How Do RFID Tags Work?
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How Do RFID Tags Work?

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


An RFID tag consists of a chip and an antenna. RFID tags contain a chip that stores information about the object they are attached to, and an antenna that allows them to communicate with RFID readers.

RFID technology consists of three components: RFID tags, RFID readers, and RFID software. Data about RFID-tagged objects is tracked, managed, and stored using these elements.

RFID tags: what are they?

Before we look at the types, let's define what an RFID tag is. RFID tags store information about the object to which they are attached. In order to process the information, the tag communicates with an RFID reader using radio waves.

Depending on their intended use, RFID tags come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. While some tags are as small as a grain of rice, others are larger and more durable.

An RFID tag typically consists of three main components:

  • Chip with RFID technology. A tag's smallest component. A small amount of data can be stored in its memory, primarily the object's unique identification number. The tag can be rewritten (only for read/write tags), allowing it to be used multiple times.

  • Antenna for RFID. In order to communicate with an RFID reader, this component sends and receives radio waves. Antenna size and shape determine the range of the tag.

  • The substrate or the housing. A chip and antenna are protected by this part of the tag. The form factor and size of the tag are also determined by it. A variety of materials can be used to make it, including plastics and fabrics.

It is common for these elements to be encapsulated in a single unit, although the antenna may be separate from the chip and housing in some cases. For the tag to function properly, they must all be in good condition.

RFID Tag Types

RFID tags can generally be classified based on the following characteristics:

  • Power source. This refers to how the tag is powered. Some RFID tags are powered by a built-in battery, while others rely on energy transmitted by RFID readers.

  • Type of memory. Memory can be either read-only or read/write. During manufacture, read-only tags are preprogrammed with a unique identification number. There is no way to change or rewrite this number.Read/write tags, on the other hand, have a blank chip that can be programmed with new information.

  • Frequency of operation. Depending on the application, RFID tags operate at different frequencies. Frequency ranges include low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF). Later on, we will discuss each range's advantages and disadvantages in more detail.

Power Source Classification

RFID tags can be classified according to their power source. Active and passive RFID tags are the two main types.

  • RFID tags that are active

Usually, these tags are powered by batteries. The tag can transmit radio waves over long distances, typically 100 meters.

Active tags are more expensive and require more maintenance than passive tags. Active tags have a limited battery life, so they need to be replaced more frequently.

As a result of these replacement requirements and high procurement costs, active tags are less popular than passive tags. They are still used in applications that require long read ranges, such as inventory management and asset tracking.

  • Tags with passive RFID technology

RFID tags do not have a built-in power source and are powered by the energy transmitted by the RFID reader. An RFID reader sends a radio wave to energize and power up the tag. This energy is used by the tag to transmit its signal back to the reader.

The technology is known as inductive coupling. Power is transferred to the tag based on the distance between it and the reader. The tag won't receive enough power if it's too far away.

In addition to being more affordable than active RFID tags, passive RFID tags do not require maintenance. Therefore, they are more popular than active tags. Applications such as event management and supply chain tracking typically require short read ranges.

Memory Type Classification

RFID tags can also be classified according to their memory type. Read-only and read/write memory are the two main types of memory.

  • RFID tags that can only be read

These tags can only be read and cannot be rewritten. At the time of manufacture, they can be pre-programmed with an identification number, or they can be programmed later using an encoder.

The tag cannot be modified once it has been encoded. To prevent accidental or unauthorized changes, read-only memory is typically locked.

The costs of read-only RFID tags are lower than those of read/write tags, and they do not require special programming devices. In applications such as product identification, where data must be read but not changed, they are often used.

Additionally, they can be used in ticketing where the data needs to be read, but the ticket cannot be reused. One-time-use event tickets, for instance, cannot be copied or altered.

The fact that they are usually cheap and widely available makes them more popular for these types of applications.World cup matches, for example, have used read-only RFID tags to reduce ticket fraud.

  • RFID tags can be read and written

These tags can be read and rewritten as needed. By using a programmer, they can be programmed with new data.

RFID tags that can be read and written are more expensive and require special programming devices. In applications such as employee management, they are often used to read and update data regularly.

In access control, they can be used to update data whenever a user is added or removed. An employee's access privileges may be updated when they are promoted or transferred.

Frequency-based classification

It is probably the most important classification because it determines the read range and other performance characteristics. There are three types of RFID tags: low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF).

  • RFID tags with a low frequency (125-134.2 kHz)

There is a short read range of around 10 cm (4 inches) for LF tags. As they lack adequate anti-collision mechanisms, they can only be read one at a time.

Their data transmission rate is also slow, usually around 10 bits per second. Because LF signals have a low frequency, they don't carry a lot of information.

In livestock tracking applications (as defined by ISO 14223 and ISO/IEC 18000-2), LF tags are often used. Access control and asset management also use them.

Copper coils surround a ferrous core in their antennae. The cost of manufacturing them makes them relatively expensive.

  • 13.56 MHz High-Frequency RFID Tags

Inlays and tags with HF/NFC RFID have a short read range of 30 cm (12 inches) to 1 meter. Since they have adequate anti-collision mechanisms, they can be read individually or in groups.

In addition, their data transmission rate is slow, at around 106 bits per second. Their antennae consist of three to seven coils made of aluminum, copper, or silver. Since they are cheaper to manufacture (compared to LF tags), they are more affordable.

Various RFID standards are used to control them, including ISO 15693 (asset tracking), ISO/IEC 14443 A & ISO/IEC 14443 (MIFARE), ECMA-340 & ISO/IEC 18092 (NFC), and JIS X 6319-4 (FeliCa).

