CUSTOM TAG DEVELOPMENT
An RFID tag for every occasion
The vast range of standard tags on the market offer products to suit most applications – however in some cases, only a custom tag will suffice. It may be that the tag needs to operate in a demanding environment, it is a component within a product or assembly, or it has to store more data than usual.
Tags can also reflect your company’s brand or be used for product promotions and events. CoreRFID has years of experience of working with manufacturers to design tags where no suitable product is readily available.
3 ways to customise RFID tags
In any RFID tag, there are three main areas for customisation – the chip and pin which are the active working parts; the housing which encloses and protects them; and the way the tag is coded.
1. Specialised tag casing
Where the tag is to form part of an assembly or final product, custom encasement may be required. For example, the tag has to be small enough to fit into a finite space which could be affected by a magnetic field. It is important to ensure that the final product does not interfere with the transmission or reception capabilities of the chip.
The casing often determines the method by which the tag is attached. This can be achieved by adhesives or by a screw or rivet, depending on the surface that it will attach to, the durability of the tag and whether it needs to be removed and re-attached. If a screw or rivet fixing is used, it is important that the tag is not damaged during the attachment process. CoreRFID can design the tag for different requirements.
Bespoke tags are also ideal for branding and identification purposes, and are commonly used for everything from loyalty schemes to music festivals, theme parks and exhibitions. They might take the form of a wristband or credit card, for example, and in addition to having a choice of size, shape and colour, the housing can be engraved or overprinted with logos or serial numbers, allowing them to carry visual information as well as electronic data. CoreRFID has produced branded tags for clients including primary care trusts, universities, advertising agencies, event companies and museums.
2. The chip and antenna
The most common type of RFID tags are passive tags, which are activated by the reader’s power source and do not require batteries. Passive tags come in three frequency bands. LF and HF typically have a limited range of just a couple of millimetres while UHF tags are able to read up to distances of up to 20 metres. For longer distances or more specialist applications, active tags which have their own integrated battery may be required.
Achieving optimum performance with a tag often depends on selecting the right chip and antenna combination, for example in environments affected by magnetic fields and electrical noise. This can be complex, as it calls for an understanding of material physics, electromagnetic performance and the requirements of the application. CoreRFID can help determine the best antenna configuration, for delivering the data in a way to achieve optimum results.
3. Custom tag coding
RFID tags have relatively small data capacity, as in most cases the tag simply carries an ID number which allows data about the object to be retrieved from a database. However some systems require more data to be encoded onto the tag.
CoreRFID’s custom compressed data formats allow the tag’s limited data capacity to be used to best effect, providing the necessary encoding and decoding algorithms to allow it to work with software applications – whether the customer’s own software or a system developed by CoreRFID.