Siemens Energy & Automation will expand its RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) systems offering into the UHF range in mid 2005.
The new RFID system family, for 860 to 956 megahertz frequencies (the UHF range), will consist of stationary and handheld reader designs with corresponding tags for various environmental conditions.
The RFID systems’ functionality corresponds to EPC Global and ISO/IEC 18000-6 standards. Readers will communicate via TCP/IP with PC or SIMATIC controllers as servers and will allow for remote engineering -- according to customer requirements -- via the Internet, and also will perform diagnostics using a remote control unit.
"UHF technology allows increased distances between readers and tags at relatively low costs," said Alex Stuebler, business manager of factory automation sensors at Siemens Energy & Automation. "We anticipate the technology will grow in popularity among industrial customers -- including automotive and pharmaceutical, as well as retail customers and their suppliers -- because of improving standards and lower tag prices."
Three Siemens businesses have combined their product, information technology and services as part of the expansion: Siemens Automation & Drives (operating as Siemens Energy & Automation in the United States), Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems, and Siemens Business Services.
Siemens has developed and deployed RFID technology in more than a dozen large logistics projects for companies including Airbus, Kaufhof Warenhaus AG and Otto-Versand. Since July, 2004, Siemens has also participated in the "Future Store Initiative" of the Metro Group, which includes IBM, Intel, SAP, and others as members.
The Metro Group tests new technologies and ideas in practical applications in order to develop RFID standards for commercial use. In the United States, Siemens also has been working on standards development as a member of the EPC Global Panel.
Commercial release is expected to coincide with the availability of EPC Gen2 tags in mid-2005 following the pilot customer phase currently underway.