Selecting the Right RFID Tags and Labels
RFID labels and tags are the foundation of every RFID solution. They receive RF signals from antennas and readers and relay specified information about a tagged item to your back-end system.
RFID tags can either be active or passive. Active tags have their own battery power source, which allows them to broadcast a signal to a reader. Conversely, passive tags have no power source and only get read when they are within the range of an RF signal from a reader.
Common use cases for active RFID include advanced asset tracking and real-time location systems (RTLS). On the other hand, passive RFID works well for inventory checkpoints, compliance monitoring, and WIP applications.
Comparing Active and Passive Tags
Since they are battery-powered, active RFID tags are able to broadcast their own signal to readers. Therefore, these tags are readable for longer ranges, making them best for tracking more expensive assets that require more frequent location updates.
Passive tags have no power source. The signal from an RF reader is bounced off of the passive tag and sent back to the reader. Readers and passive tags can communicate within 20 feet. Passive RFID works well for inventory checkpoints, compliance monitoring, and WIP applications.
Different RFID Tag Types
Common RFID disruptors like metal, water, and high carbon content can alter read accuracy. RFID Pros at RMS Omega perform testing to ensure that your tag works as expected to achieve your goals. Different form factors affect the performance of the tag in each application:
- Inlays – An inlay consists of the RFID chip and tag antennae on a piece of film with an optional adhesive.
- Labels – RFID labels are designed for peel-and-stick applications.
- Hard Tag – Encase the RFID inlay in a protective case for tracking challenging environments.
- Wristband – RFID-encoded wristbands are useful in healthcare for the seamless and instantaneous collection of patient information.
- Card – RFID technology embedded in plastic card technology encodes important information onto the cards.
There are certain factors that will have an effect on what tags you should use. A few factors that affect RFID read performance include:
- Inlay size – a larger RFID inlay gives your longer read ranges.
- Reader type – handheld, fixed, and overhead readers often perform differently and serve different use cases.
- Material surface and the environment – The surface of the tagged item and the environment it passes through affect the read range.
Getting Started with RFID
Getting started with RFID requires more than buying a reader and slapping a tag on what you want to track. Our solutions are strategically designed for your warehouse’s requirements, meaning we take the time to evaluate which combination of RFID tags, readers, antennas, printers, and software will work best for your application.
With over 20 years of experience working with warehouses, we have seen many challenges and mishaps when implementing RFID systems. When you work with RMS Omega, you work with a dedicated Account Manager who will be your point of contact from the start. We will support you from the initial project design and through the implementation, deployment, and ongoing maintenance, optimization, and analysis of your RFID system for years to come.