PARTNER NEWS: HID Global is using Cilab’s ci230 high-speed testing suite to reduce testing bottlenecks and standardise its NFC test results across its labs around the world — and is gaining a positive return on its investment in the equipment in less than a year, engineering director Hans-Juergen Pirch has told NFC World.
HID Global is using Cilab’s equipment for conformance testing of its ISO 14443-standard contactless readers. These are used by the company’s customers in a wide range of application areas, including logical and physical access control and transit ticketing.
The testing standard for ISO 14443 is ISO 10373-6, Pirch explained.
“Before Cilab’s ci230, there was no single off-the-shelf solution that included all the complex requirements of ISO 10373-6.
“Previously, we were performing testing using a lot of different instruments from different manufacturers and we didn’t have exactly the same setup in each of our different labs around the world.
“This meant that qualifying a reader was a task that required a highly skilled RF engineer. And, even then, we could get variance in the results from one test lab to another.”
“RF engineers are a rare breed,” he added. “They are a scarce resource and that creates bottlenecks.
“I wanted a completely automated solution so that we could standardise test results across labs and reduce bottlenecks.
“With Cilab’s ci230, we don’t need to tie up our RF experts to do testing. Any test engineer in the lab can do it, all with just a single click of a button.
“And what used to take several hours now takes under a minute. It used to take a full day to do all the ISO 10373-6 tests and it now takes just 20 minutes. The bottleneck has been completely removed.”
Pirch worked with the Cilab team to develop the ci230 as a high-speed, integrated testing tool. He gives the finished product a rating of 10 out of 10 overall.
“We are super happy with the equipment and definitely recommend it to others,” he said.
“In fact, we already openly recommend it. For us, it’s the best tester on the market.
“Initially, we planned to buy two units but, after seeing it in action, more sites wanted to be included and we have now bought seven units for five different sites. Before, only two or three of our sites had the expertise to run the tests.
“The Cilab equipment is now part of any test lab we have. It’s a standard piece of equipment. Any site that does NFC/RFID gets one.
“We are getting ROI payback in 10 to 11 months. The ROI is a no-brainer.”