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RFID Essentials Web-based Training

Course Syllabus and Estimated Completion Times  

Overview of RFID Essentials Course 1, by Host Dr. Dan Dobkin (20 minutes)       

a. Objectives 

b. Features 

1.  Introduction to Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) (35 minutes)

a.  Background and definitions 

b.  Automatic identification technology (Auto-ID) 

1) Types of Auto-ID technology

2) Radio frequency identification (RFID) 

3) Serialization 

c.  Application examples 

1) Automobile toll collection 

2) Hospital asset tracking using real-time location systems (RTLS)

3) Supply chain tracking 

d. RFID – bar code comparison 


2.  History of RFID (25 minutes)

a. Identification friend or foe technology in World War II 

b. Anti-theft

c. Contactless keys, traffic control 

d. Railcar identification 

e. Automobile tolling 

f. Growth of RFID standards supporting supply chain applications 

1) EPCglobal and ISO standards

2) Implementation by major retailers and their suppliers 


3.  RFID Technology Basics, Part 1: Physical Components of RFID System (60 minutes)

a. Elements of an RFID system 

b. Radio frequencies: LF, HF, UHF, and SHF Systems  

c. Tag-reader communication: inductive versus radiative coupling 

d. Powering RFID tags: Passive, semi-passive, and active 

1) Power sources of passive, semi-passive, and active tags 

2) Relationships between frequencies (LF, HF, UHF, and SHF), tag-reader communication (inductive

    and radiative coupling), and how tags are powered (passive, semi-passive, and active)

3) Real-time location systems (RTLS)

e. RFID readers 

1) Reader forms: fixed, modules, printers, and portables 

2) Reader components

3) Reader configurations (monostatic versus bistatic) and frequency ranges 


4.  RFID Technology Basics, Part 2: Reader-Tag Communication (60 minutes)

a. YouTag Interactive Workshop No. 1: RFID system assembly, tag orientation, and antenna polarization 

b. RFID communication: “Air interface” protocol 

1) Elements of communication systems (elements of speech, language and grammar, allocating the

    right to speak, and interpretation) 

2) RFID communication system 

a) Elements of speech: medium and modulation

b) Language: packet structure and commands

c) Access: medium access control (MAC)

         i. Binary Tree Navigation

         ii. Slotted Aloha

d) Interpretation: Object I.D., context, sensor information, and business rules

c. Survey of RFID protocols and compatibility 

1) Common protocols by frequency and power 

2) Selecting the right protocol 

5.  RFID Technology Basics, Part 3: Sharing Data Inside and Outside the Enterprise (60 minutes)

a. The role of RFID middleware 

b. EPCglobal Data Architecture 

1) Electronic product code (EPC)

2) RFID reader protocol

3) Application Level Events (ALE)

4) EPC Information Services (EPCIS)

5) Object Naming Service (ONS)

6) EPC Trust Services

7) EPC Discovery Services

c. Vendors of RFID Products and Services 

1) Hardware (tags and readers), middleware, and services 

2) Enterprise management tools 


6.  Materials and RF (15 minutes)

a. Materials: RF lucent and RF opaque 

b. Effects of frequency on readability of tags 


7.  Application Examples (45 minutes)

a. Hospital asset tracking 

1) RFID technology selection: UHF active

b. Supply chain tracking

1) RFID technology selection: UHF passive 

2) Hot spot testing 

c. YouTag Interactive Workshop No. 2: Tag placement 

d. Interactive exercise: aircraft parts tracking 

8.   Securing RFID Data and Safeguarding Personal Privacy (60 minutes)

a. Tag data security

1) Potential attacks: skimming and eavesdropping 

           a) YouTag Video: skimming attack

2) Measures to protect RFID data transmission

a) Physical security 

b) Protocol-based security

i. Encryption and mutual authentication 

ii. Effect of security protocols on performance

iii. Gen 2 standard: security measures 

iv. Frequencies and security 

v. ePassports: standardized security protocols 

b. Safeguarding personal privacy 

    1) Potential threats to personal privacy 

    2) EPCglobal: recommended industry practices for safeguarding consumer privacy

    3) Regulatory measures: U.S., Europe, and Japan 

    4) Privacy advocates 


9.  Implementing RFID for ROI (75 minutes)

a. Evaluating RFID opportunities 

1) Operational efficiencies versus new products

2) Calculating costs and net benefits example: Semper Firmus, a medical products company

a) Supply chain tracking from manufacture to retailer

b) New clinical care product, "Semper Attentus"

c) Comparing the value of two projects

b. Calculating a project’s return on investment (ROI) 

    1) Financial assessment methods: ROI ratio, Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and Payback

    2) Using the financial assessment methods to compare Semper Firmus' two projects

c. Implementing RFID technology in your organization: process and personnel

    1) Analysis phase

    a) Survey

    b) Scorecard

    2) Implementation

    e) Team

    f) Pilot project

            i. Road map

            ii. Key performance indicators (KPI's)

d. Evolution of RFID market and its effect on business 

1) Size and projected growth of global market

2) Relationship between market size, prices, and ROI

e. Real examples of RFID applications delivering ROI 

1) Applications delivering operational efficiencies, by company: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Crown

    Equipment, Griva, Hampton Products, Jacobi Medical Center, IBM, Mercy Hospital, NYK Logistics,

    P&G, Selexys, Sempra Energy, Sernam, Wal-mart

2) New, RFID-enabled products, by company: Air Liquide, AstraZeneca, CHEP, CyPak, DHL, Information

    Mediary, Lattice Corporation, Metro Group, pH Europe


10.  Final exam (optional) (60 minutes)


a. May be taken up to three times, with each version varying slightly.

b. Takes about one hour

c. Simulated applications to test working knowledge, not rote memorization.

d. Each question or exercise categorized as “Basic” and “Advanced.” 

1) Basic questions constitute the majority of points. 

2) Advanced questions optional; drawn from “In-depth” sections. 

3) Score of at least 80 percent of the “Basic” points earns Certificate of Completion of RFID


4) Score of at least 80 percent of both “Basic” and “Advanced” points earns Certificate of Mastery of

    RFID Essentials

e. Whether or not you take the exam, you can review this RFID course as often as you wish during enrollment.