What are the major differences between RFID tags?

RFID tags, can be in the form of lower cost sticker labels, hangtags, or in solid robust (higher cost) forms.

 

Pricing & Availability 

  • Typically RFID labels cost .09 cents and up, depending on size, quantity, quality, material. (the price can go as high as $2-$3 per tag for specialty tags)
  • In general since Senitron orders RFID labels in for it’s 1000’s of clients, Senitron get’s better pricing compared to any other vendor.  Price breaks happen on larger order of 500k+ typically.
  • Commonly sold RFID label sizes are generally in stock, however not always guaranteed to be in-stock at the time you place orders. In  best case scenarios labels can be shipped out within one week of payment, and in some cases it can take as long as 2-3 months, reason being that label manufactures do not constantly produce the same labels, since they have a so many variations. Instead they get all the orders, and once the orders reach 1 million + then they produce in a million + at a time.
  • We always recommend everyone to order labels ahead of time at least 2-3 months before they run out, for the reasons mentioned above.  

Sizes | Choices of RFID Labels | Quality

When deciding to order RFID labels, when it comes to the size factor, it is important to know some RFID basics.   There are 100’s of sizes and styles available.

  • THE LARGER THE LABEL SIZE THE BETTER THE READ DISTANCE PERFORMANCE
  • BUY THE LARGEST POSSIBLE RFID LABEL SIZE TO FIT THE MAJIROTY OF YOUR ITEMS

Read Distance Performance This means, how far can the asset & RFID tag be from the RFID reader that reads it.  Some tags can be read with an RFID reader from 40 feet away, some from 20 feet away, some from 3 feet away, and some 1 feet away.  The bigger the read distance, the faster you can inventory a larger a number of items, with less effort using a hand-held RFID scanner.

 

FAQ- Why does Read Distance Performance it matter?

    • It matters based on how you’re planning to read, count, inventory, and track the RFID assets. If you are planning on using hand-held RFID scanners, the tag read distance is not as important, since you can walk up to the assets and wave the RFID scanner around to read them in close proximity.
    • On the other hand, if you are planning on using Hands-Free RFID sensors, which are installed on the ceilings,  you’ll need to use tags with higher read distance range capabilities.
    • For example a quality tag that is 2.5 inches x 1.5 inches can be read from 20-25 feet distance, vs a 1 inch x 1 inch tag which can be read from 1 feet away, or a tag that is 4 inches x 1 inch which can be read from 35-40 feet distance. 

FAQ- Since there are so many types of RFID labels and sizes available should I buy a bunch of different ones, to use for various products?

The short Answer is NO.   We do not recommend clients to buy various size labels, unless they have absolutely no other choice but to do so.  The reason for this answer is because RFID labels, are not like normal simple labels, unlike normal labels that you simply pop into a printer and start printing on them, RFID labels are required to be calibrated in the printer which dispenses them. Thus if you have 5 different label types, and only one RFID printer, every time you change the label you’ll have to perform a media and RFID calibration, which can take 5-10 minutes each time.   With ample practice it is not a major concern, however it will not be easy for general personnel with our training to perform these actions. 

A work around would be to have more than one RFID label printer, so that each printer can be calibrated and configured for one label type media and size.

Note: Additionally the more label sizes you have, it means that each label needs to be designed and accommodated for each label size at least once, which may incur additional one-time setup fee’s. 

Quality

Senitron only recommends and uses RFID labels from quality manufactures.   Senitron does extensive inhouse testing and quality control on each selected tag from any manufacturer to make sure the read performance is accurate, as well the defect rate to be low. Yes some clients  believe they can save a little by getting tags from none well known brands or overseas, however our typical experience has been that none-well known brands have higher defect rates, as well as they may not be compatible with Zebra RFID printers.   For example imagine if you have 50k RFID labels goods, and even 1% of those tag are defective. That would mean 500 products would have read issues…. which is not a good thing.