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Robert Oberle, Ph.D. Embedded radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been around for years, but is seeing a spike in implementation due, in large part, to the push for more interconnectivity and data-driven decision making in manufacturing. RFID tags can be molded into a plastic, rubber, or composite element or placed behind covers or under labels, making them inconspicuous to the user—but not to an RFID reader. You can scan them from as far away as 16 feet in most environments and in some cases much farther and identify an individual device, or a room full of devices, without getting near them. Enabling the tracking of a product throughout its life cycle is one of several good reasons manufacturers consider embedding RFID tags on high-value assets during the manufacturing process. An embedded tag enables automated data collection about the asset, whether it is in production at the manufacturer’s factory, or deployed at the customer’s site. Whether you’re looking to identify a rack of IT equipment, a tray of medical instruments or a pallet of oil pumps, embedded RFID tags can dramatically reduce the cost of gathering data about the location and state of the asset. Unlike barcodes or other symbol-based identification technologies, embedded RFID tags are largely immune to dirt or grime; they are protected from handling, impacts, chemical degradation, abrasion and other environmental hazards—and retain their readability for the life of the device. Because the tag is passive, it doesn’t rely on a battery as a power source—the identifying information can be read even after decades. For many companies, there is incredible downstream value—both for the manufacturer and their customers—in embedding RFID at the manufacturing stage. These include life cycle management, traceability, recall and upgrade, auditing and financial management and regulatory compliance. So why isn’t it a standard […]
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