Contactless payments, public transportation, access control, and asset tracking all use this technology.

  • RFID tags with ultra-high frequencies (868 MHz to 956 MHz)

RFID inlays and tags with UHF technology have a long read range of around 1 meter to 10 meters. Since they have adequate anti-collision mechanisms, they can be read in groups.

Their fast data transmission rate makes them suitable for large-scale applications. In addition, UHF tags are relatively cheap to manufacture, making them more affordable.

Metal and water easily damage them, which limits their use. This challenge has been overcome with metal-mount RFID tags.

Tags can either be passive or active. RFID passive tags use energy from the reader's signal to power up and communicate. The power source for active UHF RFID tags is typically a battery.

What is the best way to attach RFID tags to objects?

There are many ways in which FID tags can be attached to objects. Adhesives are the most common method.Permanent and removable adhesives are available.

Objects that will not be moved frequently are best suited for permanent adhesives. However, removable adhesives are best suited to objects that will be moved frequently.

RFID tags can also be attached to objects by sewing them on. RFID clothing tags and RFID laundry tags are mostly used for this.

Other methods of attaching RFID tags to objects include rivets, screws, and bolts. You can choose the method that suits your needs best.

RFID tags can be attached to almost any object regardless of its size, shape, or material. Make sure the tag is properly secured to the object to prevent it from being lost or damaged.

RFID Tags: Benefits and Uses

There are many advantages to using RFID tags over traditional barcodes, including:

Automate to save time and money

The RFID application can automatically track the movement of goods and upload the information to the ERP or financial management system. This eliminates the need for manual form filling and replaces outdated spreadsheets.Fixing readers at key points can save even more time - and on a production line, for example, can eliminate the need for manual intervention completely.

Tracking can also be automated when goods are transferred from one carrier to another, such as from road to rail. Real-time monitoring of goods in transit prevents theft or damage to goods.

By reading the location of RFID tags via radio waves, you can also locate assets such as pallets, boxes, or containers at any time. During larger operations, such as disaster relief efforts, knowing where certain items are at any given time is important for quick stock checks.

Inventory management and asset tracking

The task of tracking assets and materials is challenging for most organizations, whether they are components on a production line, finished products being shipped, industrial containers that need to be returned, or lost tools, laptops, and other high-value equipment.

With passive RFID tags, you can track items quickly and easily without having to count them individually.

In RFID applications, you can instantly see how many items of one type you have and where they are in the process.Items can be tracked from the moment they are received in stores, sent to manufacturing, and used in a finished product. With this system, inventory can be managed, stock checks and audits can be performed, and shrinkage can be controlled. In addition, RFID can be used to locate misplaced items that are on site.

Increasing health and safety

RFID systems allow companies to track when equipment and vehicles have been inspected, and restrict their use if certain conditions are not met. CheckedOK offers a convenient way to manage inspections and reporting regimes, as well as satisfy insurers and regulatory bodies that processes are being followed.

By providing a low-cost system for tracking workers' locations, RFID systems can also improve workplace health and safety. By doing so, it can be possible to identify dangerous areas where workers need training or provide information about how productive workers are.

Enhancing the accuracy and availability of data

Assets, people, and vehicles can be tracked using passive RFID tags. Health and safety can be improved through this.Tools, equipment, and other assets can be tracked with asset tracking systems so they don't get lost or stolen. In addition, it can ensure that equipment is returned to its correct location after use.

Quality and traceability are enhanced

With passive RFID tags, we are able to enhance the quality and traceability of our products. With passive RFID tags, we can track products throughout production and distribution, which ultimately improves the safety and reliability of our products. Customers are increasingly looking for Passive RFID tags on their products as a symbol of quality assurance as passive RFID technology continues to grow. Our customers can be assured of the highest level of quality with Passive RFID Tags.

Production control can be improved

With passive RFID tags, factories can gain greater control over production processes. They provide accurate data on product movement and when restocking is required, as well as tracking inventory.

By investing in Passive RFID tag technology, manufacturers can reduce waste and optimize workflow by gaining real-time insight into each stage of production. In today's competitive market, companies looking to tighten their margins and lower their carbon footprints will find this type of system appealing because of its substantial savings.

Information on management in greater depth

Businesses can efficiently track and monitor their products throughout their entire lifecycles with RFID technology.Using passive RFID tags, companies can capture real-time data, giving them a comprehensive view of their assets and products.

With this immense power, businesses can make informed decisions regarding operational planning and boost efficiency.RFID offers 360-degree visibility into how products move from point A to point B while reducing costs and overhead.

Payback time is rapid

Due to their ability to facilitate efficient operations, passive RFID tags are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective technology. The benefits of passive RFID tags range from inventory tracking and data gathering to tamper-proof authentication, resulting in substantial savings and revenue growth.

Passive RFID investments can yield real returns in terms of improved operational performance and customer experiences right away, making it a practical solution.

Processes that are shorter

RFID passive tags are incredibly powerful tools for managing inventory workflows. It is possible to reduce the time from order to delivery significantly by integrating this technology with other manufacturing or supply chain systems, such as automated pallet handling and stock picking.

RFID passive tags provide real-time visibility and data exchange between the physical and digital worlds, enabling companies and manufacturers to better control their timeframes and processes. By utilizing RFID technologies, organizations can maintain a competitive edge while increasing efficiency and optimizing operations in today's highly competitive markets.

By using passive RFID tags, businesses are now able to track valuable items or assets quickly and easily. These advanced tracking technologies provide greater convenience, security, and cost-effectiveness, as demonstrated in this blog post.

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