RFID Reader is used to instantly check in shipments, lowering costs and labor. It also lowers cycle count time, helps staff find items, and automates reorders at safety stock levels.
RFID readers use electromagnetic energy to interrogate passive or active tags. This energy is converted to electricity within the tag, turning on its IC and broadcasting data.
RF antennas convert the RFID reader’s RF signal into a stronger, more focused electromagnetic field that can then be picked up by tags. The more focused and farther-reaching the RF field, the greater the antenna’s gain.
When choosing an antenna, the key considerations are its gain and polarization. The higher the gain, the farther the RF signal will travel. However, the gain comes at the expense of a lower directional pattern. Antennas are “passive” devices that conserve total power, so increasing the directional focus of the RF energy requires reducing its intensity in other directions.
The other aspect to consider is whether your application requires linear or circular polarization. Linear polarization radiates its electromagnetic field along one axis, so the directional focus is much more defined. This can be helpful in some applications, as it makes the tag’s orientation less of a factor in read range.
Finally, keep in mind that the longer the cable between the RFID reader and antenna, the more power will be lost in transmission. So try to use the shortest cables possible, and avoid adapters or multiplexers unless absolutely necessary. Also, be sure to choose high-quality insulated wires for the cable lengths you need. This can be the difference between a functioning system and a non-functioning one. Choosing the right hardware can make or break your project.
Software Development Kit (SDK)
A Software Development Kit, or SDK, includes tools and programs to help developers create new apps. Unlike an application programming interface (API), which is only used to allow apps or software programs to communicate with each other, an SDK provides the framework for creating an entire app.
Typically, a fixed RFID reader can connect to anywhere from one to eight different antennas depending on the area of coverage required for the specific application. For example, desktop applications that need a small amount of coverage may only require one antenna, while other applications that require a larger area of coverage, such as a finish line in a race timing application, may use multiple antennas.
There are both open source and proprietary SDKs available, but choosing the right UHF RFID Reader one for a business can be tricky. The ease of customization and transparency of open-source SDKs make them attractive, but they lack vendor support and warranties. Proprietary SDKs, on the other hand, provide a more structured environment with clear documentation and code samples to guide developers through the process of developing apps for their specific platform or language.
SDKs should be easy to use and include libraries and APIs for common functions, as well as a testing framework and debugging tools. They should also adhere to standard design patterns for the selected platforms or languages. This UHF RFID Reader way, users can start using the SDK quickly and easily without spending too much time on setup and configuration.
RFID is an amazing technology that offers accuracy, efficiency and security in the supply chain. It identifies materials and goods in real time, providing systems with data for automation and decision-making, optimizing work times and reducing direct labor costs.
But to operate, RFID tags and readers need energy and that comes from the RF radiation they emit. The stronger the transmitter power, the greater the read range. However, too much power can interfere with radio receivers that aren’t part of the RFID system. Fortunately, each country sets limits for transmitter power that are enforced through regulations.
Another factor affecting RFID reading range is the tag electronics. Passive RFID tags are usually very simple and only need a small amount of RF energy to transmit a signal with their ID number. But the signal strength diminishes very quickly as you move the tag further away from the reader.
Portable RFID readers are often embedded in handheld devices used for inventory, picking and order fulfillment. Larger stationary readers with more power can also be installed in defined areas, like assembly lines, scanning all the items on a conveyor belt or at a production station. Choosing the right RFID hardware for your specific application is key to optimizing your productivity and lowering your operational costs. Choose a supplier that can offer a variety of RFID reader models for different frequency ranges.
For RFID systems to work properly they need to be configured to use a standardized air interface. This is what connects the reader and tag together and ensures that they speak the same ‘language’. This is done via layer 2.
If a reader and tagged item use different air interfaces they cannot communicate with each other. This can happen with both passive tags and active ones. Passive tags do not have an internal battery and therefore rely on inductive coupling with the reader to transfer energy. This type of connection has a range of a few meters. Active tags have an internal battery and can transmit data over a longer distance using either inductive or electromagnetic coupling.
The inlay design and chip type of a tag can impact its performance as well. High-quality inlays can elicit much better reading distances than low-quality ones.
A tag’s material density can also affect its performance. Polymers are a low-density material, glass is a middle-density material, and substances like water or the human body (which is mostly water) have a high-density.
RF readers with more antenna ports can also increase their reading range. This can be a major benefit in large warehouses that need to read many items simultaneously. The polarization of the antenna can also influence its performance. Linear polarization creates an EM field along a single plane while circular polarization spins the EM field to cover several planes at once.