It has been an incredible year for Xerafy and I would like to thank our customers, our partners, suppliers and employees for their support to help us get here. Let us begin by recognizing how far we’ve come in this transformational year.
Xerafy started the year with the launch of the cost effective on and off metal Trak tags, followed by the second generation of our flagship X Series of metal tags. We then unveiled a series of high memory XL tags that are ATA Spec2000/SAE 5678 compliant for the aerospace RFID initiative. We concluded the year by rolling out the world smallest RFID metal tags – the XS Series – designed to withstand repeated autoclave sterilization cycles and to meet the most stringent FDA requirements for medical devices.
Thanks to all of this growth, Xerafy today probably boasts the broadest product portfolio in our industry, differentiated to match the strategies of target market segments and even individual customers within those segments.
2011 has been definitive year for RFID in that pilots are converging to deployments and deployments scaling in size. Xerafy’s unprecedented growth comes by being part of many such pilots and global deployments from IT to MRO, oil ad gas to military and defense, and most recently healthcare. Xerafy’s penetration into some of these markets come at a time when many of these markets are now growing rapidly due to industry safety and compliance, and stronger RFID awareness, leading to deeper integration within enterprises as well as existing legacy infrastructure.
More customers began to notice Xerafy this year and engaged us for their business. No longer seen as a new kid on the block, we have established a brand image synonymous with innovation and performance. Xerafy not only doubled in size, we have also enhanced our capabilities to be the first-to-market leader in new and larger industry space. To better serve our customers in speed of delivery and volume, we started to expand our production facilities and are bringing in state-of-the-art manufacturing and test equipment. Xerafy is in continuous recruitment mode and is building an experienced and diversified team for operational excellence, managing for today while preparing for tomorrow. So if you believe you are the one, please give us a holler.
Xerafy started the year with Frost & Sullivan 2011 Global Product Innovation Award and capped the year being recognized as Top Global Technology Start-up with the Red Herring Global Top 100. While the awards are a testament to our innovation and outstanding achievement, the real thanks goes to you, none of these would be possible without your support and belief in us. Thank you for a wonderful year!
Since the launch of the XS tag series last month, we've been fielding a lot of questions on the use of the tags in healthcare applications, where the size and ruggedness of the passive UHF RFID tags lends them especially well to surgical instrument tracking. Here’s a list of the top 10 XS tag questions we have received since the tag was unveiled last month. You may also download the PDF version of the FAQ on XS tags in healthcare to send to colleagues or customers.
Do XS RFID tags cause electromagnetic interference with hospital instruments?
Passive RFID tags do not emit any signal until activated by a reader, so emissions are quite low compared to active RFID for real time locating systems. However, a study conducted in a non-clinical setting by the University of Amsterdam and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that passive RFID technology did generate some interference with medical devices when the RFID equipment was placed very close by. A follow-up study conducted by researchers from Indiana University, Purdue University and RFID vendor BlueBean found no such interference in tests conducted in an actual clinical setting. While the risk is quite low, hospitals should conduct a thorough EMI assessment to avoid any potential interference.
Can XS tags survive autoclave sterilization?
The tags are rugged and have been tested to withstand 1000 repeated autoclave sterilization cycles. The tags can withstand application temperatures between -40°F to +302°F (-40°C to +150°C). Surgical instruments can now be tracked with through the sterilization process to certify cleanliness.
Is the a risk to the patient when using RFID tagged surgical instruments?
There is no risk to the patient safety in contact with RFID. The XS tags are biocompatible and materials meet non-toxic medical standards.
Are XS RFID tags FDA approved?
XS Series is designed to comply with the most stringent FDA requirements for to CPG Sec. 400.210 for RFID use and ISO-10993 for Biocompatibility and FCC compliance to Part 15.231a.
What are some of the main applications for RFID in healthcare?
- Asset location
- UID unique identifier number for medical devices
- Patient Tracking • Baby Tracking
- Surgical sponge tracking
- Surgical tray tracking
- Loss prevention
- Office management
- Patient record tracking
- Surgical navigation in minimally evasive surgery
- Laboratory specimen tracking
Does the size of an asset affect the read range of the XS tag?
The size of the asset is very important in determining which Xerafy metal RFID tag to use. The Dash XS should be used for assets with a width of less than 0.5 inches (15 mm). In addition, the length of the asset will also affect the tags read performance. For example, a tool that is 4 in (100 mm) length will have a significantly longer read range than a tool that is only 2 in (50 mm) in length.
How do I attach XS tags?
To properly attach the Dot-On XS and Dash-On XS, first use instant glue to place the tag on the asset, then cover the tag with epoxy resin to secure the tag in place. For assets in the medical field, we recommend using an FDA-approved USP Class VI epoxy. Using epoxy will both help secure the tag to the asset as well as help prevent damage from shock and impact. XS tages have horizontal polarization and should be attached to the asset lengthwise to maximize their performance.
