Apr 29, 2016 Blog 0 comment

RFID 101 – Tag Selection

One of the major elements in an RFID System is the RFID tag. RFID tag selection is one of the most essential for the success of your RFID application. It is important to have proper understanding of RFID system functionality and business process where RFID would fit into in order to select the right tag.

The selection factors include:

  • type and size of tag,
  • operating frequency,
  • object to be tagged,
  • read distance
  • tag mountings,
  • cost,
  • environmental conditions
  • and mandate requirements.

1. Tag Type – Selecting the type of RFID tag depends on your application for which the tag will be used, sensor requirement, read range to be achieved, size and weight of the tag, memory, form factor, cost. For Example: Semi-passive or active tags are more expensive than passive tags.

2. Tag frequency – Frequency of tag is selected depending on your read range requirement, type of material to be tagged and the data rate. Some applications require very short distance while some require read range from few centimetres to few meters. Based on the read distance the frequency (LF, HF, UHF, Microwave) tags are selected. Frequency of tag also depends on the type of object to be tagged (metallic or non metallic) and the content of the object.

3. Environmental conditions – You need to consider the environmental conditions that the tag could be exposed to during the lifetime. For certain applications tags may encounter high temperature and pressure or the tags needs to withstand vibration. You also need to know for how long the tag will be exposed to such extreme conditions.

4. RFID Standards and Compliance Requirements – Tags may be selected for compliance with certain standards. It could be Open standards like ISO or proprietary standards. Large organizations and the government release their requirement with certain mandate that needs to be met to complete the project.

Once you have completed RFID tag selection for your application, consider proper tag orientation and precise tag placement method to achieve the expected performance.

In our next blog post we will go into detail about the tag types.