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RFID Technology


Hydraulic cylinders are used in many industrial applications, and because they often play a critical role, proper maintenance is imperative. Frequently, the operating environment where cylinders are used make it difficult to read a cylinder’s identification markings. Implementing RFID solves this problem. RFID tags not only identify the cylinder, but contain all the necessary information for tracking and maintenance. Information stored can include serial number, manufacture date, part number, bore, stroke, pressure rating, repair kit numbers, and more.

Milwaukee Cylinder RFID tags feature a proprietary tie rod clamping system. When the cylinder is first installed in the machine, the RFID tag is moved to the specific tie rod offering the best access. With this in place – even if a tag is caked with industrial dirt – the RFID reader can capture all the information about the cylinder. The RFID reader displays all the necessary cylinder information, including the serial number, seal kit product number, and more, as well as information regarding when the last maintenance was done.

High-Frequency (HF) RFID tags use passive RFID technology that contains no battery. Tags are powered by the RF waves emitted from the antenna of an RFID Reader. When the tag is within range, coils in the HF RFID tag capture the RF waves to power the tag. Once powered, the RFID reader can read and write to the tag. No power is required to maintain the memory on the tag. RFID tag memory can only be changed with an RFID reader. RFID tags are designed to hold information for years.

Note: Metal-based contamination may affect read/write capabilities. In this situation, simply wiping off the RFID tag will typically solve any read/write issues. Also, RFID readers will not read through a liquid stream.

The amount of memory available on an RFID tag is somewhat limited and information on an RFID tag is stored in specific locations. A memory map defines how information is stored. The memory map is used by RFID users to create a template to read and read/write to a tag. An example memory map can be found in the RFID white paper.

To order RFID, refer to the RFID PART NUMBER CHART, below. Choose the RFID Model by bore size or by tie rod diameter. For new cylinders, RFID tags should be ordered when ordering the cylinder. If non-standard tie rod sizes are being used, determine the tie rod diameter and select the correct RFID part number using the tie rod diameter columns. For retrofitting existing cylinders, order the correct RFID part number by consulting the RFID PART NUMBER CHART, and always include the serial number of the cylinder being retrofitted.


The following information can be downloaded from Milwaukee Cylinder:
    •   RFID Technology Brochure
    •   RFID White Paper
    •   RFID Press Release
    •   Instruction Sheet for RFID Tags

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