The Critical Elements of an RFID System

Your RFID Project Success Plan

It’s important to think of RFID as a system, rather than simply as discrete components such as an antenna or an RFID tag. Successful RFID (radio frequency identification) projects consider each necessary aspect of the system, any one of which could otherwise become a weak link which causes failure.

RFID tags are useless on their own, as are antennas or handheld readers. And without middleware to ingest and process tag data, any information provided by your tags may be unusable.

We created this brief overview describing the important components of most RFID systems.

Critical Elements of an RFID System

RFID ConsultantYour RFID Consultant is an essential part of your RFID success plan! A knowledgeable expert from CSSI will provide technical support and help you navigate the mix of tag testing, hardware selection, software, and process definition needed to achieve a successful RFID implementation.
RFID Tags RFID Tags (or RFID labels) are the simplest yet most critical element of your project. You must ensure that tags can be successfully read within your environment – this is affected by your choice of passive RFID tags or active RFID tags, and also by the nature of the item you are tracking and its environment.
Handheld RFID Scanner RFID Reader – Handheld: Handhelds are ideal for locationing and search type applications such as RFID asset tracking. Users can carry the handheld with them to scan for desired tags.
Zebra RFID Portals RFID Readers – Fixed: Are utilized in applications where passive background reading is desired, either at a portal or within a certain area. Readers control RFID antennas, which will be configured and angled to achieve desired read range.
RFID Middleware Software RFID Middleware (software) is the critical base station… software which ingests data from the RFID readers, and presents it in a way which enables you to make business decisions. This RFID application can be an end-destination for your data, or can be configured to connect with your ERP or inventory system.
Your ERP System ERP or Inventory System Integration enables you to import and export data to your middleware. This enables you to update your inventory, or add critical location and count information in your system of record.
Zebra RFID tag printer RFID Printer: Necessary when you intend to print RFID labels on-demand in your facility. This enables you to print unique and changing data to the RFID tag. (You can also purchase pre-printed passive RFID tags from outside sources if there is not a need to make adjustments to tag content).
Your Defined Process Your Defined Process is critical… RFID technology is at heart just another method of data capture. Having a well thought-out process will enable you to create reliable and repeatable results. We put this last on our list, but it really should be the first item you address, as it will benefit you regardless of the method of data capture.

More Content on RFID Systems and RFID Technology

If you found this overview helpful, you may wish to check out some of our other RFID technology content:

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Do you have a great potential RFID application within your business? Our team at CSSI would love to speak with you about your project. We can help you reach your end goal faster. Please contact us to discuss RFID today.

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