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IEC制定RFID标准,旨在随时掌握物品信息

发布时间: 2019-05-05 10:31:01   审校:睿智  

RFID(射频识别)标签已应用于农业、医疗保健和零售业等行业,并使其从中受益。

随着行业数字化的发展,RFID在简化供应链管理应用方面发挥关键作用。

利用RFID标签,库存管理系统可以对物品进行实时定位和追踪

这一简单、高效而低成本的技术已经在诸如汽车制造业、奶制品行业、仓储管理及零售业等行业得到应用。该技术还被应用于打击假冒产品,诸如航空航天、汽车零件、服装、电子产品、手提包、药物、制表等行业。

一、基于国际公认标准的技术

IEC与ISO共同合作,为条形码和RFID技术制定国际标准。这些国际标准涵盖自动识别和数据捕捉(AIDC)过程中所涉及的数据格式、语法、结构、编码和相关技术。该系列标准还规范了跨行业应用程序、国际业务往来的相关设备。

条形码无处不在。仅零售商收银台,每日就有约六十亿条形码扫描量。虽然条形码和RFID都可实现数据读取、数据收集、财物追踪和库存追踪,但二者还是有所区别——最主要的区别是光学扫描仪只能在视野无阻碍的条件下读取条码,即需要保证视线清晰。例如,一个收银台每次只能扫描一件商品。而RFID标签一旦进入特定读取范围,无线电讯号即能将其激活,这意味着在一秒钟内可读取数百个标签。

基于RFID的库存管理系统的使用正在兴起,因为这种系统拥有实时监控物品的特点,可以提高公司的仓储管理,节省商品结账时间。

二、采访亨利·巴特尔(Henri Barthel)

e-tech采访负责AIDC技术的IEC和ISO国际标准制定工作的亨利·巴特尔(Henri Barthel),以便更多的了解RFID的优点及其最新发展。

1、RFID可运用于哪些场景?

RFID已越来越多地运用于库存管理、仓库、工厂和零售点。

例如,在汽车制造业,为汽车元件打上标记,可以更为便捷地检查各部分是否装配正确,需要寻找特定元件时,也能更为快速地进行定位。

研究表明,2018年全球服装行业标签使用量约为八十亿,仅占服装行业潜在市场需求量的10%。

RFID标签可以嵌入到衣服中或是标签上,并且是一次性的。RFID标签的物品识别能力尤其适用于库存管理系统。不仅如此,每个RFID标签的成本仅为4-6美分(约合人民币3-4角),非常低廉,极为适合大规模的推广。

“这是基于国际公认标准广泛使用技术的一个很好的实例。RFID非常适用于服装行业,在这个行业产品十分多样化,例如尺码、版型和颜色。这项技术不仅可以用于升级收银方式,也可用于库存管理。通过这项技术,可以实时监控货物的仓储状况,确定需要补货的商品。在出口处,RFID标签一经扫,仓储系统即可得知物品离店情况,因此,RFID不仅可以帮助商店获取购买信息,还可将商品丢失和商品盗窃纳入防控。若商品未经扫描即离开店铺,与库存系统相连的防盗监控门就会立即报警。”

在医疗保健行业,能够快速识别、定位、鉴定和使用不同的物品至关重要,特别是在医院里。RFID的应用程序可使医生和工作人员确定手术所需的特定设备和医疗用品摆放位置,并确保所需设备已经彻底消毒。这项技术也可用于保证医药供应链的稳定,记录人体组织样本及其它样本信息,提高患者流的管理等等。

2、2019年的主要项目有哪些?

虽然条形码技术并不新颖,但其依然富有活力,正在不断迭代之中。

3、二维码和QR码

目前,二维码的相关标准(ISO/IEC DIS 21471)已经在制定中,同时正在为QR码标准的编制提出类似项目。某些物品上更适合印刷方形二维码,如医院小微医疗设备等。目前掌握的技术已经可以将非常微小的条码印刷或镌刻在产品上,并成功读取。

目前IEC正在制定一项标准,该项标准将涵盖微小条码的印刷质量与镌刻质量,也被称为条形码在零部件上的直接标记。

 “我们需要制定一致性标准和性能标准来衡量消费者和其它商品的RFID质量。拥有技术标准是一件好事,但如何评价给定的商品是否符合标准?如何判断不同RFID系统孰优孰劣?换句话说,如何客观评价RFID系统的一致性与性能?”

4、RFID标准应用用户指南

条形码和RFID基础技术相对成熟并且正在运用中,IEC和ISO目前已经制定了120项标准。目前的需求是增补该技术的应用标准,为终端用户和AIDC技术的准用户提供框架,指定准备方向,提供不同选择。

 “我们正在为电子标签制定标准(ISO/IEC WD 22603),使用带数字的条形码,可以访问产品数据。这可能包括影响不同区域产品的法规。在电子行业中,不同国家和地区都有着不同的法规和说明如何符合这些不同法规的要求,使我们面临难题。我们提出的想法是,扫描产品条形码之后,将跳转到一个网站,展示物品的规章信息。网站的应用范围可以扩大到展示药物生产信息,食品配料完整清单、洗衣机用户手册等无数方面。现在,这种网站展示的方式已经申请了专利。我们的目标是制定一项标准,为这种展示方式的应用提供框架。”

5、展望未来

RFID技术已应用于智能试衣间、定向广告发布、马拉松信息传递、医院进出洗手监控、赌场筹码追踪等领域。

IEC与ISO将继续跟踪行业发展,及时制定标准,满足行业需求,确保RFID技术的可协作性、安全性和高效性。

Keeping track of things with RFID

 

Agriculture, healthcare and retail are some of the industries that already benefit from radio frequency identification (RFID) tags.

