RFID technology has arrived to facilitate supply chain automation, and to, among other things, quickly and easily identify items across multiple industries. In order to put this technology into operation we need to make use of RFID tags.
In order to implement RFID technology in your business, you first have to know what RFID tags are:
As we anticipated in this blog post, these are labels that contain a chip that stores the information of a product and also contains an antenna to transmit that information.
Now that you know what an RFID tag is, these are the types of tags that currently exist. Knowing them will allow you to make a correct choice for the implementation of this technology in your business.
If we take into account the power supply of the battery, we find the following classification: Passive labels, active labels and semi-passive or semi-active labels.
Kind of RFID Labels
These labels do not require any internal power source to be able to fulfill the function of emitting or receiving radio frequency signals. It is one of the reasons why they are the most used, in addition to being the cheapest.
How do they work? These tags are activated when they are near a reader that induces an electrical current that supplies them with the energy they need to establish communication. For this, it is important to bear in mind that the operating distances of this type of labels range between 10mm and can even reach 6 – 7 meters. It all depends on the size of the antenna and the power and frequency of the reader.
Why use passive tags in your business?
They are small in size and are usually single-use that can be in supports of materials such as paper, cloth or plastic. Although we can also find those passive labels that have permanent uses and for this they are made in materials resistant to water, humidity, dust …
The useful life of passive labels exceeds 10 years without the need for maintenance, which added to their low cost, makes them one of the best options if your business is among the following uses: traceability chain, credit cards contactless payment, asset management …
Any Objection? Since there is no internal power supply, these tags will always depend on an RFID reader and an antenna to supply them with the necessary energy to be able to send the information stored inside them. In any case, they are the most widely used labels globally due to their good performance as well as their low cost.
Unlike passive tags, active tags have an autonomous power source, which allows a signal to be emitted to the reader. Do they have any more difference with the passives? They are much more expensive (due to the incorporation of an internal battery) since they also have a larger size and their useful life is concrete, while the previous ones could be categorized into practically unlimited.
So why should you use active tags in your business?
For sectors such as industry, logistics or vehicle control, a perfect option due to the enormous reading distance that can reach hundreds of meters.
If we look for any disadvantage to be able to establish a correct comparison of the types of labels, we find that these have a high cost (unlike passive ones).
In addition to that its creation is expensive and depends on the life of the battery.
Semi-passive or semi-active labels
What are semi-passive or semi-active labels? These are those that work thanks to a battery that supplies the energy necessary for the emission and reception of the signal to be carried out autonomously.
What would be one of its benefits or advantages compared to the previous ones? Its long-distance reading range works in extreme conditions; Although they are really very similar to passive devices, since they do not emit a signal in itself, it is the chip that does it to be able to activate communication.
These tags, which are mostly called semi-passive (although you can find them as semi-active), have a faster response speed and they are much more efficient than the passive ones themselves; although compared to active tags they consume less energy.
Do you need them in your business?
If we take into account the above, yes. But you have to keep in mind that its size will not be a label like the passive ones; they are, in short, large and high cost.
If you are wondering what you can use them for, access control or the positioning of personnel or objects may be one of the most widespread uses.
Kind of RFID tags according to their format
RFID tags are not classified solely by their power source, although it is true that it is one of the most important classifications. However, we can also distinguish types of RFID tags according to their format.
This classification is produced by taking into account the specific needs of each RFID technology implementation. Among the most common formats we find:
- ● Conversion or “sandwich”: This is the name of the format in which the RFID antenna is between two sheets that contain adhesives and is between protective layers. A very common example would be a credit or identification card.
- ● Encapsulation: It is usually encapsulated to protect the inlay, therefore it is protected from different types of materials as we will see below. An example of an encapsulated tag can be the animal locator chip.
- ● On foam: The foam provides the necessary thickness to separate the inlay from materials such as metals. And it has its why: In this way the radio frequency is not affected.
And speaking of the type of encapsulation… Also in this aspect we have a classification of RFID tags.
The labels can be stickers, plastic, glass, ceramic, on a bracelet … And we even have epoxy labels.
As you can see, there is an RFID tag for each use; special for each sector or business.
¿Quieres digitalizar su cadena de suministro?
Contáctenos y le ayudaremos a controlar todo su stock e inventarios con nuestras soluciones RFID totalmente adaptadas a su negocioContacte con nosotros
– Sales Development Representative and Head of Marketing –
Bussiness development manager- analyzing and searching opportunities and prospects-. Some of her duties are: desing, planning and executing marketing and communication compaigns. She is also involve in action plans focused on managing events and she gives support to the sales team.