How do I embed XS tags in a metallic asset?
First prepare a cavity in the asset where the tag will be placed. For the Dot-iN XS, prepare a circular cavity with a diameter of 0.39 in (10 mm) and a depth of 0.1 in (2.6 mm). For the Dash-iN XS, it is ideal to create cut away recess in the asset rather than a rectangular cavity. The length of the recess should measure 0.6 in (13 mm) and the depth should be less than 0.09 in (2.3 mm). Once the cavity or recess has been prepared, place the tag in the center of the cavity or recess using instant glue and then completely covering the tag with epoxy resin, making sure that all spaces are filled. Once again, it is important to ensure a flat metallic surface is used to eliminate any gap between the tag and the asset, which can lower the read range by detuning the tag.
Can XS tags be attached to sponges?
No, XS tags are designed for metallic assets and require a flat surface space of 0.24 x 0.08 in (6 x 2 mm) for the XS Dot and 0.59 x 0.12 x 0.06 in (15 x 3 x 1.5 mm) for XS Dash.
Where can I purchase XS tags?
Please contact Xerafy at email@example.com to order tags. We sell through our partner channel so please look for the partner that can best serve you on our partner page. Soon we will be offering sample on our online store. For more information, please download the Dot XS and Dash XS datasheets, the XS Series User Guide, and the white paper "RFID Revolutionizing Healthcare with Smart Surgical Tools."
While Airbus has been clear in their adoption of high memory RFID, questions about the technology still remain from aviation suppliers and even RFID integrators. Xerafy looked into these questions, including why high memory tags should be used instead of a network, and if a standard EPC readers read high memory tags.
Here’s a list of the top 10 high memory RFID questions we have received, You may also download the PDF version of the FAQ on High Memory to send to colleagues or customers.
1. When is a high memory RFID tag required?
High memory RFID is required for applications that need to store data on directly on the tag beyond an identification number. Maintenance engineers have seen tremendous benefits in storing inspection, preventive maintenance, repair records, and equipment status directly on the part so the information is available at the point of use. Work-in-progress applications in rugged manufacturing settings have adopted the technology for auditable data trails where other identification methods cannot survive. The aviation industry and others utilize RFID to create part life records from cradle to grave.
Aircraft manufacturers have created standards for the high memory RFID tags to track flyable aircraft parts and components, as well as store data, such as information such as birth record and maintenance records. The Aviation Transportation Association Spec2000, Chapter 9 provides the standard formats for automatic identification and data capture with RFID. Airbus is using high memory RFID tags to track thousands of pressurized and non-pressurized parts and components on Airbus' new A350 XWB (extra-wide body) fleet.
2. What type of applications would need high memory RFID?
- High value asset life history and counterfeit prevention
- Aircraft manufacturing part tracing
- Maintenance records stored on the equipment
- Managing equipment configuration and status
- Pharmaceutical track and trace information (ePedigree)
- Sensor recording and monitoring
- Manufacturer Source Identification item
- Tracking assets without network access
- Embedded RFID for manufacturing
- Inventory control
- Laboratory analysis
3. What are the drivers for high memory RFID?
- Increased utilization and time in service for parts
- Reduced costs for managing audit paperwork and reduced regulatory fines
- More efficient labor with reduction in searching for tools and parts
- Reduction in overall maintenance and repair costs with improved predictive maintenance and servicing by tracking parts.
- Faster turnaround time for maintenance, auditors, and logistics with access to critical data without requiring network
- Fewer spare components required with automatic parts allocation
- Automated audit trail of maintenance & inspection activities simplifies compliance
- Increased process control and safety
- Increased safety due to automatic checks for tool and equipment to reduce risk of foreign object debris (FOD) damage
4. How are high memory RFID tags different from standard EPC RFID tags?
EPC tags have a 96-bit identification number and sometimes up to 512 bits of memory. However, 512 bits is typically about 95 characters or 120 digits and doesn’t fit the aviation identification standards for storing the mandatory fields such as:
- Manufacturer CAGE Code (MFR)
- Serial Number (SER)
- Original Part Number (PNO)
- UID Construct Number (UIC)
- Part Description (PDT)
- Manufacture Date (DMF)
- International Commodity Code (ICC)
The high memory data format based on TegoChip™ used in Xerafy’s high memory tags provides an indexable memory storage that meets the standardized business data formats. In addition, the IC has incorporated a "bulletproof" memory technology that can withstand time, temperature and radiation. Accelerated aging tests indicate expected memory retention is at least 100 years under benign conditions, and decades when continuously exposed to very high temperatures.
