28 Jan

RFID Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

RFID FAQsAs we recently discussed in Is RFID Right for You?, RFID technology continues to see growth across a wide range of industries for the multitude of benefits it provides, such as container tracking and improved pick-to-ship cycle time. The post discussed some questions to ask to determine if implementing RFID technology was the right decision for your business—but deciding to incorporate RFID is just the first step. The next step is selecting the specific RFID technology that is the best fit for your operations. This blog post will address some frequently asked questions about RFID technology on a more technical level.

What are the different types of RFID tags?

Active tags have an internal power source and broadcast their own signal. This allows them to have a very long range, possibly as far as 100 m under the right conditions. However, it also means they are larger and much more expensive.

Passive tags do not have their own power source, and therefore have a much shorter range, but are smaller and much less expensive.

From how far can I read an RFID tag?

The read range of an RFID tag depends on a variety of factors—power of the reader, surrounding materials, frequency of operation, and sources of interference, just to name a few. Generally speaking, passive RFID tags fall into three main categories:

  • Low Frequency (LF): 125/134 kHz; read distance up to 10 cm
  • High Frequency (HF): 13.56 MHz; read distance 10 cm—1 m
  • Ultra High Frequency (UHF): 860-960 MHz; read distance 1 m—12 m

Can I read and write an RFID tag from the same distance?

Because writing requires more energy, an RFID tag’s write range is generally less than or equal to half of its read range.

What are the advantages of RFID over barcodes?

While both technologies have their uses, the advantage of RFID technology is that it’s not dependent on line of sight, meaning that tags can be read as long as they are within range of the reader. Additionally, RFID technology can uniquely identify each tagged asset, and multiple RFID tags can be read simultaneously.

Will RFID allow me to see all of my inventory at the press of a button?

In order for Push button Inventory to occur, Active Tags would most likely be required in large Enterprises as the range previously noted for Passive Tags would not allow for the application use case. Utilizing a Portable Passive Reader solution is possible, although far from the norm depending on the actual environment.

How do I get started implementing RFID?

Properly designed and deployed RFID systems boost the speed, efficiency, and reliability of your data-collection processes. With 27 years of experience in the data collection and integration industry, The SMS Group can help you discover what RFID can do for your company. Give us a call at 937-498-2700 or click here to contact us.

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