Praxis Consultants

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
Technology Standards
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In recent years, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) has been a hot topic for supply chain and other applications.  Although recent interest has centred around the activities of the Auto-ID Center and, more recently, EPCglobal, the main catalyst for recognising the potential for RFID goes back to 1997.  This was the active interest of the International Standardisation Committee ISO/IEC JTC1/SC31 Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques and its participant experts, organisations and companies.  Praxis Consultants was involved in the activities that led to the formation within ISO/IEC JTC1/SC31 of Work Group 4 Radio Frequency Identification for Item Management with its first formal meeting in August 1998 in Tokyo.


Our expertise and experience covers the following areas:

         We monitor and advise on all aspects of RFID standardisation, covering developments at ISO, EPCglobal, and other standards activities.

         We advise on RFID data protocols, where Paul Chartier (Principal, Praxis Consultants) is Project Editor for two related International Standards (see Data Protocol Standards below).

         We understand the complex issues of integration of RFID and bar code, because of our extended experience over many years with bar code technology and application standards.

         We monitored the development of the EAN.UCC GTAG project, and advised on strategic issues, before the formation of EPCglobal.

         We monitor and advise on developments undertaken by EPCglobal – with our services being offered to user organisations and solution providers.  We contend that significant challenges still have to be addressed to realise the potential real benefits of this system.

         We monitor and advise on other major applications that are likely to adopt solutions that might differ from those being promoted by EPCglobal.

         We can advise on application issues. Because of experience with technology and application standards, Paul Chartier was appointed Senior Project Editor for a series of standards being developed by the Joint Working Group of ISO TC122 Packaging and ISO TC104 Freight Containers (see RFID Application Standards below).

         We have access to academic research and development of the technology through Paul Chartier's position as Visiting Professor of the Technology Innovation Centre (a subsidiary of the University of Central England).


We have a breadth of expertise in RFID and can even provide, through associates, the expert advice of radio engineers.


Data Protocol Standards

A key work activity of the Standards committee, ISO/IEC JTC1 SC31 WG4 RFID for item management, has been the development of a data protocol within SC31 WG4 SG1.  This is necessary, because the air interface only deals with the communication channel between the interrogator and RF tag; and does not concern itself with tag architecture, nor the interpretation of the encoded bytes.  The data protocol, on the other hand, addresses all this process. 


ISO/IEC 15961 Information Technology, Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques – Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for Item Management – Data Protocol: Application Interface deals with defining commands and data content moved to and from the application.  These support selective read / write to cover the updating and amending of data.  ISO/IEC 15962 Information Technology, Automatic Identification and Data Capture Techniques – RFID for item management - Data protocol: data encoding rules and logical memory functions deals with the receipt of those commands, the processing of the data and other features to prepare it for efficient encodation on the RF tag.  It also deals with the responses sent back from the RF tag to the application.  Both standards support various RFID technologies operating at different frequencies, and support various applications.


RFID Application Standards

The standards being developed by JTC1/SC31 are focused on technology from the air interface specified for particular RF tags and the communication channels with the application.  Another set of standards is being developed to address applications at a generic hierarchical level, as opposed to a particular business or industry group.  A Joint Working Group has been set up under ISO TC122 Packaging and ISO TC104 Freight Containers to develop a series of standards that will address supply chain applications of RFID from the direct tagging of particular products through to the largest unit of sea-borne freight containers.  Progress is being made on all the standards and Paul Chartier is Senior Project Editor with oversight responsibilities for all the following standards:


       ISO 17358 Supply Chain Applications of RFID - Application requirements

       ISO 17363 Supply Chain Applications of RFID - Freight containers

       ISO 17364 Supply Chain Applications of RFID - Returnable transport items

       ISO 17365 Supply Chain Applications of RFID - Transport units

       ISO 17366 Supply Chain Applications of RFID - Product packaging

       ISO 17367 Supply Chain Applications of RFID - Product tagging


The standards address issues and requirements for each level in the hierarchy.  Individual industries, or businesses, will be able to use each of these standards as a pro forma to develop their own specific application standards.


Obtain Papers on RFID

We have prepared papers to help with the understanding of specific aspects of RFID.  The titles of the papers currently available are listed below:


            ISO RFID Data Protocol  - Synopsis

            RFID for Returnable Containers


To obtain any of the papers, simply copy the title into the title line of an e-mail and send it to


Further papers will appear in the series, so visit this page regularly.





Updated 8 October, 2004

praxis consultants 2000 – 2004

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