TURCK recently launched its BL ident RFID system, targeted to the industrial arena. Product Marketing Manager Mark DiSera describes the new line’s exclusive design features.
What are the
system’s key features?
The RFID module fits into our existing remote I/O line, so it can all be combined to form a stand-alone system. We’re the first company to market RFID and I/O in one remote package. This allows the end user to combine I/O that is typically needed on an application into one system rather than a separate PLC and RFID system. If the user needs more I/O or RFID channels, he can simply add more modules. While most competitors offer one- or two-channel solutions, with the TURCK solution you can have up to eight channels and it becomes a much more affordable system because you only have the cost of the gateway one time. Gateways are available in Ethernet IP, Modbus TCP, DeviceNet, Profibus and are available as standard or programmable.
Another big feature the product line offers is a high-temperature tag, rated up to 410F. It has proven itself in high temperature automotive paint and electroplating applications, where it is extremely tough for an industrial tag to survive. The list price is $95 a tag. And it lasts for years — it has a hundred thousand write cycles and unlimited read cycles.
What is most important to an engineer working with an RFID system?
Modular flexibility is key for an engineer designing an RFID system. To allow him to have this stand-alone system saves design time, money and allows for ease of use. Another key feature is the speed at which the system transfers data, 0.5 ms per byte in the case of the BL ident system. More speed allows you to read and write on the fly. With the BL ident system, the tagged item doesn’t have to stop for read/write operations, where with many industrial RFID systems, you have to stop in front of the read/write head, perform the operation and then move on. If you can keep product moving, throughput increases and ultimately so does profitability.
What are TURCK’s next steps for industrial RFID?
Looking to the future, we’re thinking about extended read/write distances. We are about to release a larger antenna to extend distances up to 20 inches. In the industrial arena, that’s fairly far in the 13.56 MHz frequency. Right now, typical distances usually aren’t much more than a total of 6 inches. There are pluses and minuses with extended distances, depending on the frequency you choose for your system. On the factory floor, industrial noise from ac motors or servo motors can wreak havoc on an electrical system. So to get 20 inches of range is fairly significant. The nature of the beast with 13.56 MHz frequency is it’s more an issue of physics — you can build longer-range equipment but transceiver size gets to be an issue.
What’s exciting for our company is not only is our existing customer base embracing the new BL ident system, but we are also seeing immense interest from industries far from our core industrial business. The near future promises to bring huge advancement in the RFID industry.
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