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The RFID tag is one of the most important components of RFID implementation. RFID tag characteristics are various, and the right tag, properly placed, at the right point in the supply chain is critical for success. The better the tag placement, the higher the ROI you can achieve. Performance tests by qualified suppliers and resellers can support the appropriate selection of your tags, and determine the optimum placement of the RFID tag.
There are many different techniques to choose from when deciding on how to affix a custom RFID tag to an item. Sunorient will provide multiple options allowing you to institute the most efficient method based on your specific needs. Flexibility is a key not only during pilot phases but throughout final rollout. The following are the most popular models used when applying RFID tags to items:
Replacing the current price tag with an RFID price tag–typically used for tagging at source or when convenient to replace a traditional barcode printer with an RFID printer.
Adhering a "peel and stick" RFID tag adjacent to the existing tag — an effective method for tagging anywhere in supply-chain.
Attaching a 'blank' RFID tag –a good method for pilots with little or no integration.
1. RFID tags classification, with or without an electronic chip
A first classification for RFID tags is based on the presence or absence of an electronic chip.
1 bit RFID tags are passive systems with capacitive diodes, called "1 bit transponders".
This bit indicates if the RFID tag is present of not in the interrogator's field of action. 1 bit RFID tags are widely used as anti-theft system.
RFID tags with integrated circuits are the most used systems on the actual market. They are composed of an antenna and an integrated circuit.
2. Active / Passive RFID tags
Passive RFID tags: Passive RFID tags only back scatter magnetic or electromagnetic waves coming from the interrogator. That is the only way they can communicate with the interrogator. In other words, they do not have any RF emitters on board so they cannot create their own RF signals. Batteryless passive tags use the incoming signal from the interrogator to supply the embedded chip. But batteryless and passive are two different characteristics of the tag and are unfortunately often confused.
Semi RFID tags: Battery assisted passive (BAP) tags have an embedded battery (rechargeable or not) to supply internal circuitry or connected sensors or actuators. This power source is not used the create any RF signal as the RFID tag is always passive (backscatter only incoming RF signal from interrogator).
3. RFID tags - the different classes
There are 6 classes of RFID tag:
Class 0 and Class 1: Read-only passive RFID tags
Class 2: Passive RFID tags with additional functionality
Class 3: Semi-passive RFID tags
Class 4: Active RFID tags with broad-band peer-to-peer communication
Class 5: Readers - powers Classes 1, 2 and 3 RFID tags and communicates with Classes 4 and 5.
4. Read only or read/write
Regardless of the frequency on which the RFID system functions and the type of tag (passive or active), we can differentiate between RFID applications by the read and/or write options in the memory of the chip embedded in the tag. The purpose of RFID is to uniquely identify objects carrying tags, so the electronic chip must contain at least the digital identifier which can be accessed by the reader. This unique number can be the one integrated into the chip during manufacture (TID Transponder IDentifier). If the chip doesn't have another memory, it is known as a read-only chip. All information about the product carrying the tag is therefore stored in remote information systems, and can be called up using the unique identifier.
In some instances, the unique number integrated at manufacture is not sufficient for its final application. There are therefore chips that contain a blank memory where end users of the RFID system can write their own particular number (e.g. UII Unique Item Identifier or EPC Electronic Product Code). Once written, this number can no longer be modified. These are known as WORM chips (Write Once, Read Multiple).
Other types of application require a memory which can be accessed and rewritten by the user. In the large majority of cases, the memory is no larger than several dozen kilobytes and can be useful when access to a central database is not guaranteed (maintenance operations in isolated areas or a war zone). These chips are known as MTP (Multi-Time Programmable) and generally have an EEPROM memory.
5. Passive tag characteristics
Passive battery less tags are today's most used RFID application. Unitary price can vary from a few cents to ten or twenty euros, depending on the frequency, form factor and packaging, etc..
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