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EECC Benchmark Study Finds UHF Tag Performance Better Than Ever

For its 2016 UHF Tag Performance Survey, the European EPC Competence Center tested 361 different models of passive UHF transponders in as many as 22 different ways per tag.
By Claire Swedberg

The researchers also tested for production consistency. They selected 30 labels from those supplied by the manufacturers at random, tested them to determine whether they all responded to interrogation at the same sensitivity and then measured that group's median performance. "For some on-metal tags, we found variations were very large," Leon says, describing last year's test results. This year, he notes, the on-metal tags showed less variation, though their performance was still not as consistent as that of the standard (not on-metal) RFID labels.

"This can be very important if you're choosing a transponder and looking for reliability," von Uechtritz says.

Niels Wientzek, the EECC's senior software engineer
As the researchers prepare for the next survey—expected to be released in mid-2017—they are looking toward testing a greater number of RFID sensor tags. They also hope to potentially test tags with other capabilities that could be used for Internet of Things applications, either for the 2017 survey or for studies held in the future.

The EECC, formed in 2004 by GS1 Germany, Deutsche Post DHL and Metro Group, offers consulting services for UHF RFID technology development and deployment. During the past few years, says Niels Wientzek, the organization's senior software engineer, the group found a growing demand for software assistance as opposed to technical help with selection and use of tags and readers. For that reason, it offers custom software solutions based on customers' specific needs. The EECC is also providing assistance with EPCIS-based software solutions, he says, for end users and systems integrators.

With regard to the transponder surveys, the EECC invites all UHF RFID label manufacturers to submit their products for testing. There is no charge to the manufacturer, von Uechtritz notes, though some commercially available UHF RFID tags were nonetheless not tested this year, simply because the tags' manufacturers didn't provide them.

The new UTPS study is available in print for new customers for an annual subscription price of €495 ($598) for a five-year subscription, or €995 ($1,105) for a single copy.

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