iTech Automation is certified by the leading RFID technology companies and has successfully installed and supported RFID tracking systems since 2001.

RFID systems use low-power radio signals to exchange data wirelessly between chips and readers/encoders. No direct line of sight is needed between the tag and read/write device, eliminating many of the labor and item-orientation requirements associated with other forms of automated data collection. RFID readers can simultaneously recognize and process hundreds of tags within their read fields.

RFID tags consist of an integrated circuit (IC) attached to an antenna — typically printed or etched conductors on a thin plastic sheet. Data is stored on the IC and transmitted through the antenna. Tags may be thinner than a grain of rice or as large as a brick. RFID tags are either passive tags (no battery) or active tags (self-powered by a battery). Data transmission speed and range depend on the radio frequency, antenna size, power output and interference. Tags can be read-only, read-write, or a combination, in which some data (such as a serial number) is permanently stored, while other memory is left available for later encoding or to be updated during usage.

Passive tags are the most common, in which an RFID reader transmits an energy field that “wakes up” the tag and provides power to the chip, enabling it to transmit or store data. Encryption algorithms ensure security and the integrity of the data passing between the tag and reader protect transmissions. In active tags, batteries typically are used to boost the effective range of the tag. Active tags may also transmit a signal periodically, much like a lighthouse beacon, so that data may be captured by readers distributed throughout the facility.

Access control card reader systems are invaluable for personnel identification and ID card enrollment of proximity cards.

Contactless Readers

Contactless smartcards use passive (no power), read/write RFID technology operating at 125khz or 13.56MHz. The technology was introduced in the late 1990s to store data used for log-on credentials, biometric templates, e-purse transactions and more. Contactless smartcards are available in many forms and brands. USB and serial contactless readers are used for any computer-based access or identification system.