What is ultra-high frequency (UHF) passive RFID tag?

When it comes to radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions, ultra-high frequency (UHF) passive RFID tags are an extremely popular option because they are very cost-effective, yet still have one of the longest read ranges. They have no power of their own — which is why they are called “passive” tags — so they are powered by the radio frequency energy transmitted from RFID readers/antennas. A UHF passive RFID tag consists of four sub-components: and RFID chip, an antenna, an inlay, and a carrier.

The RFID chip is an integrated circuit that provides several key attributes related to operating frequency, memory type and capacity, data transmission/receipt, and power. In other words, the chip is the brains of the RFID tag. The antenna, which is attached to the chip, collects radio frequency waves used to power the chip. The antenna also transmits attribute data from the chip. Together, the chip and the antenna comprise the RFID inlay.

An inlay is typically a plastic substrate that the chip and antenna are placed on so they can be connected. Inlays come in two types: wet and dry. A wet inlay features an adhesive so it can be applied to a surface; a dry inlay has no adhesive. The choice of inlay depends on the purpose and placement of the tag on an object.

There are literally hundreds of different types of inlays, each designed with a specific application in mind. Different industries have different requirements for inlays, so there are inlays for pharmaceutical, automotive, retail, manufacturing, and healthcare applications. The inlays are designed for optimum performance when affixed to the material they are intended for. Inlay manufacturers ship their products to RFID tag producers, like Lowry Solutions, who then produce finished products that are ready to be applied.

The carrier is the material or package that the inlay is placed in. The simplest carrier is label stock (think barcode label), where the inlay is laminated into the label stock using specialized converting equipment. Examples of other carriers include plastic capsules or ID badges. Sometimes carriers are made of specialized materials that make it easy to mount the RFID tag on liquid containers or metal, or in high-heat or hazardous environments. These types of carriers are often referred to as “hard tags.”

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UHF RFID Frequency Regulations

UHF RFID Frequencies vary in each country based on each country’s regulations. Each country adopts an UHF RFID frequency that best fits within that country. These frequency ranges and standards were first put in place by a group of organizations – the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), ASTM International, and EPC Global. These frequency bands are now known as the ISM bands, or the Industrial Scientific and Medical Bands.

UHF RFID Technology uses two main frequency ranges — 902-928 MHz and 865-868 MHz; however, a few countries have adopted either multiple bands or unique ranges on the ISM standard. One such country is Brazil who has adopted two uncommon frequency ranges within the 902-928 MHz range — one being 902-907.5 MHz and the other being 915-928 MHz. In order for UHF RFID equipment to be in compliance with Brazil’s regulations, the RFID reader needs to be set to broadcast within Brazil’s specific frequency ranges. This means that if you bring a UHF RFID reader to Brazil and operate using the full 902-928 MHz frequency range, you are in violation of local governmental regulations.

Frequency ranges also are subject to change. Japan, who previously used two very unique frequency ranges — 952-956.4 MHz and 952-957.6 MHz — has now changed to a frequency range within the 902-928 MHz range. Japan’s frequency range is currently 916.7-920.9 MHz (although 925-957.6 MHz will still be effective until March 31, 2018).

The map above shows the most common UHF frequencies for each country, but some countries have not adopted any frequency range yet. An example of a country that has not adopted a set frequency range would be Egypt who is currently working on getting that into place (as of the time of this article’s original published date).

WHAT DOES RFID TAGGING MEAN?

RFID Tagging is the placing of tags onto assets to enable those assets to be managed.

For RFID enabled items like access cards or an Oyster card for example, the RFID tagging process is part of the manufacturing process. It would not be classed as RFID tagging.

For items that are‘tagged at source’, again this would not really be what the industry classes as RFID Tagging. When something is manufactured there are often many labels attached during the process, if that manufacturer puts an RFID tag on the item or packaging it is part of the overall process, classed as source tagging.

RFID Tagging really refers to the retrospective tagging of assets, many different types of assets.

Those assets could be library books, power tools, IT equipment, files, patient records, they are all classed as assets.

The process of RFID Tagging means that these assets have a tag placed on them, usually the tag has an adhesive back, then some reference to the item is programmed onto the RFID tags microchip.

Not all tags have adhesive on the back, it depends what they are meant to be attached to.

