In our Kraków-Kokotów project, we have implemented a state-of-the-art, reliable, and very efficient STAR automatic goods identification system by Mojix Inc. The system is based on RTLS (real-time locating system) technology using passive RFID labels.
The RFID label is a passive element. It has no power supply of its own and is activated only when it enters the electromagnetic field generated by the reader. The reader provides the energy necessary to power the microchip in the label and also enables data transmission. Each label contains a microchip responsible for communication and storing identification data: a unique serial number and additional data programmed by the user. The STAR system is unique because it provides unparalleled coverage and accuracy of localisation using relatively cheap EPC Gen2 passive labels.
The STAR system, composed of the IT infrastructure and the STAR receiver that manages the supply antennas, is responsible for handling radio signals, transmission controls, and eNode transmitters. One STAR receiver is able to handle up to 512 eNode devices. Data read from the label are transmitted to middleware that provides preliminary processing of data, then to an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The system is scalable and can be expanded virtually without limitation as the scale of operations and the system load grow. The designers of the STAR system have implemented a number of innovative solutions, including unique electromagnetic spectrum management. The eNode transmitters do not interfere with each other when placed together; furthermore, interference with the signals of other radio devices that may be operated on the area covered by STAR has been reduced to the minimum. The quick switch function enables the reading of ca 700 labels per second.
RFID labels can be read remotely. The scanner does not need to physically ‘see’ the label; it needs only to be within the range of the radio signal emitted by eNode. The RFID label can store much more data than a conventional barcode. Aside from identifying the product type, the RFID label can also contain the serial number, expiration date, etc. The key benefits of the RFID technology and the STAR system include quick operation, precision of recording of goods, and automation.