Vizinex Long-Range Label Leapfrogs Standard Tags
The company’s latest XLR metal industrial label uses lighter materials that allow lower costs and a smaller footprint for tracking goods in warehouses, storage bins and manufacturing facilities from up to 30 meters away.
June 25, 2021Vizinex RFID, headquartered in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, has released what is known as its top performing XLR tag, replacing a six year old predecessor product. The new tag is designed to provide businesses with passive UHF RFID functionality that is close to the read range of battery-powered or active tags, reports Vizinex, while the tag is small and relatively inexpensive. According to Ken Horton, co-founder and CEO of Vizinex RFID, the new XLR tag has a read range of more than 30 meters on metal surfaces. Since no battery is required to achieve this reading range, the tag is maintenance-free and has a long service life in industrial environments.
With the latest version of the XLR, Horton says, companies can set up zone-based location management with less reading infrastructure than traditionally required due to the reading range. This means, for example, better coverage of a storage area or warehouse. For those who are already using UHF RFID readers like portals, the tags can offer even better read rates, the company notes. In addition, they are smaller and cheaper than the previous version.
The tag contains Impinj’s M750 chip that enables wide broadband frequency and other features. Vizinex uses less material on its newest label. This also includes replacing the previously used stainless steel with rigid plastic to ensure durability. The new materials enable a large reading range on metal or other substances and at the same time reduce the size of the tag. With molded plastic as part of the structure, the tag can now be sold at a reduced cost, the company reports. The tag measures 5.28 “x 1.7” x 0.5 “, says Horton, describing it as the smallest industrial passive tag in its class.
The company requires military authorities and other users to track assets; Construction companies that manage tools, materials and vehicles on construction sites; and other companies that perform asset management in warehouses or yards. According to Horton, the XLR was originally developed for use cases such as military asset tracking, yard or fleet management, and cargo, container and pallet tracking. The earlier version of the XLR appeared around seven years ago and was manufactured in a relatively complex construction process. The latest version reduces those costs by about 25 percent, the company claims.
According to Horton, the long-range XLR had been a staple product for more than half a decade, but Vizinex tried to improve the label. In addition to increasing the read range, the company hoped to be able to offer a single product that can be operated in the global UHF frequency spectrum from 856 to 925 MHz. “So we’ve improved bandwidth performance,” he says.
The M750 chip has 96-bit Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory and 32-bit user memory, as well as improved autotuning, and enables a wide frequency response and a smaller size. For XLR users looking for cost savings or smaller tags, Horton says, “It was a win-win-win situation. We have a day that is significantly cheaper and smaller [than similar UHF RFID tags], with a better read range. “With the next generation XLR, he adds,” We have overtaken the competition. “
The day is said to have several benefits, reports Horton. For companies that already use UHF RFID technology outdoors or in other harsh environments with portal readers, the long range may not be necessary, but the sensitivity of the tag could increase the reading reliability. This means that users can achieve a higher rate of tag capture when tagged goods pass through dock doors or gates at the entrance or exit of a yard.
In some cases, however, businesses may need more location information than just identifying when goods are passing through a portal. In such a scenario, says Horton, the long range provides a view of a yard or storage area. Traditionally, this has required a dense network of RFID readers to capture tags 9 to 30 feet away. The new XLR version no longer needs as many readers to capture tag ID numbers, he explains.
Horton predicts that the new tag will help drive a movement from passive RFID towards the kind of long-range tag reading expected from battery-powered passive or active tags. “One of the criticisms of passive RFID,” he explains, “is that the range is insufficient [companies] tend to add a battery. ”However, using batteries requires a larger day, which costs more. It also requires maintenance as the batteries need to be replaced regularly. “Like the read range of passive ones [RFID] expanded, allows people to work on a much cheaper day “to enable reliable reading of objects, from tools to vehicles, parked or stored in large areas.
Companies that may be using the latest version of XLR include companies that sell or use containers or other reusable transportation items, according to Horton. Applying RFID to such assets can be challenging because of the impact they could be exposed to. One solution to this problem is the smaller form factor, as users can attach the tag protected, for example between ribs or behind a handle. The label is also good for waste management as it could be attached to a dumpster or trash can and then read from a relative distance by trucks or other vehicles.
Vizinex’s tags are made in the company’s Pennsylvania site, says Horton, so they don’t take up the shipping costs or time it would take if users were to buy Asian-made tags. The XLR tags work best when mounted on metal, the company reports, but they provide a constant read range on most other surfaces as well. The tags can withstand vibrations, weather influences, road salt, aggressive cleaning chemicals and other environmental influences over a longer period of time. Now available in large numbers in stores, they offer a temperature tolerance of -50 to +100 degrees Celsius and are IP68-certified for robustness.