Once the asset has a tag attached it can be read by an‘RFID Reader’. Usually there are some security features built in so only the desired RFID Reader can get data from the tags.

How Does A Passive RFID Tag Work?

Passive tags wait for a RF signal from an RFID reader, RFID reader sends power energy via antenna which converts the energy into an RF wave enough to power on power off RFID passive tag.Once Passive tag is received wave/power within the read covering zone, the RFID tag’s internal antenna draws in energy from the RF waves to make transaction btw reader and passive tag.

Generally speaking, three main parts make up in a passive RFID system – an RFID reader or interrogator, an RFID antenna, and RFID tags. Unlike active RFID tags, passive RFID tags only have two main components – the tag’s antenna and the microchip or integrated circuit (IC).

As the name implies, passive tags wait for a signal from an RFID reader. The reader sends energy to an antenna which converts that energy into an RF wave that is sent into the read zone. Once the tag is read within the read zone, the RFID tag’s internal antenna draws in energy from the RF waves. The energy moves from the tag’s antenna to the IC and powers the chip which generates a signal back to the RF system. This is called backscatter. The backscatter, or change in the electromagnetic or RF wave, is detected by the reader (via the antenna), which interprets the information.

As mentioned above, passive RFID tags have no internal power source, and a standard passive RFID tag consists only of an IC and internal antenna; this basic structure is commonly referred to as an RFID inlay. Countless other types of passive RFID tags exist on the market, but all tags generally fall into two categories – inlays or hard tags. Hard RFID tags are durable and made of plastic, metal, ceramic and even rubber. They come in all shapes and sizes and are typically designed for a unique function, material, or application.

RFID Application in Warehouse Intelligent Management

The system adopts the latest RFID technology, it uses the corresponding RFID tags for the inventory, storage areas, warehouse equipments and the readers placed inside the warehouse, passages or the UHF handheld reader(OP9908,R2000,30dBm) in the hands of the operators to realize the prompt and accurate acquisition of the information on the product names, models, locations, quantity, status, moves, etc. and transmit to the RFID-based Warehouse Intelligent Management System software WMS, through which the users can not only set all kinds of rules to manage the warehouse and inventory, but also realize the partition management, location management and space management, etc. Meanwhile, the system supports barcode and wireless technology, users can take full advantage of the existing infrastructure.

Main features of the system:
Receipt of the goods

When goods reach the warehouse and pass through the warehouse doors, the system can acquire and identify the goods information via its RFID readers, automatically generate the report for the received goods and record the storage time, which can avoid the tedious manual work for the warehouse operators.And it can automatically match and check with the preset plans in the system, if any differences, there will be the automatic alarm, mistakes can be avoided. It can also indicate the users to deliver the goods to the specified locations rapidly and accurately.

Inventory Check
The goods can be supervised and inventory be rapidly checked via the RFID readers installed inside the warehouse.
Convenient for the search and goods transfer.
Support the inventory “first in, first out” rule, prevent the goods from missing or being overdue.

Distribution of the warehouse goods
When the goods are picked out and pass through the warehouse doors, the RFID Reader System will automatically capture and identify the goods information and generate the warehouse Goods-out report and record the goods-out time automatically.
It can automatically match and check with the preset schemes in the system, if any difference, there will be the automatic alarm, mistakes can be avoided.

Sub-warehouse Networking
Support the off-site warehouse networking, realize the real time summary of the goods-in and goods-out situation, inventory information between the general warehouse and branch warehouses.

how to define LF, HF, and UHF?

