RFID (radio frequency identification) inlays use microchips embedded into an antenna to automate tracking. Radio waves are transmitted from the inlay to the RFID scanner/reader to communicate various information.
There are many ways to implement RFID to improve workplace efficiency. With the wide range of RFID inlays, finding the right inlay that works for you can be challenging! To best use this technology to the fullest, it is essential to research and test to find the right RFID system for you! Here are some things to keep in mind before ordering your RFID tags or labels…
What problem are you solving with RFID?
Are you using RFID to track a few high-dollar items, or implementing them across your entire warehouse? Knowing how you will use RFID, you can select an RFID inlay that will suit your needs. RFID is efficient in reducing high labor costs, reducing data errors in item identification and handling, accurately tracking items, and storing large amounts of data.
What is the timeline for starting your RFID project?
It takes time to set up an RFID system. In some cases, servers may need to be upgraded to accommodate the large amounts of data that RFID tags can store. Make sure to give yourself time to test the various hardware and tag systems to determine what will work best for you!
Are you using Passive or Active RFID tags?
Active RFID tags contain a small battery and occasionally transmit info with a much greater range than passive tags. Passive tags are powered by electromagnetic induction via the RFID scanner. Once the scanner powers the tag, it responds by transmitting its unique information back to the scanner. Active tags are more expensive but perform better when adhered to metal surfaces and offer features such as GPS locating. Passive tags have a longer lifespan than active tags, tend to be cheaper, and can come in smaller sizes.
What environment will the tag be in?
Do the tags need to withstand extreme conditions? Here at Trebnick, we have innovated various tags and labels that can hold up in harsh environments, including chemical and industrial settings. Choosing an RFID inlay that can withstand extreme conditions is crucial to your RFID system's function. The last thing you want is your RFID antenna to rust over time, leaving you with a dead tag!
At what distances do you need to be able to read the tag?
When choosing an RFID inlay for your tags, it is important to find the correct balance between inlay size and read range. Read range refers to the maximum distance the RFID reader can be away from the inlay and still be able to read it. Typically, the larger the RFID inlay, the longer its read range will be.
What is the frequency of the RFID Inlay you wish to use?
RFID inlays are designed to transmit information using one of three different frequencies; low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), or ultra-high frequency (UHF). LF and HF inlays are on the lower end of the electromagnetic spectrum. Though their read range is shorter, they can accuratly be read from all directions. UHF inlays are typically more affordable, have large read ranges, and can transmit information fastest. It is important to know what frequency your inlay is before setting up your RFID system, as RFID devices, such as printers and scanners, are programmed to only work with one kind of frequency. A printer that can encode HF inlays will not be able to encode UHF inlays.
What are the maximum and minimum dimensions of the tag?
Do you already have a tag you use for your products that you want to incorporate RFID into? Or is the tag/label size determined by the product you are tagging? Knowing the size of your tag or label will help decide which RFID inlay can be applied. Typically, RFID inlays work best when feeding through an RFID printer horizontally.
To what surface will you affix the tag?
All surfaces carry a slight electric charge, which can impact the operating frequency of the RFID microchip. Standard RFID inlays will take on the dielectric properties of the material it is on, which is why they do not perform well when used on metal or containers of liquid. Through technological advancements, there are RFID inlays optimized to work with these surfaces, though they can be more expensive. So be sure to select an inlay that will work well across all your products.
How are you going to encode (write data) your tags?
Do you have software that can encode the tag? Can RFID be integrated into your current system? You will need a way to encode data onto the RFID microchip and also a way to organize that information after exporting it from the RFID scanner. We have numerous software solutions to keep you running efficiently! Contact us to learn more!
Will anything need to be printed on the tag?
Barcodes are often applied to RFID tags to utilize the benefits of both RFID and barcode inventory management systems. By letting us know what kind of content you need on your tags or labels, we can help you find the best RFID printer for you!
If you are using an RFID printer/encoder, what model are you using?
Each printer has its own set of RFID specifications. By letting us know the exact printer you are using, we can be sure that the inlay is placed correctly on the tag to ensure that it is compatible with your printer. Remember that it is wise to test the various hardware and tag systems to see which works best for your business!
All of these questions can impact the design of your RFID tags or labels. Contact us if you have any questions! Our knowledgeable Customer Service team will be happy to guide you through the process of ordering your own RFID tags and labels!
215 S. Pioneer Blvd.
Springboro, OH 45066