What You Need to Know Before Talking to Your RFID Label and Tag Provider

Here is some information you should have before contacting a RFID label/tag provider. The answers to these questions will affect how your tag is designed.

What are the maximum and minimum dimensions of the tag?

This typically depends on what you are tagging and where the tag will be placed.

At what distances do you need to be able to read the tag?

How many tags do you need to read at a time and how long do you have to read them?

To what surface will you affix the tag?

The tag needs to be tuned to the surface, be it glass, wood, plastic, corrugated, etc.

Will the tag be flat or bent?

Once attached, will the tag ever need to be removed?

Is there a security requirement? That is, if the tag is removed, does it need to stop working?

How are you going to encode (write data) to your tags?

Typical methods include using a RFID printer/encoder, a high speed label applicator, a RFID hand-held, or a stationary RFID reader.

Do you have to print anything on the tag?

If you are using a RFID printer/encoder or high-speed label applicator, what manufacturer/model are you using?

Your RFID tag provider needs to know what printer/encoder is being used because there are specific insertion specifications for each unit. The inlay has to be placed in the exact position on every label.

How long is the life-cycle of the tag?

How long do you expect the tag to work? Do you need the tag to operate for only a year, 15 years, or some time in between? Remember, the wrong antenna materials can oxidize over time, leaving you with a dead tag.