It’s a well known fact that metal causes two major issues for radio frequency identification tags (RFID): metal can reflect energy away from the tag and it can detune a tag antenna, preventing it from receiving energy from a reader.
RFID manufacturers have successfully met the physics challenge: They developed “on-metal” tags, which are now available in a wide variety of sizes, form factors, and frequencies, that enable companies in myriad industries to track metal assets and to leverage the benefits of RFID in the energy sector, warehouse and other environments. Many on-metal tags are designed to withstand harsh environments, so companies in the construction, energy and manufacturing sectors can use RFID to track parts, pipes, tools and other material assets.
With all the advancements being achieved in the RFID sector, there are some applications for which on-metal tags don’t work optimally, because the asset is too small, conditions are too harsh or the tag interferes with the use of the asset. To combat many of these challenges, there are a few tag manufacturers that that have developed tags that can be embedded in the metal items. These solutions are designed to enhance the visibility and track a variety of assets including handheld tools, metal utility poles, heavy machinery exposed to extreme heat and vibration, iron beams, oil and gas pipes/ spools, industrial bolts and even surgical equipment.
At the end of the day, mounting RFID tags onto metal is a challenging proposition for those that are uninformed (as well as those that informed) as this is evolving technology and is unlikely to work right out of the box like a blender you’d purchase for your kitchen. The recommended approach should be to have an Initial Solution Design drafted where the all data and workflow and topology is mapped out within the organization. In order to identify long-term improvements obtained, a review of current process flow is required which will assist in confirming and prioritizing the implementation of the hardware required with in the conditions being deployed.
Start your optimization journey today by contacting Storm Telematics and we will assist you in identifying the correct tags for your project. You may access our Online Calendar to schedule a lunch (on us) or a conference call, as we remain are on standby to deliver quantifiable value to your organization. 877-309-8354