Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Passive, Yet Worldly, Tags

EPC Gen 2 on-metal tags feature consistent read rates across regions, so they can track assets globally.
By Stan Drobac
Aug 01, 2010—Over the past few years, RFID vendors have developed passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 tags that work on or around metal or liquids in challenging environments. Earlier, passive UHF tags were inefficient in tracking assets that contained metal, or tools and equipment in industrial facilities. Similarly, passive tags did not function well outdoors, particularly when exposed to extreme weather conditions. The problem: Metal reflects RF energy and water absorbs RF energy; both decrease read rates. Today's passive UHF on-metal tags—so-called for the metal assets to which they're affixed—are available in an extensive range of sizes, with various read distances.


But many EPC Gen 2 tags, including those that work on or around metal and liquids, do not read consistently from one region to the next. The EPC Gen 2 standard specifies a global UHF RFID band from 860 MHz to 960 MHz. But parts of this band clash with regional Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and other pre-assigned radio bands. So, in practice, a small subset of the band is used in different regions. The three most commonly used bands are:

• 865.6 MHz to 867.6 MHz, in the European Union and India
• 902 MHz to 928 MHz, in South America, the United States and some Asian countries
• 952 MHz to 954 MHz, in Japan

EPC Gen 2 tags can be tuned to work optimally at one of these frequencies, so there's no concern if you're deploying a closed-loop application. But if you need to track products or cargo in an open supply chain, or goods from distant manufacturing locations, global interoperability is essential.

To meet this requirement, RFID vendors have developed EPC Gen 2 on-metal tags that provide consistent performance regardless of whether a tag is read in Asia, Europe or North America. The vendors offer these "global" tags in various sizes and read ranges. Omni-ID's Max HD, for example, measures 5.5 inches long by 2.6 inches wide and has a maximum read range of 33 feet to 39 feet (10 meters to 12 meters). It's being used by the U.S. Marines to track heavy equipment and tools as they are transported worldwide.

In some cases, a global tag might be a good choice for a regional project—such as tracking work-in-process, assets in warehouses or objects in outdoor yards—because at some point you might want to transport those assets across regions. Additionally, a global tag would allow you to deploy the same technology for a similar project in another country. While you'll get peak performance with a regional tag, a global tag will provide steady performance worldwide.

Stan Drobac is VP of business development for Omni-ID, a leading provider of passive UHF RFID tags.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 450 words and 1 page. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco