Study questions RFID metal problems


A recent report billed as “the industry’s first scientific evaluation of passive RFID tags designed to work on metal objects” claims to have busted the myth that radio frequency identification (RFID) does not workon metal.

There is a well-circulated myth that passive RFID does not work on metal, says Odin Technologies, an RFID integrator. There are also other myths that only one or two tags will actually work reliably on metal objects.

End-users employ metal-mount RFID tags today to track a large variety of items such as data center assets, work-in-process components, laptops, tools, pipes, and airplane parts.

The “Metal Mount RFID Tag Benchmark” findings show that some of the more popular tags designed for metal are not the top performers. Physicists and engineers from seven passive RFID tag vendors have been steadily improving performance on and around metal surfaces.

“While the metal-mount tag performance has improved substantially over the past two years, the benchmark reveals some vendors clearly outperform their peers,” commented Patrick Sweeney, founder of Odin technologies.

“RFID use is developing more rapidly than ever before with new use-cases coming of age in months rather than years,” Sweeney continued. “Many companies are now adopting RFID and trying to tag challenging items such as blade servers, laptops, critical spare parts and tools for manufacturing.

“A mistake in tag selection can compromise the entire solution. The findings are so important to end-user success that Odin decided to release a sanitized, redacted version of the report for free on our website. This benchmark offers end-users clear guidance in a fast-changing tag world,” Sweeney said.

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