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How Much Does an RFID System Cost?

Posted By RFID Journal, 01.24.2020

What would the total expense be to deploy radio frequency identification technology?




It depends on the type of transponder you need. It's sort of like asking: "How much is a computer?" Well, are you asking about a Chromebook, a standard laptop, a high-end desktop a video-gamer would se, or a supercomputer? They are all computers, but the price you would pay for each is vastly different.

On the low end, if you are buying simple RFID labels that you could stick on the back of a hangtag on a clothing item in a store, it will likely cost you about 7 cents apiece in large volumes. If you want to take that passive UHF tag and protect it because it will be used on a crate that might get banged around, the protective housing might bring the price up to $1 or $2. If you want to add a temperature logger and a battery to that protected tag because it will be used to monitor food in crates, that could bring the cost up to $5.

There are also passive high-frequency RFID transponders (usually called NFC tags) that cost a little more in their basic form than a passive UHF transponder because they are a little more complicated to manufacture. These also come in various form factors that add to the cost. And there are active RFID transponders that have batteries, a printed circuit board, sometimes a sensor, and a protective housing. These can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 each, depending on the features and the volume of tags you purchase.

I am sorry I can't give you a simple answer, but there are many types of RFID tags and they each have different price tags. I hope to see you at RFID Journal LIVE! 2020, where you can learn more about this.

—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal

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