As we know, we listen to the radio for the same reason, RFID tags and readers should be modulated to the same frequency to work. LF, HF, UHF to correspond to different RF frequencies. LF low frequency radio representatives, in around 125KHz, HF high frequency RF representatives, at about 13.56MHz, UHF UHF radio representatives in the 860 to 960MHz range.
For an RFID system, its band concept refers the reader through an antenna to send, receive and read the tag signal frequency range. Conceptually from the application, the operating frequency of the RF tag is a radio frequency identification system operating frequency directly determine the characteristics of the various aspects of system applications. In the RFID system, the system worked like we usually listen to FM radio, as radio frequency tags and readers should be modulated to the same frequency to work.
RFID tags not only determines the operating frequency of the radio frequency identification system works (or inductively coupled electromagnetic coupling), identification distance, but also determines the ease and facility cost RFID tags and readers to achieve. RFID applications occupy a frequency band or frequency division has recognized in the international arena, which is located ISM band. Typical operating frequencies: 125kHz, 133kHz, 13.56MHz, 27.12MHz, 433MHz, 902MHz ~ 928MHz, 2.45GHz, 5.8GHz and so on.
According to different operating frequencies, RFID tags can be divided into low-frequency (LF), High Frequency (HF), Ultra High Frequency (UHF) and microwave and other different types. RFID works different bands different, LF and HF band RFID tags using electromagnetic coupling general principle, while RFID UHF and microwave frequency bands commonly used electromagnetic emission principle. Currently widely used international frequency distribution in four kinds of bands, low frequency (125KHz), high frequency (13.54MHz), UHF (850MHz ~ 910MFz) and microwave (2.45GHz). Each frequency has its own characteristics, is used in different fields, and therefore to the proper use must first select the appropriate frequency.
Low frequency RF tag, referred to as low-frequency tags, the operating frequency range of 30kHz ~ 300kHz. Typical operating frequency of 125KHz and 133KHz. Low-frequency tags typically passive tags, which work by inductive coupling energy obtained from the radiating near-field coupling coil of the reader. When transferring data between the tag and the reader low frequency, low frequency tag reader antenna radiation must be located near-field region. Read LF tags of less than one meter distance under normal circumstances. Typical applications for low-frequency tags are: animal identification, container identification, tool identification, electronic anti-theft lock (car key with a built-in answering device) and the like.
High-frequency RFID tags operating frequency is generally 3MHz ~ 30MHz. Typical operating frequency is 13.56MHz. The band RF tag, because the low-frequency tag works exactly the same principle, namely by inductively coupled manner, so should be classified as low-frequency tag class. On the other hand, according to the general division of radio frequencies, also known as high-frequency band of its work, it is also often referred to as high-frequency tags. Given that the band RF tag may be the practical application of the maximum amount of a radio frequency tag, so we just high and low understood as a relative concept, that will not cause confusion in understanding. For ease of description, we will be referred to the IF frequency tag. IF tag generally provided passive master, its work with low-frequency tags, like energy, but also through the inductor (magnetic) coupling obtained from the radiating near-field coupling coil of the reader. When the tag and reader data exchange, the label must be in the reader antenna radiating near-field region. IF tag reading distance under normal circumstances is less than one meter. IF tag can be easily made since the card-shaped, widely used in electronic tickets, electronic / child // certificate, electronic locking anti-theft (electronic remote door lock controller), residential property management, building access control systems.
UHF and microwave band RF tag referred to as microwave radio frequency tag, its typical operating frequency of 433.92MHz, 862 (902) MHz ~ 928MHz, 2.45GHz, 5.8GHz. Microwave RFID tags can be divided into two types of active tags and passive tags. In operation, the RF tag reader antenna located coupling radiation field far zone field, tags and readers between the electromagnetic coupling. Reader antenna radiation field to provide radio frequency energy to passive tags, active tags will wake up. Radio frequency identification systems read the corresponding distance is generally greater than 1m, typically of 4m ~ 6m, up to 10m or more. General reader antennas are directional antennas, only in a radio frequency tag reader antenna orientation within the beam range can be read / write. Since the reading distance increases, the application might appear in the reading area, while a plurality of radio frequency tags, which made the demand for multi-tag read simultaneously. Currently, advanced radio frequency identification systems are multi-tag reading problems as an important feature of the system. UHF tag is mainly used in railway automatic vehicle identification, container identification, but also for road vehicle identification and automatic toll systems.
The current level of technology, passive microwave radio frequency tag of the more successful the product is relatively concentrated work on 902MHz ~ 928MHz band. 2.45GHz and 5.8GHz radio frequency identification system and many more semi-passive microwave radio tag products available. Semi-passive tags commonly used button batteries, has far reading distance. Typical features of microwave radio tags focused on whether a passive, wireless reading distance, support multi-tag reader that is appropriate to identify aspects of high-speed applications, the reader transmit power margin RF tag and reader prices, etc. . Can write for radio frequency tag, the write distance is usually less than the reading distance, the reason is that write requires more energy. Microwave radio frequency tag data storage capacity is generally limited to less than 2Kbits, another large storage capacity does not seem to make much sense, from the perspective of technology and application, the microwave radio frequency tag is not suitable as a carrier of large amounts of data, and its main function is to logo items and complete contact-free identification process. Typical data capacity indicators: 1Kbits, 128Bits, 64Bits like. Auto-IDCenter developed by the Electronic Product Code EPC capacity of 90Bits. Typical applications include mobile microwave radio frequency vehicle identification tag, an electronic locking anti-theft (electronic remote door lock controllers), medical research and other industries.
Different frequencies have different characteristics tag, for example, low-frequency tags cheaper than UHF tags, saving energy, and strong penetration of scrap metal object, the operating frequency from the radio frequency control constraints, the most suitable for high moisture content of the object such as fruit, etc; the role of a wide range of UHF transmit data faster, but more energy, penetration is weak, the work area can not have too much interference, suitable for monitoring port, warehousing and other logistics items; and high frequency identification tag belongs in short, read and write speed is centered, product prices are relatively cheap, such as used in the electronic ticket card.
Currently, different countries for the same band, the frequency of use are not the same. European super-high frequency using a 868MHz, the United States is 915MHz. Japan does not currently used in ultra-high-frequency radio technology.
Currently in the practical application, more commonly used is 13.56MHz, 860MHz ~ 960MHz, 2.45GHz and other bands. Proximity RFID system mainly uses 125KHz, 13.56MHz and other LF and HF bands most mature technology; long-range RFID system mainly uses 433MHz, 860MHz ~ 960MHz UHF band, etc., as well as 2.45GHz, 5.8GHz and other microwave band, yet more testing which, no large-scale applications.