RFID plays a key role in streamlining supply chain management applications, as the digitization of industries advances.

RFID tags enable inventory management systems to locate and track items in real time

This simple, effective and low-cost technology is being deployed by automotive manufacturers, dairy farmers, warehouse inventory managers and retailers, to name a few. It is also being used to fight counterfeit products, such as aerospace and motor vehicle parts, apparel, electronics, handbags, pharmaceuticals and watches.

Technology based on internationally agreed standards

IEC and ISO work together to produce international standards for barcode and RFID technologies. They cover data formats, syntax, structures, encoding, and technologies for the process of automatic identification and data capture (AIDC). The scope also includes associated devices for inter-industry applications and international business interchanges.

Barcodes are ubiquitous with some six billion scanned daily at retail checkouts alone. While both barcodes and RFID read and collect data, and track assets and inventory, there are differences – the main one being that optical scanners only work with an unobstructed view of the barcode, known as a clear line of sight. For example, products are scanned one at a time at the checkout. However, when RFID tags come within a certain distance of their reader, they are activated by radio signals, which means that potentially hundreds of tags could be read per second.

The use of RFID-based inventory management systems is growing, because they offer features which allow businesses to track items in real time, improve stock management and cut down checkout times.

Interview with Henri Barthel

e-tech caught up with Henri Barthel, who leads the development of IEC and ISO international standards for AIDC techniques, to learn more about the benefits of RFID and latest developments.

What type of applications use RFID?

Increasingly, RFID applications are used for inventory management, for warehouses, factories and retail outlets.

For example, in the car manufacturing industry, tagging component parts makes it easier to check that everything has been assembled correctly, as well as enabling the quick location of parts when required.

In the case of apparel, research shows the number of tags used in 2018 was in the range of eight billion worldwide, which represents only 10% of potential market capacity for that specific sector.

RFID tags can be embedded into the clothing or on a label and are disposable. They identify items uniquely in inventory management systems and cost between four and six cents, which is very affordable for large-scale deployment.

“This is a great example of the broad use of technology based on internationally agreed standards. RFID is well suited to the clothing industry where there are many variants of each product, such as size, shape or colour. In addition to the checkout process, it can be used for inventory management, to know in real time, what is in stock and what needs reordering. Stores can also control loss or theft of items as well as purchases, because when the RFID tag is scanned at the exit point, the stock system is made aware that the item has left the store. So if an item makes it through without being scanned, an anti-theft detection gate linked to the inventory system can trigger an alert.”

In the healthcare sector it is vital to be able to quickly identify, locate, authenticate and engage with different items particularly in hospitals. RFID applications enable staff and doctors to locate the exact equipment required for surgery and other treatments and ensure it has been properly sterilized. They can also secure the medicine supply chain, track tissue and specimen samples, improve patient flow, and more.

What are some of the main projects for 2019?

While the barcode is a relatively old technology it is very much alive and continues to evolve.

Rectangular DataMatrix and QR code

Currently, work is being done to develop a DataMatrix rectangular barcode (ISO/IEC DIS 21471) and a similar project is coming up for a rectangular QR code. The rectangular shape is easier to put on certain items, such as very small medical devices and equipment used in hospital theatre rooms. Current technologies enable to print or to engrave very small barcodes onto the products and to read them successfully.

A standard is being worked on, which will cover the quality of the printing or engraving of tiny codes, also known as the direct part marking of barcodes.

“We need conformance and performance standards to measure the quality of RFID for consumer and other goods. It is good to have a technology standard, but then how do you assess that the given product conforms to the standard? How can you say ‘my system is better than yours’, in other words how can you objectively measure the conformance and performance of RFID systems?”

The basic technologies of barcodes and RFID are relatively mature and being deployed, with 120 standards developed by IEC and ISO already in use. Now, there is a need for more application standards that explain how to use the technology, and give some sort of framework around what needs to be thought of and what the options are for end users who are going to adopt these AIDC technologies.

 “We are working on a standard for electronic labelling (ISO/IEC WD 22603) using a barcode with a number, which would enable access to product data. This could include regulations which affect the product in different regions. In the electronics industry each country or region has different regulations and the requirements for explanations (books) of how to conform to these different regulations. This is a challenge. The idea is to scan the product barcode which takes you to a website and gives you the regulatory information on the specific item. This use of websites could be expanded to product indications for pharmaceuticals, a full list of ingredients in a food product, or a user manual for your washing machine, there are countless examples. This is already being done today in a proprietary manner, so our ambition is to have a standard which gives the framework for how to implement this kind of approach.”

Looking ahead

Smart fitting rooms, targeted advertising, marathon messaging, hand washing in hospitals, tracking casino chips and your drinks tab are some of the innovative ways RFID technology is being used.

IEC and ISO continue to follow industry progress, in order to deliver the standards required in a timely manner, to ensure RFID technology is interoperable, secure and works efficiently.

 


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