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Traceability is becoming more and more important in the medical market. Because of its robust characteristics, FRAM RFID can be attached to products right after production and and store all necessary data through the whole product life, from production to logistics, warehousing, use and disposal. This gapless traceability is important to the medical, pharmaceutical, and biomedical industries, which continually seek to improve the safety and reliability of medical products.
FRAM RFID enables complete visibility during all stages of the process, reducing the likelihood that counterfeited products will reach the market. Unlike conventional RFID tags, FRAM RFID tags can be placed on medical or pharmaceutical products at the production stage. After shipment, RFID tags can record the logistical history as well. And, when connected with sensors, FRAM RFID can record the environmental history (such as temperature and physical stress). Because of the large available memory sizes that FRAM RFID devices provide, much more information can be stored than in competitive products.
For example, FRAM RFID is expected to improve safety and efficiency in hospitals. FRAM RFID can track supplies of medicine, helping assure that the right quantity is in stock, and that expired medications are detected and discarded. FRAM RFID can also help monitor the number of surgical tools before and after operations.
Because of its large density memory and fast writing speed, FRAM RFID is ideal for factory automation applications that require frequent data logging and operational efficiency. FRAM RFID is also appropriate for maintenance applications that require real-time operation and on-site confirmation of maintenance history and parts information
The Fujitsu FRAM RFID tags can improve production management in factories because the tags can store a lot of information, and can be written quickly and frequently. The tags can record such information as production and inspection histories, customized parts, operation information, and manuals. This type of off-line data management improves the flexibility of the production line, and shortens production lead times.
Because FRAM RFID tags have such large memories and fast writing speed, they are appropriate for a variety of maintenance applications, from those in the electrical, construction, infrastructure, and transportation industries to applications in the rental-machinery, facilities-management (gas, water, chemicals, and oil), FA and aviation industries.
For example, Fujitsu’s 64kByte FRAM RFID has been selected for use in Boeing’s maintenance operation. The RFID tags will keep track of the maintenance history, manuals, parts information, and other data for the many components of an aircraft. This RFID solution is expected to increase the accuracy, cut the turnaround time, and improve the safety and efficiency of Boeing’s maintenance operations.
RFID is a passive technology that usually harvests energy from the electromagnetic field generated by the reader/writer device and uses this energy for the internal electric circuit. An analog front-end in the RFID IC converts the electromagnetic field into a voltage that is sufficient to supply energy for the memory access and to provide an answer back to the RFID reader/writer device.
If additional components need to be connected to the RFID system, there is the possibility to use a dual-interface product and access the FRAM memory through a serial SPI interface. Usually this access is performed by a microcontroller which has to be supplied with power from e.g. a battery. Same with other components that might be connected to the microcontroller like a sensor or a display.
Considering the fact that in the above example the microcontroller is only used to communicate with the single components, it can be replaced if another SPI master device is used. Since the new UHF RFID product MB97R8110 has an SPI master port embedded, it is not necessary to use an MCU but instead the MB97R8110 can be used as bridge between the RFID reader/writer device and the connected peripheral component. Also, the MB97R8110 has the ability to output a power supply to connected devices to avoid using a battery to enable battery-less systems.
With this solution, cost-efficient UHF based RFID can be realized without having to use a battery, e.g.
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