RFID Tags and Equipment Buying Guide.
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RFID Tags and Equipment Buying Guide.

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-03-16      Origin: Site


In order to buy RFID tags, you must first determine whether you have a good RFID system, RFID tag chip type, whether your environment contains metal and moisture, whether you need to be resistant to high temperatures, what is the sensing distance you require, etc. As a result, you will be able to find the right RFID tags more quickly.

Questions about the application

  • Is there anything you want to accomplish or solve in your business?

  • Is there any current system that would enable you to solve this problem and achieve this goal?

  • Which application do you prefer and why?

  • What is the maximum amount of money you want to spend on the project?

  • In which country or continent will you use RFID?

  • Can you tell me about the items or products you want to tag and track?

  • How many reading zones or read points do you need?

  • What is the best place to place antennas, computer items, readers, etc.?

  • Are you interested in buying tags/hardware and installing them yourself, or do you need software and installation?

RFID tags: an introduction

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags are also known as transponders, and they use low-power radio waves to receive, preserve, and send data. An RFID tag has several important components, such as an integrated circuit (IC) or microchip, a substrate layer, and an antenna.

There are three types of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. Passive, semi-passive, and battery-assisted passive tags are available. Active RFID tags are equipped with a transmitter and a power source. Passive RFID tags do not have a power source.

The RFID reader transmits electromagnetic energy that powers them. Passive tags have a power source within them. Semi-passive tags have a power source within them.

In addition, RFID tags work at three different frequencies: Low Frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), and Ultra-High Frequency (UHF).

RFID tags are available in a variety of designs and sizes, and they can be attached to a variety of surfaces. A wide variety of RFID tags are available, including dry inlays, wet inlays, wristbands, stickers, cards, labels, and more.

RFID tags are available in a wide range of read ranges, shapes, and sizes, so you need to choose the one that meets your needs. Make sure you know the application's requirements before you buy an RFID tag. During this process, you would need to narrow down your search based on the specific features the RFID tag must possess.

In order to determine the type of tag that would be best for your application, you would need to ask some questions. A tag that will suffice for all objects would be best if you want to tag more than one object.

To determine which type of tag to use, the first step is to determine whether you need an RFID inlay/label or a hard-RFID tag.

Labels and inlays with RFID technology

An RFID inlay encodes the identifying information on an RFID tag's label. An RFID reader transmits information to the computer system using radio-frequency waves from the RFID inlay, which is as small as a grain of rice.

Additionally, the RFID inlay consists of two components. An integrated circuit or microchip stores identifying information. The antenna is a small silver, copper, or aluminum wire attached to the integrated circuit. Radio-frequency signals are sent and received by the antenna.

Antenna and microchip are kept in the label, and the whole unit is coated in plastic. In addition, RFID inlays work when the microchip's data is transmitted to the RFID tag's antenna. The antenna of the RFID reader then reads it. In addition, it is sent to the computer system acting as the host for storage, analysis, or processing.

There are two types of RFID inlays: wet and dry. When an adhesive is applied to an RFID inlay, it is referred to as wet.To adhere it to the pressure-sensitive liner that makes up the label, this is done. In the absence of adhesive, an inlay is attached to the label when it is dry.

Barcodes and readable information can be printed on RFID inlays. RFID inlays are more commonly used than hard tags for most purposes. One of the primary reasons is cost. RFID inlays differ in a number of ways, including reading range, size, adhesive preference, and printability.

The merits

  • Cost-effective

  • Easy to use

  • Encoding and printing can be done in bulk using an RFID printer.


  • There is no weather resistance to it

  • The adhesive attachment method is the only one that works.

  • Metal-mount models are few and far between.

Questions about RFID inlays/labels

  • What is the number of items you would like to tag?

  • How long does the lifespan of the tags last?

  • How big can the tags be?

  • Do you plan to tag metal, wood, plastic, or other surfaces?

  • Can you tell me what model of RFID printer you will use if you want to work with an RFID printer?

  • Are there extreme environmental conditions to consider, such as excess cold, heat, moisture, vibrations, corrosive elements, etc.?

  • Are you in need of high-temperature adhesives?

  • Is user memory required? Apart from the special product code, will the tag store anything else?

  • Are you in need of printing or custom coding?

  • Is it necessary to perforate between labels?

Hard RFID tags

RFID Hard tags are made of ceramics, ABS, or plastics. RFID Hard tags are not made of paper like labels and inlays. In addition to enhancing cold and heat resistance, object embedding, and improved read ranges, RFID hard tags are also designed for specific application needs.

Due to their thickness and size, RFID hard tags are more expensive than inlays and labels. Interestingly, these hard tags can cost as little as $1 or as much as $15 per tag. Like inlays and labels, RFID hard tags are quite inexpensive when purchased in large quantities.

RFID hard tags come in a variety of shapes and sizes. It could be as small as a pencil or as big as a vehicle's license plate.


  • RFID hard tags are primarily determined by their features.

  • Various attachment methods exist


  • The cost of RFID hard tags is higher than that of RFID inlays

  • The encoding and labeling of RFID hard tags takes a very long time. Labels are also not compatible with some models.

Questions about RFID hard tags

  • What is the number of items you would like to tag?

  • What kind of surface do you want to tag? The material can be metal, wood, plastic, etc.

  • What is the durability of the tags?

  • How wide should the read range be?

  • How big can RFID hard tags be?

  • Do you need to consider extreme environmental conditions? (Excessive cold, heat, UV rays, etc.)

  • How will you attach? Is it better to use cable tiles, adhesives, screws, or rivets?

  • Is user memory needed?

