Kathrein starts with the next generation of RFID systems!
The requirements for modern identification systems are increasingly defined by ERP architectures. Compared to a large percentage of RFID systems which are equipped either with a serial or a proprietary port, today only a few percent are equipped with a slow and non-network-ready protocol. The reason lies in a constant need for optimisation and efficiency gains in a production and logistics environment.
By Thomas Brunner, Head of Business Line IoT Solutions, KATHREIN Group
Connectivity is essential for a new generation of readers
Based on the high demand for AutoID systems and solutions that are directly integrated into vital planning and production control systems, Kathrein is fully orienting its product strategy towards the TCP/IP standard. The focus on developing the next reader generation, therefore, was no longer limited to excellent reading performance, processing power, and ease-of-use, but was also on a comprehensive and scaleable connectivity of systems via PoE+, WLAN, or 3G mobile networks. The combination of industrial PCs, that have once again increased in performance, with powerful and flexible IoT software platforms enables an efficient integration of business processes into an existing IT infrastructure.
Next generation readers ensure IoT integration
The third generation of the RRU and ARU UHF RFID readers sets a new benchmark for IoT systems and connectivity. With the high degree of versatility of the communication modules, the systems enable IoT applications to be integrated easily and seamless into existing IoT landscapes, without huge efforts for the infrastructure. To meet all requirements of Industry 4.0, the systems have highly efficient integrated multicore industrial PCs (iPCs) to process applications, or to filter algorithms for data mining and business events directly on the device.
The right software plays a key role
The expectations placed on AutoID systems grow constantly. Software is the link between hardware, processes, and back-end systems. With the right architecture and modularity, innovation and integration can be mastered. After integrating the product portfolio of noFilis AutoID, Kathrein is able to offer efficient, holistic IoT solutions from one source. noFilis CrossTalk is a leading software suite for AutoID and IoT device management and track & trace visualisation.
Integrating all IoT technologies into back-end systems
CrossTalk DeviceManagement delivers plug and play integration for most of the AutoID devices and back-end systems on the market. It allows a mix of technologies from major RFID/AutoID, RTLS, barcode, and sensor providers. The CrossTalk AppCenter provides many visual track & trace applications out of the box. With CrossTalk, Kathrein provides a highly configurable, modular, and customizable approach that fits into any customer scenario. Which identification technology provides the process data makes no difference: RFID, RTLS, barcode, GPS, mobile networks, printers, and various sensors can be used as providers of raw data. Based on these inputs, CrossTalk creates so-called business events. This way, various technologies can be easily combined and integrated into the back-end system via CrossTalk. Additional functionalities can be integrated via Plug&Play.
Additional software features create ease-of-use
The Kathrein IoT Platform also provides numerous possibilities regarding visualisation, track & trace, personalised plans and maps, traditional diagram applications, and many other user defined scenarios. The CrossTalk Product Suite consists of three major components: the Cross-Talk AutoID Edgeware for the integration of stationary AutoID read points, CrossTalk Mobile for mobile scenarios (online and offline), and the CrossTalk Application Center for real-time track & trace and RTLS applications.
Customizing the connected World
For both hardware and software, customisation is a top priority for users. This is why the integrated Linux OS in all Kathrein readers provides a basis for comprehensive connectivity and compatibility. ProfiNET, LLRP, and Tag- Blower modules are available as part of the standard portfolio. OPC UA is part of the CrossTalk integration layer. Linux users can also use full access to the integrated OS in order to install specific user apps. For CrossTalk, modularity is also a priority. In addition to various standard applications, new applications can be offered depending on practical customer needs.
Kathrein IoT Solutions
As a solutions provider, Kathrein offers a wide and comprehensive solutions portfolio. The focus lies on industry automation, logistics, and retail as well as vehicle registration and toll systems. Through its global presence, Kathrein ensures that customers are always supported by a team of expert solutions architects that is both close to them and connected to the Kathrein knowledge base. Kathrein supports clients from proof of concept to global roll-out and provides a full service and maintenance program.