Application of the RFID technology in the supply chain has seen significant strides over the last few years. On one hand, the technology has found its way into new applications but on another hand new concerns such as security have emerged among the vendors and users of the technology. Security requirements such supporting cryptographic authentication, supplementary encoding for user memory and improved embedded tagging for expensive items and sewn-in apparel have found their way among the users of the technology. These security requirements and privacy requirements resulted in the development of GS1’s EPC Gen2V2 standard. This standard is an extension of the previous GS1 EPC Gen2 standard, which is used globally as a standard for implementation of RFID systems in the 860 MHz – 960 MHz band.
Recently GS1 EPCglobal® launched their hardware certification program. This certification program was developed based on Gen2V2 by GS1 EPCglobal® to provide a source for testing of RFID hardware. This program also offers interoperability testing to ensure that various vendors’ products work together including mixed populations.
Getting your RFID product certified may offer its challenges. In order to avoid surprises during your certification, it is recommended to follow some quick checks before applying for the certification.
- Knowing the protocol in detail is important for your product to be tested successfully. It is recommended to run pre-compliance testing based on the protocol with a Gen2V2 certified RFID test equipment like RFID Xplorer at the development phase of the product. Any errors that may occur are detected early on during the product development phase.
- Knowing and understanding the communication between the tag and the reader helps to resolve compliance. Sniffer helps in preliminary prescreening to see if the tags are compliant with the given protocol. Sniffer lets the user trigger certain reader commands to see the response of the tag. Depending on whether the tag answers or not, we know where the issue is.
- In certain cases, it makes sense to work with test labs very early on during the project. With the know how that test houses have they can provide the much-required guidance and support to get ready for certification especially if you are new to the technology.
- Participate in webinars and events related to Gen2V2 certification. The more you interact with users of the technology the more knowledge you acquire about its day to day application and how to troubleshoot challenges during certification.