  • Are you in need of printing or custom coding?

  • Can you tell me what your budget is for each tag?

RFID readers: an introduction

A RFID fixed-reader is a stationary, high-performance device that can read and write tags in any application. RFID fixed-readers come in two models. A coaxial cable connects non-integrated readers to antennas. Comparatively, integrated readers consist of an antenna and a reader.

If you have a basic understanding of RFID, you can effortlessly set up fixed readers. Auxiliary multiplexer devices can also connect from 1-64 antennas. You can track/monitor individual objects using RFID tags with the RFID reader.

Questions regarding RFID fixed readers

  • In which country will you use the RFID reader?

  • How will you mount the reader?

  • When the tags pass through the read zone, how fast will they move?

  • What is the maximum number of tags you want to read at once?

  • With this reader, how many antennas would you like to use?

  • What will you do to power the reader?

  • Are there any excessive environmental conditions to watch out for, like excessive moisture, heat, and cold?

  • Is the reader going to be connected directly to the host computer or will it be connected via a network?

  • Are there any GPIO functions you need, such as light stacks?

Modules for readers

RFID readers are controlled by reader modules. In general, they are incorporated into existing product designs. In order to produce a special RFID reader item, they are used as the base. Outside the box, RFID reader modules are of no use.The reason is that they are not complete products.

It takes extra engineering to make RFID reader modules functional. With RFID reader modules, the customer is able to differentiate the frequency ranges of the modules. The customer can specify the processing power and sensor options rather than being limited to an old design.

Because the customer pays for the hardware that the application requires, large-scale integrations are more affordable when RFID reader modules are used. In this case, customers would ditch readers that are overly engineered for the application.

Questions about RFID reader modules

  • Have you read the Reader Module Guide?

  • In which country will you use the RFID reader module?

  • What is the maximum number of tags that need to be read simultaneously?

  • With the reader module, how many antennas will be used?

An introduction to RFID antennas and cables

A non-integrated reader module or a fixed reader requires RFID antennas and cables. An onboard antenna is used to produce integrated fixed readers and handheld readers. Thus, these types of readers do not require an antenna. Polarity, gain, and size are some of the special characteristics of antennas.

Therefore, it is crucial to understand what the application demands before choosing one. Depending on the antennas and the selected readers, coaxial cables are available in different lengths, connector types, and insulation ratings.

The power subsides when it travels through the cable from the RFID reader to the RFID antenna. To reduce the volume of loss in RFID antenna cables, you must take intentional steps to ensure that they achieve the performance you require.

It is important to choose the antenna and reader before choosing the cable.

There are several important factors to consider when choosing RFID antenna cables:

  • Connecting the reader to the antenna requires a certain length of cable.

  • From the antenna to the RFID tag, the desired read range.

  • It is used to determine the antenna's gain.

The loss is greater when the cable is longer. By using a higher-rated cable that is suitably insulated, you can minimize this loss. Using a higher-rated cable has the disadvantage of being very thick and challenging to bend, unlike a thinner cable.

Also, if you prefer a short read range, you can use a lower-rated cable. A higher-rated cable will maximize the read range.

It is important to consider the RFID antenna's gain when choosing a cable. You must consider factors such as cable length and rating, reader power settings, and more. To achieve your goal, you must consider the antenna's gain as well as the cable's nature.

Cables & Antennas: Questions

  • How large should the reading range be?

  • Do you know and can you control the RFID tag's orientation in relation to the antenna's position in your application?

  • Using dimensions as a yardstick, what would be the ideal read zone?

  • What will you do with the antenna? Will it be mounted outdoors, indoors, or on a vehicle?

  • Are there any environmental conditions to consider, such as excessive moisture, heat, or cold?

  • Is there a limit to the size available?

  • Will wall mounting brackets be required?

  • What reader will you use?

  • What antenna will you use?

  • How far is the antenna from the reader?

  • Can the cable be bent beyond 45 degrees before connecting to the antenna?

RFID printer introduction

RFID printers do not print alone; they encode RFID inlays or labels. There are a number of essential uses for RFID printers. By using software, several rolls of tags can be automatically printed effectively and quickly.

The volume of inlays or labels makes manual encoding challenging, especially if you use applications with inlays or labels. With RFID printers, you will be surprised at how fast they print.

In contrast to conventional printers, RFID printers do not require ink. Nevertheless, they work properly with ribbon, which prints graphics or texts on tags. Paper tags require a different ribbon than labels with plastic or poly faces.

You need printer software if you want to achieve the best results. Among the reasons for this is that you will be provided with standard features such as a label design. It also features a user-friendly interface that eliminates the need to write code.

Questions about RFID printers

  • How many pages would you print in a day, week, or month?

  • Do you know what size tags you intend to print?

  • Do you know what resolution quality you want for the printed label?

  • What kind of printer would you like? Would you prefer a network-enabled printer or one that connects directly to your computer?

  • Is Wi-Fi capability necessary?

Questions about printer labels and software

  • Are you going to print poly-faced tags or paper tags?

  • Which printer model will you use?

  • What kind of software will you need for the printer interface? Will you use programming codes, or will you need something else entirely?

  • How should your printer software function?

  • With this software, how many printers will be used?

In conclusion

It is important to note after reading this guide that RFID tags and equipment should be purchased with great care. Many people make the mistake of purchasing RFID tags and related products without taking the necessary time to understand their peculiarities.

Make sure you know your application needs before you buy RFID tags and equipment. You will be able to make the right decision based on this information.

About Toptag
TopTag is the industry leader in developing and manufacturing high-performance RFID products that are tailored to the exact requirements of customers.
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