Is there any way to do this, given that an RFID reader cannot interrogate tags within a metal environment?
Actually, RFID technology can work in a metal environment. If you are using RFID tags designed to be attached to metal objects and you walk around with a handheld reader, you will be able to identify specific tools or components. Within an environment containing a lot of metal, the RF signals will bounce around a lot, so you might occasionally have problems locating the precise items for which you are searching. But the solution is usually to turn down the power output and wave the reader closer to the object.
You can deploy fixed readers to interrogate tags on metal objects as well. The reader will tell you that the items are present. In many cases, you can read tags from farther away because the RF energy bounces off metal and will carry the signal further. A skilled systems integrator should be able to design a system to achieve your objectives, even when tracking metal objects is involved.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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