Purchasing RFID equipment isn’t an easy proposition for newcomers and industry insiders alike. The ins-and-outs of RFID technology require that you properly scope the entirety of your project before the procurement phase.
Clearly outlining the goals of your application will make it easier to find the right RFID hardware. Also, it will prevent you from making costly mistakes that could cripple projects with tight budgets.
When choosing your RFID tags, the environment will have a huge impact on your decision making. The type of surface you’ll be tagging has a huge impact of the tag’s performance, especially if it’s on-metal or near liquid. Special on-metal RFID tags will be needed for systems operating in these environments. Also, the RFID tag’s method of attachment is dependent on the surface type. Temperature, moisture, and other external environmental conditions needs to be considered as well.
Environmental conditions will need to be considered as well when considering RFID readers. Also, the read point or read zone will impact the type of reader you need in the system. RFID readers are typically fixed, handheld, or vehicle mounted. The quantity and speed of tags moving through the read zone will require specific readers. Lastly, networking requirements will affect your reader choice.
The necessary read range of RFID systems heavily weigh on the RFID antenna choice. Also, the ability to control the RFID tag’s orientation is an important factor to consider in the procurement process. Again, environmental factors will need factored into the decision making process.
As we covered previously, the required length of RFID antenna cables impacts the cable and overall system’s performance. Accessories like RFID printers will help automate encoding of RFID tags. Other accessories, like RFID portals, can potentially augment and provide additional functionality to your overall RFID system.