Providing Safety
RFID Safety Keys

Safe Passage: Ensuring Safety with RFID Technology

RFID technology has transformed industries with its wireless data transfer capabilities. In safety applications, RFID Safety Keys (RSK) play a vital role, preventing unexpected machine starts and controlling access to restricted areas. This blog explores the function and significance of RSKs in enhancing workplace safety.

RFID technology

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RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, uses radio waves to send or read information wireless remotely. An RFID system often exist of a tag or label, which is then attached to an object or even a person. The information in the tag or label is then read by a RFID reader and finally processed by intelligent software. Which leads to an action such as a door opening up or closing.

There are passive and active RFID tags. The reader and reading antenna in passive RFID devices radio broadcast the tag. The passive RFID tag activates itself via the signal it receives; it lacks a source of energy of its own. They are less expensive, more compact, and simpler to make than active tags because they simply require a microprocessor and antenna. Low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF) bands are used by passive RFID systems.
The tag in an active RFID system transmits a radio signal to the reading antenna and reader (also known as the gateway). Tags equipped with active RFID systems have their own transmitter and power supply, which is typically a solar cell or battery.  These only broadcast once that is customisable in order to conserve battery life. Nevertheless, their purchase price is substantially more than that of passive tags. The tag (and hence the item to which it is mounted) can be tracked in real time by the gateways, which receive the active tag signals.

RFID tags in safety keys are typically passive RFID tags. As they are activated by the radio frequency energy transmitted from an RFID reader. This energy is used to power the tag’s circuits, allowing it to transmit its stored information back to the reader. This passive design makes them suitable for applications where small, lightweight, and low-cost tags are needed, such as in safety keys.


What is RSK?
RSK stands for RFID Safety Key, these keys protect operators from machines starting up unexpectedly. They are used primarily in access control systems to grant or restrict entry to specific areas and resources. When presented to an RFID reader, which is typically installed at entry points, the RFID tag transmits its unique identification data wirelessly to the reader.

These safety keys are often used in:

  • Access control: In offices, residential complexes, and industrial facilities. RFID Safety Keys are used to control entry to buildings, floors, or specific areas within a building. If relate this to our work field, we can see examples when working on machine maintenance, in a safeguarded space. Or while machines are active in a safeguarded space, entry to those areas might be restricted to only specific workers through RFID Safety Keys.
  • Time and attendance tracking: RFID Safety Keys are also utilized for tracking employees’ time and attendance. Employees can use their RFID-enabled badges or cards to clock in and out of work, providing an accurate record of their work hours.


Operation of the RFID Safety Keys in Fortress’ amGardpro range
The RSK pod has dual safety contacts. When a key is removed, they open. Keys are securely locked with electromagnets. A yellow light means unlocked, red means a removed key.

RSK can be integrated into locking or control stations of heavy duty amGard pro products. RFID Safety Keys can also be added to existing systems where a proactive braking function is required.

RSK units can be standalone key stations or can be integrated into a locking system. A pod can contain 2 or 4 keys that are electromagnetically locked. If only 2 keys are needed, the modular design of the RSK can combine additional controls within the same pod.

Lost your RFID Safety Key?
If a key is lost, replacement keys can be easily programmed to the device using a ’teach’ key. During this process, all previous key codes are erased, eliminating the risk of duplicate keys. If the lost key is found again, it will no longer work, as the key code which is accepted by the pod is now renewed. By erasing all previous key codes and programming new keys using the teach key, the system maintains its security integrity.

fortress amgard network safety switch

Safety switches
Fortress Safety safety switches are modular, meaning that you can design them for your needs. It is possible to add simple machine controls like an emergency stop, emergency release, safety keys, access request, reset or a tag reader as an integrated module to these safety switches.

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