5. Is the High Memory RFID tags COMPATIBLE WITH EPC Gen 2?
The standard ratified by EPCglobal for the air-interface protocol is compatible with high memory RFID tags air-interface. Both types of RFID tags contain the 96-bit identification number but most EPC Class 1 Gen2 tags only contain 96 to 512 bits. High memory tags are typically 8,000 to 32,000 bits. In order to read the high memory tag’s extended memory blocks the standard EPC C1G2 readers need to have the capability to read beyond the EPC number.
6. What are the compatible readers for Xerafy High Memory tags?
Any reader that is fully EPC C1G2 compliant will work with Xerafy high memory tags.. Fully compliant requires the reader firmware to have minimum of16bit EBV (extended bit vector) and function with any size user memory as allowed by the EPC Gen2 spec. Because all readers are different, each reader is configured differently and may only read the first 512 bits on high memory tags.
7. How do I evaluate High Memory Tag for my application?
Xerafy’s High Memory RFID Kit includes a variety of high memory tags sizes from the XL RFID metal tag series including the Sky-ID, which is AS5678 certified for flyable parts. Included in the High Memory Kit is Tego’s TegoView™ software, which allows for rapid and inexpensive deployment of high memory RFID. Compatible high memory readers can be purchased directly from the manufacturers and offer multiple options for fixed and mobile readers.
Xerafy’s partner network provides several RFID software options that are scalable and adapted for several applications from Tego Inc, OATSystems, and ODINTechnologies.
8. Are all high memory tags the same?
It is important to realize that some high memory tags are not compatible with RFID readers and software systemsand may have proprietary commands and memory formatting structure and may not be compatible with some software systems.
Xerafy’s high memory tags outperforms others for data retention in extreme RFID environments such as high temperatures and gamma radiation.
9. What is AS5678 and Spec 2000?
- Air Transport Association (ATA) Spec 2000 Chapter 9, Automated Identification and Data Capture, provides industry guidelines for traceability, including use of RFID to permanently identify parts and their life-cycle status.
- AS5678: Published in December 2006 by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), provides for the manufacture of “passive-only” RFID tags for aerospace. Among other provisions, AS5678 establishes test requirements for the airborne use of passive RFID tags, in addition to compliance requirements with RTCA DO-160E for electromagnetic compatibility.
10. Where do I go to get started?
For more information, please contact Xerafy so we can answer your unique questions. Xerafy has an extensive resource library with whitepapers like “High Memory RFID for Aerospace, Manufacturing, MRO, and Remote Asset Management” and videos “Why High Memory?”. Xerafy also provides a high memory start kit, available for purchase in our e-store.
What do you predict for the RFID market in Latin America?
Jorge Karam: NX-id sees a steady yet still slow growth in Latin American market compared to Asia or Europe; more and more companies are learning what RFID is all about and now they’re starting to make their first pilot programs to start using the technology. Nevertheless, a big boost is needed and we believe it’ll come from abroad by overseas companies using RFID as a standard technology to control their inventories or assets through global applications. We know any effort to implement any technology needs to be driven by specific benefits and a positive ROI; even most of the customers realize there’s a clear potential benefit on implementing RFID-based solutions, most of them hadn’t prioritize these projects in their infrastructure’s improvement pipeline. We believe that RFID solutions with an easy functionality and a friendly use can change how people think about it, help them understand it and see the major benefits in a short and long term. We know RFID will be a priority tool for small and big companies in a few years from now. We are working on it.
Tell us how RFID has been used in an interesting application you’ve been working on?
JK: There’s a very interesting application with a particular niche in Mexico, we’ve been working on people’s tracking as a solution to control their productivity and timing at their working areas; one of the most important airlines in Mexico as well as other major wholesalers are considering to use these systems to substitute their current time-tracking systems based on different technologies.
What do you find most challenging about your business?
JK: There’s a huge effort that still needs to be done in our market to teach our customers about the technology, there are still many myths which are created by people who is trying to get into the industry without a proper knowledge about RFID; NX-id has been promoting “easy-to-understand” applications to many customers expecting them to understand how RFID can really support their business and operations.
NX-id is a 100 percent private Mexican company entirely focused on the design, development and implementation of RFID-based systems; we are a team of 60+ professionals with a high degree of expertise developing custom applications for different customers in Mexico. As NX-id, we’re proud to represent leading RFID companies from three continents and eight countries offering a wide catalogue of tags, equipment and solutions to deliver tailored applications to each customer.
Our main business units are:
- Consulting and design services to define solutions and systems based on RFID
- Development and integration of RFID systems
- Implementation and administration of RFID projects, from definition to implementation to final release
- Sale of Hardware and RFID tags passive and active
- Inventory Control
- Assets Control
- Product Authentication