6 Things That Affect RFID Readings

6 Things That Affect RFID Readings

Published on : July 2, 2021

What are the things that affect RFID readings?

  1. Tag size
  2. Tag placement
  3. Tag orientation
  4. Read range
  5. Reader type
  6. Environmental Factors

An RFID, which is also known as ‘radio-frequency identification’ involves the use of readers to obtain data from a tag or label through radio waves. This technology is similar to barcodes and is used in various applications in different industries. Some examples are asset tracking, access control, counterfeit prevention, and inventory management. Because it involves the use of radio frequencies, there are some things that affect RFID readings.

Before you proceed, it is important to know the differences between RFID and barcodes. When scanning a barcode label, it needs to be in the line of sight from a few inches to several feet. Obstructed codes can’t be read, so human interaction is a must. Compared to that, an RFID can be identified from higher distances if you have the right reader. Although metal and liquids might interfere with radio frequencies, there are solutions for that. Read on to learn more.

Tag Size

The size of the label is one of the most important factors you need to consider when choosing an RFID tag. Depending on the item, you might be restricted on the measurement of the tag you can use.

Generally, the larger the tag, the longer the read range it can provide. This is because RFID labels have antennas that affect the broadcast range. Bigger tags can contain bigger antennas.

Fortunately, Omni RFID offers tags of different sizes. The smallest one is the EL-OMD-EXO200 which measures less than an inch big from all sides. It offers a read range of up to 8.2 feet if you have a fixed reader.

Tag Placement

Aside from the size of the tag, where you place it also plays a factor in the RFID reading. Make sure that you’re choosing a label that is suitable for the material you’re placing it on. Generally, RFID frequencies are affected by metal and water because these either reflect or absorb the radiofrequency energy. This will affect the read range which can be problematic.

But there are special tags that can help fix this problem. For instance, the ELD-OMD-FIT200 is an RFID tag specially made for small metal assets. It can provide a read range of up to 8.2 feet for fixed readers and 4.1ft for handheld ones.

Read Range

As you may have observed by now, different types of RFID tags provide different types of reading ranges. This will depend on the frequency of operation, interference from other RF devices, and the power of the reader. Depending on your application, you might need a higher or lower read range.

Omni RFID provides the read range of their product, so you can choose the right one for your needs. If you’re looking for a high read range, you check out the EL-OMD-IQ800p. A fixed reader can read up to 32.8 feet while a handheld one can scan up to half of that number.

Reader Type

The type of your reader could affect the readings from the RFID tags. Normally, fixed readers have a higher read range compared to handheld readers. Because they’re stationary, they can also provide real-time monitoring which makes them perfect for warehouses and manufacturing facilities. On the other hand, handheld readers are typically used in laundry management and healthcare.

The reader’s settings can also significantly affect the RFID readings. For example, the higher the power you are transmitting, the higher the read range. This power is commonly measured in decibels (dB). The sensitivity is also an important factor because readers set on maximum sensitivity can scan weaker tag signals that are farther away.

Environmental Factors

Environmental Factors

Aside from the RFID tag and the reader, the operating environment plays a huge role in the readings. Extreme temperatures, manufacturing processes such as painting and welding, and other harsh conditions can affect the readings or make it impossible.

If you’re worried about the RFID tags getting crushed during the manufacturing process, Elid can provide you with products from the OMNI-Exo range. Here, you can find tags that are made with tough materials made for extreme conditions and are crush, torque, and compression-tested.

For facilities that are exposed to extreme heat, you will benefit from the RFID tags from the Omni-FiT range. Some of these can withstand up to 235°C of temperatures, making them suitable for a variety of assets that need to go through assembly, painting, molding, and welding.

Key Takeaway

From the tag, the type of reader, and the operating environment where they are used—there are many things that affect RFID readings. That’s why it is important to choose the right product for your application.

If you need help, Elid can assist you in choosing the right Omni RFID tags for your business. The IQ Range Tags are printable labels for IT assets in offices, the FiT Range Tags are suitable for high-temperature applications, and the Exo Tags will withstand extreme conditions. If you’re interested in these, you can send a message to Elid today!