The Voyantic Tagsurance platform is capable of high-speed quality testing of RAIN RFID tags. This platform has the capability to integrate seamlessly with Impinj ItemEncode, allowing for high-speed quality testing and encoding to ensure that final tags meet minimum performance requirements.
Figure 1: Voyantic Tagsurance and Impinj ItemEncode testing and encoding diagram
Figure 2: Function block diagram
Processing tags using Tagsurance and ItemEncode happens in two stages: testing and encoding. The physical process flow, outlined in Figure 1, involves each tag on a roll moving across the Tagsurance Snoop Pro antenna before moving across the antennas in the localizer stage, encoder stage(s), and the final verifier stage of ItemEncode.
The functional process flow is outlined in Figure 2. Each tag is tested by Tagsurance which executes a pre-defined test procedure based on the expected performance of a tag design. This test is defined in the case builder and may be reconfigured using the Tagsurance GUI. Every case must include a TID read to integrate with ItemEncode. The test result is then sent over the network in a UDP frame to ItemEncode. ItemEncode will then parse the UDP frame and associate TIDs with pass or fail results. Next, the tag will enter the field of view (FOV) of ItemEncode antennas. If the TID is associated with pass results from Tagsurance, ItemEncode will encode the tags as desired. Otherwise, ItemEncode will void tags.
Tagsurance and ItemEncode were designed to work well together. Integration is simple through the use of broadcasting results from Tagsurance to ItemEncode. Simply connect the two systems on the same network and configure the host IP and port for Tagsurance to broadcast to. When configured, Tagsurance will broadcast one-directional test data containing the result of the test (pass/fail) and the associated TID for every tag tested. ItemEncode parses the data and uses the results to encode and void tags. Parsing UDP frames is built in to the ItemEncode API.
ItemEncode is designed for maximum tag throughput at rates up to 9,500 tags/minute for encoding tags. ItemEncode treats tags indiscriminately, however, attempting to encode all tags that run through the system. Tagsurance takes this system to the next level by testing each tag on multiple frequencies, typically outside the reader frequency band. With the Snoop Pro near field coupling and correct frequencies chosen for the testing, the far field performance can be verified reliably and overall variation both in tag sensitivity and detuning can be very strictly controlled. The testing, however, increases the amount of time needed for each tag at the cost of tag throughput. Depending on many factors such as inlay pitch, tag antenna width, and line speed, along with the number of test points used in Tagsurance, it is possible to have an overall tag throughput up to 1,200 tags/minute. Depending on the application, this may still be an acceptable throughput. The testing can also be handled for only some specific products, or sample based.
Instead of halting production and encoding to test batches of inlays in an anechoic chamber, using Tagsurance and ItemEncode gives the greatest flexibility for ensuring quality end products. Know with confidence the performance quality of finished tags with Tagsurance while maintaining the high encoding throughput expected with ItemEncode.
For additional information about Voyantic Tagsurance, please visit http://voyantic.com/products/tagsurance-uhf.