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Pepperl+Fuchs Blog

Why Choose Industrial RFID Over Barcodes?

Posted by Ala’alddin Al-Migdad on Fri, Apr 28, 2017

Before we get into the advantages of radio frequency identification (RFID) over traditional barcode technology, let’s do a quick overview of both:

Barcodes are a series of machine-readable, parallel black bars that represent identification information. The information is encoded by varying the widths of the bars and the distances of the spaces between each bar. An optical barcode scanner then translates the information for further interpretation.


RFID products use unique radio waves to communicate information. Typical industrial RFID systems consist of an RFID reader (head), RFID interface (controller), and RFID tags (transponders).

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Topics: RFID

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors Episode 23

Posted by John Appleson on Mon, Mar 20, 2017

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

  1. What load does a proximity switch need to sense for bench testing?
  2. Does the SJ5-N inductive slot sensor need an intrinsic safety barrier?
  3. Should I use a fiber optic sensor for injection molded parts detection?
  4. Are the components in an AS-Interface circuit board module epoxy encapsulated or sealed?
  5. Do you have a handheld solution to identify nonworking RFID tags?
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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert, RFID

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors Episode 22

Posted by John Appleson on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

  1. Do you have non-incendive inductive proximity sensors?
  2. Diffuse mode photoelectric sensors - what are the adjustment ranges?
  3. Do you have a steel-sensing sensor that can withstand temperature extremes, shock, and vibration?
  4. Can the inductive sensor NJ8-18GK-SN be ordered with terminal connections instead of leads?
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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert, RFID

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 21

Posted by John Appleson on Fri, Oct 07, 2016

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

1. Where can I find the add-on instructions for an industrial RFID controller?
2. How do I set the time delay function on a background suppression photoelectric sensor?
3. Is there interface software to view an AS-Interface network via a laptop or PC?
4. Can I swap out a photoelectric sensor for an ultrasonic sensor in a dusty paper mill application?

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Topics: Ultrasonic Sensors, AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert, RFID

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors - Episode 20

Posted by John Appleson on Thu, Sep 01, 2016

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

  1. Can the inductive sensor NBB1.5-5GM25-E2-V3 detect non-ferrous metals? How does that affect the sensing range?
  2. An inductive sensor won't read above 500 rpm. What's the problem here?
  3. What does the fault error F-4 mean on an AS-Interface network?
  4. Does the MTT-6000 RFID reader need an antenna or read head?
  5. Do you have a capacitive sensor for high temperatures, about 150 °C?
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Topics: Inductive Sensors, Capacitive Sensors, AS-Interface, Ask an Expert, RFID

Ask an Expert Industrial Sensors: Episode 16

Posted by John Appleson on Fri, Mar 18, 2016

This episode of Ask an Expert for industrial sensors examines and provides answers to interesting sensing questions we've received from customers just like you. We explore and answer these questions:

1. Replacing a diffuse mode photoelectric sensor that is tied to an AS-Interface module.
2. Do you have MTTF data for the NMB1.5-8GM35-E0-FE inductive sensor?
3. Can diffuse mode sensors be used to detect metal drums in a hazardous area?
4. How to choose the correct power supply for RFID control interface unit IC-KP-B17-AIDA1?
5. Where on your website can I download AS-Interface system wiring guidelines and connection diagrams?

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Topics: Inductive Sensors, Cables/ Cordsets, AS-Interface, Photoelectric Sensors, Ask an Expert, RFID

10 of Our Favorite Applications for Industrial RFID

Posted by Klaus Schmitt on Thu, Mar 10, 2016

There are few industrial automation technologies that are as versatile as RFID. Think of all the different kinds of industries—RFID is at work everywhere. We compiled ten of our favorite RFID applications that give you ideas for possible use cases and what benefits you can expect to gain by using industrial RFID.

1. RFID enhances Kanban systems
The modern “push” -based manufacturing concept with a Kanban system simplifies demand forecasting, as all necessary parts are refilled automatically. Small, flexible assembly units are formed. Parts bins are identified automatically and reliably using an RFID tag.

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Topics: RFID

Frequently Asked Questions on RFID (Part 4)

Posted by Klaus Schmitt on Fri, Feb 26, 2016

General questions about RFID tags

1. What is an RFID tag?

RFID tags carry information on a certain object or transport container. The size of an RFID tag can vary from the dimensions of a match head to a brick. While some tags are used simply as an attachable ID for an object, others carry a variety of different attributes relating to the object. These "identifiers” can be individualized according to the requirements of the specific process they are used in. Typically, an RFID tag (also called an “RFID transponder”) consists of an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and either a small coil of wires or printed conductive paths that function as an antenna. These components are usually mounted to different kinds of protective packaging like plastic or silicon.

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Topics: RFID

Frequently Asked Questions on RFID (Part 3)

Posted by Klaus Schmitt on Wed, Feb 24, 2016

General questions about RFID frequencies

1. Which frequencies does RFID use?

To enable noncontact data exchange via an RFID system, radio waves are used for communication. Depending on the application requirements, RFID systems utilize different frequency ranges. As a general principle, most RFID systems use the so-called ISM bands (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Band) in order to avoid cross-talk of radio systems and ensure reliable data information exchange. Commonly, passive RFID systems use either low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), or ultra-high frequency (UHF).

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Topics: RFID

Frequently Asked Questions on RFID (Part 2)

Posted by Klaus Schmitt on Fri, Feb 19, 2016

General questions about RFID readers

1. What is an RFID reader?

An RFID reader is an active device that uses radio frequency to read information contactless from a data carrier like an RFID tag. Most of the readers are also able to function as write units. Typically, RFID reading devices contain a microprocessor or digital signal processor.

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Topics: RFID

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