I am exploring RFID tracking to help a scaffolding company track its inventory. I have read a lot about on-metal tags that would be compatible, but does the reader play an important role in reading such tags? Or would any reader be sufficient as long as it interrogated the same frequency as the tags?
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Tags designed to work on metal use spacers to keep the antennas away from metal objects, in order to prevent the antennas from being detuned. Such tags, when applied to metal, can be interrogated like any other tags. As long as the reader and the tag operate at the same frequency band and use the same air-interface protocol (the language with which tags and readers communicate), then you should be able to read on-metal tags on scaffolding. That being said, the placement of the reader antennas, the orientation of the tag antennas to the reader antennas, multipath and other factors could affect your ability to interrogate tags effectively and consistently, just as they would if you were reading a regular tag on an RF-friendly material.
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It’s important to understand that RFID is an identification technology, not a tracking technology. RFID can offer a limited tracking solution if Readers are placed at predefined critical points, doors, trucks, hallways, staging areas, thus you could see the movement of assets and know the direction of travel and where last seen, but if moved outside of this environment, say on a job site, the Tag has left the area of coverage and RFID is not an answer for ‘where is my asset.’
So I will have a rfid gantry to change the location of the assets which is tagged with the rfid tags. I will need to use suitable antenna to read the tags.
I will also be using a reader to read the tags details at a specific location to do stock count. But with the environment consist of metals, will this be an issue?
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