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Choosing RFID For Industrial Applications - White Paper

Choosing the proper Radio Frequency Identification system for use in industrial applications like machine tool, palletized assembly, or production tracking can be a confusing task these days. With all the information floating around about HF (High Frequency), UHF (Ultra High Frequency), microwave and GPS based systems, and whether to use active or passive based tags, it may seem like these systems can be used almost anywhere. However, failures because of a wrong or unreliable system can be very costly ??? many times in hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Today, RFID is designed for many environments besides industrial, which can make it confusing as to what systems work the best.


This paper explores what the best possible options are based on standard products available today, and how they are applied to get reliable data for the highest chance of success the first time. It also explains the basic principles of operation and how they will influence the performance of each type of system. The three most widely available RFID systems will be discussed:

  • LF - Low Frequency: (70 - 500 kHz)
    Short to medium read ranges, slowest read/write speeds, inexpensive, limited memory capacity, metal alloy resilient
  • HF - High Frequency: (13.56 MHz)
    Short to medium read/write ranges, fast read/ write speeds, inexpensive to expensive, mid to high memory capacities

  • UHF - Ultra High Frequency: (865 - 960 MHz)
    Long read/write ranges, fast read/write speeds, inexpensive to expensive, limited to lower memory capacities



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