Device Slideshow

http://echaintechnology.com/solutions/mobilerf/

The eChain MobileRF solution is a phone-based Android Application Platform with integrated UHF RFID and Barcode Scanner.

This is not your typical ruggedized warehouse scanner.  This is an elegant smart device platform for executive and in-office use, integrated into the eChain RFID Portal platform.   Our mobile solution completes your eChain Technology Automated Asset Management needs for Critical Asset, Item and Parts Visibility.  Use to scan, interrogate, inspect and add/update your UHF RFID-tagged assets, or use the on-board industrial Honeywell bar-code scanner for barcode tags.

Our advanced solutions allow your business systems to automatically maintain visibility and control of thousands of critical parts, individually, across their entire operation or supply chain without human intervention or input.