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8 Sep 2015, 9:56

Taking it back to basics with RFID

Let's take it back to basics with RFID to discover more about the applications where RFID can be used, as well as gaining a better understanding of the HARTING fully integrated RFID system capability. To help become an RFID expert, we’ve also included a glossary explaining the latest industry jargon.


So what is RFID and what does it do? Radio Frequency Identification; put simply – RFID allows the automatic identification and tagging of objects with electronically stored information. A bit like a barcode at checkout – you scan the code and the product is recognised by the shop’s system for processing.

RFID can be used to securely track products which have been tagged. It is also possible to keep track of data assigned to each tag; for example you can record when a product was serviced, who it was serviced by and what action was carried out.

RFID can be used in many applications, with the solution being tailored depending on the project. Key industries where RFID has been used include Industrial Automation, Automotive and Medical environments. Let’s look at these individually…

Industrial Automation – Improving productivity in challenging environments
Industrial Automation refers to the use of control systems for operating equipment including machinery, robotics and production lines. Here, RFID can be implemented to track parts or even whole machines to ensure they are sufficiently maintained. Tags can be re-written to include information for maintenance purposes – including when a machine was last serviced and what repairs were actioned. This allows for a completely transparent and reliable service history of the machinery, as well as keeping a record of who is responsible for the maintenance.

Automotive – Helping production run smoothly
Ever wondered how you can see exactly how far along the production line your new car is? By RFID tracking of course! At each stage of manufacture, different components of the car can be implemented with RFID to track where it is in the factory. This allows for a smooth production process and for downtime to be kept to a minimum.

Medical – Keeping your equipment up to standard
Within the medical environment, RFID can be used to track equipment, beds and even people. By tagged equipment in and out of operating theatres plus when it was last sterilised, the system operators know exactly where the equipment is and that it is fit for purpose.  HARTING RFID is chemical resistant and can be used in autoclaves under high temperatures, meeting the stringent hygiene requirements in the medical industry.  Take a look at our previous blog post about the medical environment here.

These examples are just the beginning; RFID can also be used in many other applications. Discuss your requirements with our product manager today to see how the HARTING fully integrated solution can help with your project.


RFID – Radio Frequency Identification

Transponder/ Tag – Transponders are also known as RFID Tags. Data is stored within the tag to allow them to be read by the antenna.

Antenna – Read the tags and identify the tag information

Reader – Receives the data from the Antenna and registers this to the software

Middleware – HARTING RFID Software solution

Read Range – The distance at which the tags are able to be read

Read Speed – How fast the tags can be read by the antenna

UHF – Ultra High Frequency

LF – Low Frequency

MF – Medium Frequency

HF – High Frequency

GS1 EPC ALE  -  Meets the Application Level Events Standard, which specifies an interface through which clients may obtain filters consolidated data capture information for physical events and related data from a variety of sources. Find out more here -

ISO 18000-6C – International Standards Organisation provides compliance for devices operating in the 860 MHz to 960 MHz band.

Want to know more? Take a look at our RFID webpage here.

A range of HARTING RFID products are available now from RS Components.

HARTING Ltd is skilled in the fields of electrical, electronic and optical connection, transmission and networking, as well as the manufacture of Industry 4.0 solutions. We use this expertise to craft solutions for the transportation, data transmission, wind energy, mechanical engineering, factory automation, automotive and robotics markets. HARTING also design and manufacture cable assemblies, box builds, kit assemblies and modified products at our UK facility in Northampton.

8 Sep 2015, 9:56