RFID Labels & Tags

What are RFID labels and tags?

RFID tags and labelsare the basic elements of remote radio identification systems. They record identification data that can be read remotely using radio waves from a distance of up to several hundred meters.

The RFID tag is placed in a label that looks like a traditional one with a 1D or 2D code. It is also prepared similarly.

The RFID printer prints information on the paper part and at the same time encodes the identification data in a hidden tag.

Labels prepared in this way are placed on containers, pallets, collective packaging and even individual products.

How do RFID tags work?

Depending on the method of powering RFID tags, the following are distinguished:

  • active RFID tags – powered by a battery. They actively transmit the signal, have a longer reading range and are more expensive due to the presence of batteries and a transmitter.
  • passive RFID tags – they do not have a built-in power supply. The energy to activate the chip comes exclusively from the wave emitted by the RFID reader. They are much cheaper than active tags and have a shorter range.
  • semi-passive RFID tags – their power source only supports the operation of the microprocessor. The signal is activated by the antenna (as in the case of passive tags). These are, for example, sensory tags for temperature control.

The RFID tag inlay consists of 2 elements:

  • integrated circuit (chip), which is the heart of the RFID tag. This is where all information is stored;
  • antenna coil, the size of which affects the operating range of the RFID tag. The larger the tag and the larger the antenna coil, the greater the reading range.

Most UHF tags comply with the Class 1 Generation 2 (ISO 18000-6C) standard and use a minimum of 96 bits of memory to store EPC (Electronic Product Code). Some tags are more expensive because they have expanded user memory to store more information (usually 512 bits).

Types of RFID Tags

  • Passive tags measuring temperature (photo)
  • Semi-passive tags measuring temperature (photo)
  • Screw tags
  • Tags pallet nails
  • RFID tags for marking medical tools
  • RFID seal for transport baskets
  • RFID seal
  • Industrial tags for temperatures of +300 degrees C
  • Labels with LED
  • Metal tags
  • Laundry tags
  • RFID wristbands

Comparison of RFID Tags and Barcodes

Parameters RFID Barcodes
Reuse tags can be read and written again no possibility to change data, static information
Lifespan over 10 years depends on the medium on which the code is placed
Use in difficult environmental conditions possibility of using markers in difficult conditions, e.g. atmospheric, temperature low strength, depending on the material on which it is placed
Possibility of reading in case of damage none exists depending on the degree of damage
Effect of interference caused by magnetic field may affect tag reading efficiency no impact
Scope of stored data even over 128 kB depending on the type. symbolism used, min. 8 characters
Costs depending on the characteristics of the tag, min. approx. USD 0.08 per tag low production cost approx. USD 0.01
Applying to an object identification requires at least two steps: producing the tag and placing it on the object single step: e.g. printing directly on the packaging
Visibility of marking not required required
Reading distance up to 100 m (in optimal conditions) up to 4 m (using standardized materials)
Traceability unique (series) at the level of piece, collective packaging, pallet identification at the level of a specific category
Reader orientation any aligned to code direction orientation (using a single laser beam)
Simultaneous identification several hundred tags per second (with anti-collision mechanism applied) reading single codes
Security, anti-theft systems very high level of security, practically impossible to clone easy to forge, copy
Data confidentiality if the tag has not been destroyed or deactivated, it can be read remotely, e.g. on a product that has left the store no data available for remote reading

RFID system topology

Topologia Systemów RFID