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NEC develops new gate system to enable scanning of multiple UHF RFID tags

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NEC Corporation has developed a new gate system* that enables the collective scanning of multiple UHF RFID tags with a high degree of accuracy. The new gate system can be applied to inspection systems in manufacturing lines and inventory control systems in supply chain management, and will be launched world wide by the end of this year.

Existing UHF RFID gate systems show a 10 to 20% scanning error rate when multiple packages with RFID tags is scanned, making practical application difficult. However, by employing proprietary technology that utilises the reflection of radio waves, NEC has realised a new gate system, which achieves highly accurate scanning of multiple RFID tags and a reduction in scanning errors of RFID tags on adjacent manufacturing lines, enhancing the accuracy of collective RFID scanning.

Main Features

Highly accurate collective scanning enabled by use of radio wave reflection

Unlike existing gate systems that shoot radio waves from antennas to RFID tags directly, NEC's new gate system employs a novel radio wave reflection method, whereby radio waves are shot indirectly from antennas to RFID tags via reflector plates, allowing a drastic improvement in collective scanning of RFID tags. Moreover, this enables the scanning of RFID tags on packages containing liquids or metal, which has been difficult to achieve with conventional gate systems.

Control of scanning errors of RFID tags on adjacent lines

A reduction in radio wave leakage has been achieved by placing reflector plates on both sides of the inside of the gate. In addition, as the antenna is located in the upper part of the gate, the distance between the antenna and the gate exterior is double that of conventional systems, enabling a large reduction in radio wave leakage. Both of these measures prevent the misreading of RFID tags on adjacent manufacturing lines.

As UHF RFIDs enable transmission distances of up to a maximum of 6 meters, UHF RFIDs have been drawing attention in recent years as a measure to improve the efficiency of logistics and supply chain management in the manufacturing industry. In the United States, many major distributors have already adopted UHF RFIDs and their use is expected to spread worldwide.  

NEC has verified the benefits of the new gate system by using it in the inspection line of NEC Personal Products for incoming and outgoing PCs, allowing it to gather information and know how about the system structure toward early commercialisation.

* The gate system includes an RFID reader/writer, an antenna, a controller and a gate.

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