Company: IDEC Corporation

Technology Snapshot: IDEC Corporation has announced the new KW2D series of smart radio frequency identification (RFID) readers. These intelligent RFID readers are designed for easy installation into the typical 22mm panel-mount holes used with machinery, are readily integrated with automation systems, and enable OEMs and end users to easily apply advanced authentication and authorization measures.

Authenticating users and authorizing them to perform actions and equipment control is fundamental to maintaining safety and security for any operation. Access management also provides traceability for regulatory and analytical purposes. RFID cards and tags are simple and inexpensive to manage, secure, contactless, and robust for industrial environments—while providing flexible ways to configure, manage, and modify privileges. These benefits overcome the problems with other traditional or complex methods such as key switches, magnetic strip cards, passwords, and biometrics.

The IDEC KW2D series RFID readers are compact UL listed all-in-one devices installed into typical 22mm panel-mount holes right along with other switches, buttons, and lights. They maintain IP65/67 water-, dust-, and oil-proof ratings, and feature push-in power supply terminals. A built-in Ethernet port facilitates easy connectivity to host devices like PLCs and HMIs using Modbus TCP. Three-color white/green/red LED lighting is clearly visible from the front and sides—even at a distance—to indicate standby, successful verification, or error respectively, while a built-in auxiliary buzzer provides audible feedback of successful and error conditions.

Users can mix-and-match various RFID tag formats: commercial-style cards, wristbands, stickers, and IDEC-supplied color-coded key fob or card-style tags. The key fob tags are available in five colors, are durable for field conditions, and include enhanced encryption compared with other tag types.

RFID tags are low cost and passive, responding to a short-range radio signal generated by the RFID reader when the two are in close proximity. The KW2D operates at standard 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) providing a reading distance of up to 15mm depending on the tag style. Several ISO/IEC communication speeds (type V, A, or F) are supported.

IDEC provides the Windows-based RFID configuration software tool free of charge, so users can set up the reader IP address, Modbus TCP server details, tag information, and passwords. Users can take advantage of default authorization levels, or they can customize up to 500 tags with up to 255 authority levels. Configurations can be quickly modified, and lost tags can simply be blocked.

RFID systems are useful for machine tools, material handling, and manufacturing machinery for industries like automotive production, food and beverage, life sciences, plastics, and others. Designers can use the IDEC KW2D RFID reader and tags to supersede traditional locking methods, providing advanced user level access and safety-related authorization. Traceability is established with RFID-sourced timestamped logs detailing operator activities and operations. RFID tags help end users improve productivity in a convenient and cost-effective manner, maximizing safe and secure operation of equipment.

As with all its products, IDEC offers free tech support for the RFID readers, with no service or support contract required. For complete specifications or additional information, please contact IDEC Corporation at 800-262-IDEC (4332), or visit us online at