RFID – Radio Frequency Identification

RFID – Radio Frequency Identification

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is explained as the wireless non-contact use of radiofrequency waves to transfer data. RFID tagging allows users to automatically and uniquely identify and track inventory and assets.

RFID tags transmit data about an item through radio waves to the antenna/reader combination. The energy activates the chip, modulates the power with the desired information, and then transmits a signal back toward the antenna/reader.

There are three categories of RFID tags that are based on the range of frequencies they use to communicate data: low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF).

  • Short-range – Near field communication (NFC) tags are passive devices which means they are unpowered chips that draw energy from a nearby active device.
  • Medium Range – Passive Ultra-high frequency or ultra-wideband tags are used in pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting, retail inventory tracking and other applications where large volumes of tags are required.
  • Long Range – Active RFID tags have their transmitter and power source (usually a battery) onboard the tag. These are mostly UHF solutions. Active tags track large assets such as vehicles, cargo containers and machines. Active RFID tags are often equipped with sensors that measure and transmit temperature, humidity, light, and shock/vibration data for the objects that they are attached to.


These tags have an enormous variety of uses, for instance, Cannabis tracking, weapons management, tool management, mining and IT asset control and inventory.

RFID tags for plants can be used for trees, plants and seedling tracking, aiding in the correct logistic management and fast inventory. The tag is available at HF, NFC, and UHF frequencies, allowing time-saving and better stock coordination.

Effective tracking is more important when it comes to securing a large inventory of weapons. Be it for increased public safety, compliance or productivity, police departments and other law enforcement bodies, RFID tags are used to add real-time visibility and accuracy to their weapon management programs.

Tool Tracking systems deliver visibility and control to maintenance operations, optimize foreign object debris, and forensic medical examiner prevention processes, reduce compliance lapses, drive operational efficiency for maintenance repair and overhaul shop floor, automotive assembly line, manufacturing tooling and nuclear power plants.

Qualifying Checklist

  1. What type of surface will you be tagging?
  2. What read range do you desire?
  3. Size limitations (i.e. the tag can be no longer than x by y by z mm)
  4. Provide a summary of the application type (supply chain, deliveries, stock control, etc.)?
  5. Any extreme environmental conditions to consider?
  6. Method of attachment?
  7. Is it possible to always know or control the RFID tag’s orientation relative to the antenna’s position in your application?
  8. Do you currently have any scanning or printing hardware in use? If so, please list
  9. List any other special requirements.

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