The letters RFID are the abbreviation for the English term "Radio Frequency Identification". The translation is "identification by means of radio waves" or "radio recognition". In concrete terms, RFID means a contactless exchange of sensor-generated data by means of radio waves. Data transmission with RFID requires no (!) visual contact between the RFID transponder and the RFID read/write unit.
RFID systems are enablers for the automation of production processes, the real-time capability of sensor data, the creation of digital twins and transparency in logistics chains.
An RFID system consists of two components. The RFID transponder, which goes back to the two terms transmitter and responder and is also called RFID tag, RFID label or RFID tag. The second component is the RFID read/write device. Both components are equipped with an antenna for coupling.
As soon as the RFID transponder enters the reading field of the RFID read/write unit, two-way communication starts. The sensor data is transmitted via specific radio frequencies within a few fractions of a second. Not only sensor data can be transmitted electromagnetically. Energy can also be exchanged in this way.
RFID systems are used in all conceivable sectors of the economy, from industry to logistics, in medicine or in the retail environment. The design of the RFID transponders adapts to the individual application and can be key fobs, labels, glass transponders or even chip cards. Automatic and contactless data acquisition is possible over long ranges (up to 10 m), depending on the frequency.
Special RFID transponders are used in environments with interference materials such as metal or liquids. Modern UHF RFID readers are particularly suitable for pulse reading. The reading accuracy is almost 100%.