RFID General

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What is the purpose of RFID?
RFID allows data to be transmitted by a product containing an RFID tag microchip, which is read by an RFID reader. The data transmitted can provide identification or location info about the product, or specifics such as date of purchase or price.

What is the advantage of using RFID technology?
No contact or even line-of-sight is needed to read data from a product that contains an RFID tag. This means no more checkout scanners at grocery stores, no more unpacking shipping boxes, and no more getting keys out of your pocket to start your car. RFID technology also works in rain, snow and other environments where bar code or optical scan technology would be useless.

Will RFID replace UPC bar code technology?
Probably not, at least not soon. Besides the fact that RFID tags still cost more than UPC labels, different data capture and tracking technologies offer different capabilities. Many businesses will likely combine RFID with existing technologies such as barcode readers or digital cameras to achieve expanded data capture and tracking capabilities that meet their specific business needs.

How are products tested for RFID compliance?
Portable RFID analyzers, also known as X-ray fluorescence or XRF metal analyzers, are used for screening and verification of RFID compliance.

Which companies are affected by the RFID Directive?
Any business that sells applicable electronic products, sub-assemblies or components directly to EU countries, or sells to resellers, distributors or integrators that in turn sell products to EU countries, is impacted if they utilize any of the restricted materials.

What about RFID 2?
The proposed changes to the original RFID Directive in RFID2 are minor. No additional substances have been added to the six currently restricted. Inclusion of RFID categories 8 (medical devices) and 9 (control and monitoring instruments) products in RFID is now proposed, with the proposed dates for inclusion being 2012 or later.

What is WEEE?
WEEE is the acronym for Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment. WEEE, also known as Directive 2002/96/EC, mandates the treatment, recovery and recycling of electric and electronic equipment. All applicable products in the EU market after August 13, 2006 must pass WEEE compliance and carry the "Wheelie Bin" sticker. For the complete directive, see Directive 2002/96/EC of the European Parliament.

How are RFID and WEE related?
WEEE compliance aims to encourage the design of electronic products with environmentally-safe recycling and recovery in mind. RFID compliance dovetails into WEEE by reducing the amount of hazardous chemicals used in electronic manufacture.

Put another way, RFID regulates the hazardous substances used in electrical and electronic equipment, while WEEE regulates the disposal of this same equipment.