Waste Management

Waste Management
RFID tags help municipalities and waste management companies optimize their resources and make the data collection process more efficient. Omnia Technologies offers a broad spectrum of LF and UHF passive contactless transponders that provide various levels of resistance to water, shock, and temperature variation making the tags suitable for harsh and outdoor environments.
Waste bins which have RFID tags fitted in them are picked up by disposal trucks equipped with RFID readers. These readers record the exact time and place every time a waste bin is emptied.This automatic data collection makes data reporting cheaper, faster and accurate.

Benefits of Waste Management using RFID Technology:
* It helps track waste collection and container movement, monitors sorting quality, and improves overall efficiencies.
* Quickens and simplifies the process of billing for services rendered and allows easy implementation of incentive programs
* Enables municipalities to evaluate the performance of subcontractors and have an unprecedented control of the waste-disposal process.

Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?

Is RFID Technology Secure and Private?

Unfortunately, not very often in the systems to which consumers are likely to be exposed. Anyone with an appropriately equipped scanner and close access to the RFID device can activate it and read its contents. Obviously, some concerns are greater than others. If someone walks by your bag of books from the bookstore with a 13.56 Mhz “sniffer” with an RF field that will activate the RFID devices in the books you bought, that person can get a complete list of what you just bought. That’s certainly an invasion of your privacy, but it could be worse. Another scenario involves a military situation in which the other side scans vehicles going by, looking for tags that are associated with items that only high-ranking officers can have, and targeting accordingly.

Companies are more concerned with the increasing use of RFID devices in company badges. An appropriate RF field will cause the RFID chip in the badge to “spill the beans” to whomever activates it. This information can then be stored and replayed to company scanners, allowing the thief access – and your badge is the one that is “credited” with the access.

The smallest tags that will likely be used for consumer items don’t have enough computing power to do data encryption to protect your privacy. The most they can do is PIN-style or password-based protection.

RFID application in Supply Chain

RFID application in Supply Chain, Inventory and Logistics

Let’s look at how RFID solutions provide significant benefits over barcoding for supply chain operations.
– End-to-end track and trace capabilities reduce counterfeiting, theft, billing disputes and charge-back fees while protecting the brand.
– Real-time, automated data capture reveals process improvement, increased efficiency and cost control opportunities.
– Specific data such as manufacturing location; ship date, lot number, etc. is associated with the individual product, carton and/or pallet supporting simpler and more effective recall or product tracking processes.
– Elimination of line-of-sight, tag orientation, or bar code label quality requirements; manual data entry and operator error plus increased read range enables faster, more accurate inventory management.
– Just-in-time inventory resupply, from manufacturing through distribution to point of sale reduces costs and out-of-stocks, increases inventory turn and creates higher customer satisfaction.