How do you choose an RFID tag? Below are four factors to consider.
1. Housing type
RFID tags of various sizes normally come in cylindrical or rectangular shapes, or else in card form. Why would you choose one shape over another? Basically it comes down to customer preference. That said, certain shapes tend to be used more in certain applications. Cards are commonly seen as identification cards and increasingly used as credit cards. Cylindrical RFID tags are commonly used for tool identification and hose verification. Rectangular RFID tags are commonly used for car washing, amusement park rides, and robotics.
2. Temperature range
RFID tags are available to withstand environments of > 85 °C or ≤ 85 °C. Typical applications at less than or equal to 85 °C include factory floor and outdoor applications such as packaging, robotics, tool identification, and hose verification. Typical applications at temperatures higher than 85 °C include ovens, paint shops, autoclaving, and metalworking.
3. Degree of protection
RFID tags are available with ratings of < IP67 or IP67 or IP68/IP69K. What is the difference? A tag with a rating lower than IP67 is not watertight. A tag rated IP67 is watertight enough to be immersed in water for 30 minutes. A tag rated IP68 can be immersed underwater for 24 hours. And while a tag rated IP69K is not waterproof in the same way as an IP68-rated tag, it can withstand high-pressure jets of water with a force of 1450 psi at temperatures up to 80 °C, so it can be used in applications such as a car wash or a food processing plant.
4. Frequency range
Tags are available for frequency ranges of LF (125 kHz) or HF (13.56 MHz) or UHF (865 MHz … 928 MHz).
- Low-frequency RFID tags are used for short-range detection up to 155 mm. They have a slower read speed but are less sensitive to interference. They have less power but can still penetrate nonmetallic objects.
- High-frequency RFID tags are used for short-range detection up to 160 mm. They have a faster read speed but moderate sensitivity to interference. They work well with metal objects.
- Ultrahigh-frequency RFID tags are used for long-range detection of about 2.5 meters depending on the power settings and tags. They are also used for multi-tag reading and can read up to 40 tags at once.