Types of RFID labels and tags

types of tags and RFID labels

In the vast spectrum of RFID technology, a diversity of labels and tags has emerged to meet the specific needs of various applications, there are several types of RFID tags, each designed with particular characteristics, active tags, powered by a built-in battery, They allow long-range tracking and are ideal for real-time tracking, but on the other hand, passive tags, without their own power source, depend on the energy supplied by the reader to transmit data over a short distance, in addition, semi-active tags Combining elements of both for an optimal balance between reach and energy efficiency, the tags can be classified according to their shape and application, such as adhesive labels for inventory, tags embedded in products for supply chain management, or even labels inserted in cards access for security control, the diversity of types of RFID tags demonstrates the versatility and adaptability of this technology in a wide range of contexts.

What are RFID tags?

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags are a key innovation in the field of technology and inventory management. These technological devices incorporate an electronic chip that has the ability to send data through radio waves, making it possible to identification and monitoring of objects effectively and without the need for physical contact, since from inventory management in warehouses to the automation of processes in industrial plants, RFID tags have transformed the way in which companies track and manage their assets, their Their versatility, along with their ability to store and retrieve information quickly and accurately, makes them an essential tool in a variety of industries, ranging from logistics and manufacturing to healthcare and retail. 

The adoption of RFID tags marks a significant step forward towards more efficient operations, improving visibility and control in asset and product management.

Types of RFID tags

  • Passive tags: Are labels They do not depend on an internal energy source to carry out the transmission or reception of radio frequency signals, this is one of the reasons why they are the most commonly used, in addition to being the most affordable, these tags come into operation when they are in proximity to a reader that generates an electric current to supply them with the energy necessary to establish communication, it is essential to take into account that the operating range of this type of labels varies between 10 mm and, in some cases, can reach up to 6 to 7 meters, which depends on the size of the antenna, as well as the power and frequency of the reader.
  • Active tags: Unlike passive tags, active tags have their own power source that allows them to send signals to the reader. They are considerably more expensive (due to the inclusion of an internal battery), plus they also have a larger size and specific lifespan, unlike passive tags which we could consider practically unlimited in terms of durability.
  • Semi-active tags: These tags are equipped with a battery that guarantees that the chip has a constant source of energy for its operation, however, they do not have an active transmitter, although they have a greater range than passive tags, they are usually more expensive and have a longer useful life. Limited due to battery requirement.
  • Long Range RFID Tags: These tags are designed to operate at considerable distances from readers, often several meters or even tens of meters, ideal for long-distance asset tracking applications.
  • Short Range RFID Tags: These tags are designed to operate at close distances, generally less than one meter, and are commonly used in applications such as access cards or contactless payments.
  • High Frequency (HF) RFID Tags: They operate at frequencies around 13.56 MHz. They are common in applications such as contactless payments, access cards, and library tags.
  • Low Frequency (LF) RFID Tags: They operate at frequencies of around 125-134 kHz. They are used in applications such as access control and animal identification systems.
  • Ultra High Frequency (UHF) RFID Tags: They operate at frequencies between 860 and 960 MHz. They are very common in logistics, inventory and supply chain management applications due to their long range and ability to process multiple tags simultaneously.
  • RFID NFC (Near Field Communication) Tags: They operate at 13.56 MHz frequencies and are commonly used in mobile payment applications, interactive marketing and access systems.

Guys of RFID tags based on their format

RFID tags are not categorized exclusively based on their energy source, although it is true that this constitutes one of the most fundamental classifications, however, we can also differentiate types of RFID tags according to their specific design.

This classification is determined by considering the particular demands of each application of RFID technology. 

Some of the most common formats include:

There are different formats of rfid tags depending on its design and encapsulation. For example; the conversion or “sandwich” format It implies that the RFID antenna is located between two sheets with adhesives and protected by outer layers, as in the case of credit or identification cards, on the other hand, the encapsulation It is used to protect the inlay of various materials and provide a layer of security, such as animal tracking chips, labels on foam They incorporate an additional thickness to separate the inlay from materials such as metals, avoiding radio frequency interference. 

In addition, RFID tags can be presented in different materials such as plastic, glass, ceramic, in the form of a bracelet and even epoxy tags, this shows that there is an RFID tag suitable for each use and specific business sector.

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