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Can RFID Read 140 Pieces Per Minute With Different SKUs?

Posted By RFID Journal, 03.12.2013

Could a mix of items with two stock-keeping units, tagged with RFID transponders, be read at this rate?

—Name withheld


If you were to affix tags to two different types of paper towel and then attempt to read 140 pieces, you should easily be able to do so, since paper towels are RF-friendly. If you were to put tags on 140 cases of two kinds of beer stacked on a pallet, however, you would be very unlikely to be able to read the tags on the cases located in the center of the pallet, as the energy from the reader antenna would never reach the tags at the center.

So one determinant of whether the 140 tags could be read is the material of the items being tagged and read. Another question is how the items are stacked. One hundred and forty items spread out would be much easier to read than that number of items stacked closely together. Sometimes, an RF-unfriendly material is stacked up in a way that energy cannot reach the tags in order to power them up and enable them to respond.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal


William James 2013-03-12 06:53:04 PM
This is 100% correct. It's not the speed but the depth involved of the item being tagged. You could stack up automotive batteries on a pallet and never get to the inner tags with the energy involved in the readers which is limited by FCC to 1W of output. Hence it depends entirely on the tag and the item the tag is on. If it were Apparel being read probably no problem whatsoever. It all depends on the item and the appropriate tagging for that item. GS/1 is working on tag performance standards right now for manufacturers and retailers so they can reference a common set of operational performance characteristics. Further information can be looked at on their website: http://www.gs1.org/epcglobal

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