We have RFID badges for access control.  Is that the same type of RFID system used for product labeling?

Typically Not.  Badge systems for access control are in the 125kKHz frequency (LF) range.  Product RFID tags (EPC Class 1 Gen2) are in the UHF frequency range of 860 - 960 MHz.  Each range requires specific tag/antennae/reader types.

We have RFID on some products and they read great, but on other products they don't.  Why the difference in performance?

RFID read performance is affected by many variables including tag type/size, tag position on an item, type of material the tag is attached to, proximity of other tags, type of reader(s) and position of the tag as it enters the reader's energy pattern. Review your needs with your VAR to get the overall best performance.

Can we add our own data to an RFID tag?

This is dependent on the tag being used.  Many tags are writeable and/or re-writeable.  The amount of data that can be written to a given tag is also a function of the tag being used.

We have very small items we would like to tag for use in an RFID system?

Today, tags come in a huge range of sizes and types for most service environments.  Very small tags are available.  ADI can help you find the right tag for your use. 

What is a Passive RFID Tag?

Passive tags, contain no battery.  Their energy to respond comes from the signal transmitted by the reader through one or more antennae.  EPC Class1 Gen2 tags are usually passive tags.

What is a BAT (Battery Assisted Tag) or Active RFID tag?

This type of tag has its own power source and can send out a Tag ID to a reader (a Beacon).  The Beacon can be turned Off or On or have its rate adjusted.  BATs are available in frequency ranges from 433MHz to 2.45 GHZ and are generally used for high value or controlled assets.

Why does my item read when passing by antenna one time, then not read the next time, even though the tag type and distance from the reader to the items is about the same?

Reading can be affected by tag orientation (as it is presented to the reader) and antenna type.  Some times a portal (location where a read is expected) will have more than one antenna, to mitigate this problem.  Tags may also be blocked by materials being between the tag and the signal.

Can I read or write to a large number of tags at once?

Yes, with the right number and type of antennae, correctly positioned, hundreds of tags can be read or written. This is true even when the tagged items are moving at high speed conveyor rates.

How can wemake sure the RFID tags will work in our environment?

The start of a successful RFID implementation happens when you meet with your VAR/consultant and define your requirements, in detail.  This is followed by an RFID survey of your facility.

Can I use RFID tags on items made of metal?

Yes, there are many tags suitable for use on metal items.

What about RFID tags on documents, can I read a stack of documents at once or find a specific document within a stack or file cabinet?

With the right tags and reader a stack or drawer of documents can be read at one time.  You may be able to determine that a document you are trying to find is within a stack or drawer, but you will probably (from a practical perspective) not be able to point directly to the document.