RFID Infrastructure Management

The Situation Today

Today the majority of RFID applications (including some of the largest deployments) still have proof-of-concept character. Reasons are the complexity of supply chain and other processes, the lack of practical industry standards and physical / technical constraints.

For example, a lot of effort goes into getting an RFID application to work dealing with physical constraints and RF optimization (elimination of cross-reads or read errors due to RF interference etc.). Equally much time is spent on configuration and integration challenges dealing with subtle differences between readers and tags from different vendors. This time would be much better spent focusing on the real business benefits of RFID and the ROI that can be gained from the global and instantaneous visibility that RFID promises to deliver.

Even more concerning, security is not on the radar of most RFID projects today as a direct result of the struggle to get these systems to work in the first place. However, as RFID applications become ubiquitous and large user memory on RFID tags is becoming commonplace (for example Alien H3 and Tego tags), security for RFID will become more and more important: RFID business data should be protected from unauthorized reading, tampering and cloning. The backend your RFID network is connected to should be protected from attack or corruption by erroneous data.

Taking Pilots to Production

When migrating from a local RFID pilot to a global production system new challenges arise. Among them are

  • Reliability
  • Availability
  • Scalability
  • Security
  • Monitoring

These are standard problems of large networked environments that should be addressed by standard solutions. Only then you can focus on the business problem at hand and do not have to spend resources on consulting services to reinvent custom solutions for the same kind of problems again and again.

The problems listed here can only be addressed adequately by a dedicated entity performing RFID Network and Infrastructure Management effectively and shielding middleware and backend systems from the complexity and versatility of the RFID hardware.

The RF-Wall Infrastructure Management and Security Appliance together with the RF-Manager and RF-Audit software applications does just that and will help you taking your RFID application to the next level regardless of whether you are new to RFID or whether you are planning to upgrade an existing system.