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New Omni-ID Passive UHF Tags Endure 225 Degrees Celsius

Thousands of the company's new Fit tags are already being deployed in manufacturing and health-care settings.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 04, 2015

RFID tag maker Omni-ID has released a new line of high-temperature passive EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags for use in environments that reach 225 degrees Celsius (437 degrees Fahrenheit). The tags are intended to enable manufacturers, oil producers, hospitals and other companies to employ RFID in traditionally unfriendly environments in which extreme heat is used. The high-temperature tag family consists of the new Fit 100, as well as Fit 210 and Fit 400—high-temperature versions of the company's existing Fit 200 and 400P models. Thousands of the heat-tolerant tags are currently being deployed in manufacturing and health-care settings, says Tracy Gay, Omni-ID's marketing VP.

Each of the three tags is designed to be small, with a read range that reflects its name. With a fixed reader, the Fit 100 has a read distance of 1 meter (3.3 feet), the 210 has a range of slightly more than 2 meters (6.6 feet), and the 400 supports a read distance of 4 meters (13 feet). The tags are somewhat more expensive than the non-high temperature versions, according to Gay, though the specific cost will vary according to the volume of tags ordered.

The new tags, Gay says, were developed throughout the past few months in response to requests from customers, who were finding the existing RFID tags to be ineffective once exposed to heat. Most other RFID tags on the market can be ruined in an autoclave oven, or during a vulcanization process or high-temperature washing and sterilization. This has made RFID technology an unrealistic option in some manufacturing, oil and gas, and health-care applications, Gay notes. While there are some high-temperature RFID tags currently offered by Omni-ID's competitors, she adds, those tags tend to be too large and cumbersome for end users that need, for instance, to fit a tag inside a drilling tool, or to attach it to a pair of forceps used during surgical procedures.

Omni-ID offered custom-made high-temperature versions of its small Fit tags in the past, Gay says, when requested to do so by customers. This year, she adds, the company's engineers began testing versions that could be released commercially at a reasonably low cost.

The Fit 100, which is smaller than Omni-ID's previously released Fit tags, is designed for such uses as tracking small surgical tools. Measuring 6.8 millimeters by 6.4 millimeters by 2.1 millimeters (0.27 inch by 0.25 inch by 0.08 inch) and weighing 0.8 gram (0.29 ounce), the Fit 100 could best be used on surgical tools and other very small objects. The Fit 210, measuring 57.1 millimeters by 5.95 millimeters by 1.3 millimeters (2.25 inches by 0.23 inch by 0.05 inch) and weighing 1.0 gram (0.04 ounce), is designed for tracking hand tools, paint processes in the automotive industry, and equipment used in surgical and other health-care applications.

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