A complete guide to RFID technology and equipment

by louis rolen

Tracking the objects has now become easier with RFID technology. It stands for radio frequency identification. This technology works using wave frequency to transmits the signals. The main components required in this technology are the reader and the tag.

The reader sends a signal to the tag and gets feedback. The object has the tag, and the tag has various types depending upon the power source. Both the reader and tag must be in the range. If they are not in the range, sending radiofrequency waves is impossible. As this technology transmits signals via radiofrequency waves, these technologies must comply with certain standards and have TRA type approval before use.

In the following paragraphs, we will study this technology in detail and understand the reasons for using this technology over other technologies.

Top 3 important RFID types?

According to the frequency ranges, RFID has three basic and important types. The classification is based on the readability of each type and also the type of RFID tag used. Below is a brief description of each type of RFID, along with their frequency ranges.

1. Low-frequency RFID

Low-frequency RFID has wavelengths of great lengths that make them able to pass through water and metal.  Low-frequency RFID’s readability is less and requires certain ideal conditions to read a signal at a specific distance. The range of low-frequency RFID ranges from 30 kHz to 300 kHz.  Low-frequency RFID uses passive tags, limiting them to small frequency ranges than the other two frequency ranges.

2. High-frequency RFID

High-frequency RFID has smaller wavelengths than the low-frequency RFID systems, and their frequency ranges are also higher. The range of High-frequency RFID ranges between 13.56 MHz. The readability of high-frequency RFID is higher than low-frequency RFID. Tags used in high-frequency RFID are active tags and have their power source to transmit signals.

3. Ultra high-frequency RFID

Ultra high-frequency RFID has higher ranges of frequency that are 865 to 928 MHz. The communication of signals depends on the transponder and the antenna to transmit the signal. One of the main reasons that make them popular and high demanding is their capability of multiple reads at a time.

What are RFID tags and types?

Depending upon the power source, RFID tags have three main classifications. Each of them is as follows.

1. Active RFID tags

These tags have their own power source or batteries. When the reader sends a signal, these tags send feedback using their power source. They do not require the power help from the reader to send the feedback.

2. Passive RFID tags

These tags do not have a power source of their own; they rely on the reader’s signal to send feedback. It is the reason passive tags have low-frequency ranges.

3. Semi-passive RFID tags

Semi-passive RFID tags have their source of supply, but they are dependent on the reader’s signal to send feedback to the reader.

What are the benefits of using RFID?

Due to its wide range of benefits, this technology is gaining popularity and has become very common. From inventory check in a store to tracking animals on a farm, you will find its use and benefits in almost every field. But before you use RFID equipment in any field, it is compulsory to get the TRA type approval as they use radio frequencies, and they must comply with certain standards.

Below are a few benefits of RFID technology and its equipment.

1. Multipurpose equipment

One of the main benefits of using RFID equipment is that they are used for multiple purposes. They are used to track multiple objects, such as clothes within a clothing store, to track the inventory levels in a store, in the agricultural fields, and to track animals.

2. Fast and accurate information

RFID’s have high rates of accuracy and precision. The information or the data read using this method is fast as compared to a barcode. You can read a hundred objects or more at a time accurately, whereas, in barcodes, you have to read objects one by one.

3. Durability

Like any other tracking system, RFID is not sensitive to weather conditions and has a larger life span. It makes them durable and easy to use without caring about the weather conditions. Other tracking or reading methods such as barcodes are not durable because they are embedded on paper and weather-dependent for survival.

4. No line of sight required

The RFID working is such that the reader reads feedback signals from the object with the RFID tag. There is no need for the object and the reader to be in the line of sight except for specific distance requirements.

The main difference between RFID and bar code readers

One of the visible difference between RFID and barcodes is the frequency. Barcodes use optical frequency; on the other hand, RFID uses radiofrequency.

Some other differences are as follows.

  • RFID technology can scan and read multiple objects at a time, whereas barcodes can read objects one by one
  • The life span of barcodes is less as compared to RFID technology
  • RFID tags contain much information as compared to barcodes. Barcodes have limited product information.

These differences between RFID and barcodes are why the popularity and high demand for RFID equipment are becoming more common than they were in the past.

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