RFID in Rail Asset Management

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Radio Frequency Identification – is a revolution in logistics. RFID systems consist of a reader, antenna and a minuscule tag through which objects, animals and/or persons can be identified and followed real-time using radio signals. By using RFID, read data from multiple tags can be processed from a distance, simultaneously, automatically and fast. It’s possible to uniquely identify items. Also, data are reprogrammable.


Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless non-contact use of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information.

Some tags are powered by and read at short ranges (a few meters) via magnetic fields (electromagnetic induction). Others use a local power source such as a battery, or else have no battery but collect energy from the interrogating EM field, and then act as a passive transponder to emit microwaves or UHF radio waves (i.e., electromagnetic radiation at high frequencies). Battery powered tags may operate at hundreds of meters. Unlike a bar code, the tag does not necessarily need to be within line of sight of the reader, and may be embedded in the tracked object.

RFID tags are used in many industries. An RFID tag attached to an automobile during production can be used to track its progress through the assembly line. Pharmaceuticals can be tracked through warehouses. Livestock and pets may have tags injected, allowing positive identification of the animal.

Together with ProRail, Ferm RFID Solutions developed a RFID solution that increases the safety around the rail track and simplifies the asset management. It is the first time worldwide that the reader is under a fast moving train (140km/h) and the tags are stationary on the track

Large savings are realized in the field of management and maintenance, supply chain management and inventory management. Ferm RFID Solutions has shown that tags can still be read at the speed of 140km/h when the reader is underneath the train.

Article: FermRFID
Editor: M. Danmole’
Image: i3s