and RFID4U Propose Smart Processes for RFID Supply Chain Label Usage
December 13, 2006
White Paper Details Tag Testing for 'Five-Nines' Read Performance
Dallas TX -- The expectation that 100 percent of RFID- labeled
products can be read 100 percent of the time at all points in the
supply chain is unrealistic; but with proper tag testing and
verification, companies can increase their odds of achieving
"five-nines" performance (five read points at a 99.999 percent read
rate), according to a new white paper from Texas Instruments
Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) and RFID4U.
outlines a systematic approach that end users and systems integrators
can take to increase the performance of their Ultra-High Frequency
(UHF)-based RFID systems. This approach includes establishing a
baseline of initial performance, conducting a performance analysis of
tags, and factoring in variables in product and packaging materials as
well as pallet size and case quantity. The paper also answers the
questions, "How do I measure tag performance" and "What parameters are
most important?" by providing an overview of the testing types,
metrics and pros/cons of static and dynamic methods.
"RFID has been getting a bit of a bad rap due to the expectations that
tags can be read 100 percent of the time at every point for every
product," said Mark Brown, vice president of professional services,
RFID4U. "With proper empirical testing, companies can find the best
tags and labels for their application, and gain the data they need for
improved supply chain tracking."
An "RF-challenged" product, such as those containing liquid or metal,
may only achieve a 50 percent read rate at an individual read point.
The paper proposes practical suggestions to increase read performance
including the use of more sensitive tags, upgrading the reader
interrogation zones with more sensitive antennas or adding additional
read zones at new locations in the supply chain.
"It's important to test a statistically significant sample of both
tags/labels and products, and perform the test in a real-world
environment," said Chris Cook, field application specialist, TI-RFid(TM)
Systems. "Starting with well-tagged assets puts you way ahead in
achieving the kind of visibility and performance from your RFID system
that can drive true business process improvements."
To download the white paper authored by Chris Cook and Mark Brown
titled, "Practical Performance Expectations for Smart Packaging,"
click on: http://www.ti.com/rfid/docs/manuals/whtPapers/wp-
In addition, a new case study available from TI details how, Ryerson,
a metal services processor and distributor, worked with solution
providers Ship2Save, Metalcraft and TI to improve RFID tag
performance. To reduce RF interference, foam separation was used to
increase the distance of the tag from the metal products being tagged
which amplified the RF signal. As a result, the company achieved tag
reads above 200 per second, and increased the read range up to 15
percent. "Bad reads" were reduced to one percent, bringing
"five-nines" read performance closer to reality for this distributor
of "RF-challenged" materials. To view the Ryerson case study, click on
About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments is the world's largest integrated manufacturer of
radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and reader systems.
Capitalizing on its competencies in high-volume semiconductor
manufacturing and microelectronics packaging, TI is a visionary leader
and at the forefront of establishing new markets and international
standards for RFID applications. For more information, contact TI-RFid(TM)
Systems at 1-800-962-RFID (7343) (North America) or +1 214-567-7343
(International), or visit the Web site at http://www.ti-rfid.com/ .
Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog
technologies to meet our customers' real world signal processing
requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the
Educational & Productivity Solutions business. TI is headquartered in
Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in
more than 25 countries.
Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol TXN. More information is located on the World Wide Web at
RFID4U is a worldwide leader in vendor neutral RFID learning
solutions. We have assembled a full complement of products and
services to help you align technology with business objectives. A
pioneer in RFID learning, RFID4U has maintained a steadfast focus on
developing a robust and highly acclaimed catalog of RFID courses. We
also offer a training implementation program customized to fit your
organization's needs. Please visit http://www.rfid4u.com/ for more
TI-RFid is a trademark of Texas Instruments. All other trademarks and
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