The Ultimate Small RFID Tag Handbook
Technology has evolved swiftly over the past years. We once relied on mechanical processes for payments, access control, and identification. Now, we utilize RFID technology to make things easier.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is a wireless communication between an RFID tag and a reader. To make their connection possible, they use radio waves to transmit data. You can find this technology in smart cards, tags, keyfobs, and other mediums.
While standard RFID helps with sustainability and carbon footprint reduction, it still contributes a handful. Small RFID tags are introduced to promote a much lower profile and minimal footprint.
Have you ever wondered how these “miniature RFID tags” work? Hearing about them might sound complicated, but calm your senses. With this ultimate small RFID tag handbook, we’ll help you know more!
What are Small RFID Tags?
Small RFID tags utilize the same process as the standard ones. They tap into the RFID technology to store and transmit data wirelessly. The only difference they possess is their smaller size.
To understand small RFID tags better, here is a simple breakdown.
1. Compact Size
One of the most notable features of the small RFID tags is their size. Developers have been trying to make the standard RFID tag as tiny as possible for years. Some even aim to make them fit into human cells.
The current available size in the market measures about 0.01-0.03 inches. Their compactness allows them to be versatile in many things. Its uses include pet micro chipping, RFID tracking of assets, payment transactions, library management, and more.
In addition, researchers created a customized RFID reader. It will facilitate the data transmission and response received from the mini tags.
2. Basic Components
For the small RFID tags to work, they must have three important components. The first one is the RFID chip. It is an integrated circuit or a tiny electronic chip that stores information.
Another one is the antenna. It is integrated into the tag to allow communication with RFID readers. Without this feature, the microchip will be useless.
The last one is a protective material. This layer holds all of the parts together. It also prevents the chip and antenna from being damaged.
3. Passive or Active Operation
Two major types of small RFID tags are found in the market: passive and active RFIDS. Are you curious about the difference between them?
Passive small RFID tags don’t have an internal power source. Because of this feature, they rely on electromagnetic power coming from an RFID reader.
Meanwhile, an active RFID tag independently has its source of power. Additionally, they already have a transmitter on the tag, allowing them to transmit data over long distances.
Applications of Small RFID Tags
1. Asset Tracking
Asset tracking with RFID lets you locate and manage your physical assets. Simply put, you can attach the tag loaded with data to anything. The data may contain names, amounts, locations, and conditions.
For example, if you own a clothing business, you can put a small RFID tag into your product for easy tracking, RFID inventory management, and prevention of misplacement. Opting for a smaller RFID tag size is better since it only takes up a smaller surface.
2. Access Control and Identification
If you go around and ask anyone, “How do you keep your house, business, or infrastructure safe?” The common answer would probably be tight security. Similar to the standard-sized
RFID tags, the small ones can be used for access control and identification
Small RFID tags are integrated into access cards or badges. They help secure entry to buildings, rooms, and restricted areas. In addition, it can be added to identification cards to recognize the users, adding an extra layer of protection.
3. Payment and Transactions
Small RFID tags can be incorporated into cards to facilitate cashless and contactless payments. It enables users to transact by tapping or waving their small RFID-enabled cards. This scenario can be seen in transport systems and bill payments.
4. Pet Microchipping
Pet microchipping implants the small RFID tag into your pet. The chip contains the details and information about your pet’s needs, including their habits and medication. It will help veterinarians scan the animals and keep track of their current status.
With the help of small RFID tags, pet identification becomes easier. Through this, pet owners don’t have to worry about losing their pets since they can immediately track their whereabouts.
The constant growth of technology calls for people to adapt to it. It is what libraries around the globe do. Instead of sticking to book barcodes, they are now incorporating small RFID tags into their books.
With small RFID tags, they can effortlessly manage their database. Tracking their books, service checkout, and inventory management are as easy as 1, 2, and 3. The library management doesn’t have to sweat to keep the books secured since small RFID tags can also act as security devices.
Advantages of Small RFID Tags: A Beginner’s Guide
1. Versatility in Applications
Since small RFID tags boast a much more compact size, they can adapt to various functions. They apply to retail, access control, inventory management, and microchipping industries. Due to this feature, beginners can see how advantageous the use of small RFID tags is.
The main goal of tag manufacturing is to provide a medium for the RFID system. However, the tag causes the system to break most of the time. This problem pushes small RFID tag suppliers to improve the durability of their products.
So, they decided to use polyester for subsurface printing. It is a durable material that can protect printed copies from solvents and acids.
3. Real-Time Tracking
Small RFID tags can track assets in real time. It means that you can immediately see the location and status of items. It pushes efficient logistics, inventory management, and supply chain operations.
Businesses and other fields can save money by using small RFID tags. Despite their small size, they function similarly to standard-sized RFID tags. It makes them less expensive to purchase.
How to Get Started with Small RFID Tags
1. Understand the Basics.
Make sure you familiarize yourself with the basics of small RFID tags. Read about how an RFID system works, its types, and how they are applied to the real world.
By doing so, you allow yourself to be open to new ideas. It will help you easily understand when you do the practical work later.
2. Acquire small RFID Tags and Readers.
As mentioned above, small RFID tag developers made customized RFID readers. The readers will cater to the miniature tags only.
You can obtain the tags online or at electronic stores. Always remember to ensure the compatibility of your tags to the desired application.
After this, purchase your own small RFID tag reader as well. You can choose from handheld and fixed readers.
3. Define your Purpose.
Where will you use the small RFID tags? Will they be for tracking personal items or managing inventory? Always be clear with your purpose. By doing this, you can determine the specific use of your tags.
4. Tag your Items.
Attach the small RFID tags to the items you want to manage or track. Double-check your placement and make sure they are properly applied. Keep in mind that wrong RFID tag attachments may affect the quality of their performance.
5. Setup the RFID System.
Setting up your RFID system is one of the most important parts of the process. Your small RFID reader might require software installation. You can readily install the application on your mobile device or computer.
After installing the small RFID reader, configure it. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. This process may include setting the frequency, read range, and other parameters.
6. Perform Initial Tests.
Once you are ready to set up, you may proceed to the next step: Initial testing. You familiarize yourself with the tags’ practical application by doing initial testing.
You can start by testing the read range of a small RFID reader. Hold it near a tagged item. Check if the reader successfully detected your small RFID tag. Lastly, ensure the data stored in your small RFID tag is correct.
Problems may occur when you use small RFID tags. There will be times when you are required to troubleshoot your tag and reader.
You can adjust the tags’ placement, check the reader’s settings, read user manuals, or join forums online. You can contact the developers directly if you need help solving the problem.
8. Learn and Improve.
Using small RFID tags is a matter of trial and error. No one starts perfectly, so make sure to learn from your experiences. If you do so, you can navigate through the system effortlessly.
Take note that the use of small RFID tags always has room for improvement. Don’t stop where you are. Instead, make alterations, expand the application, and research further.
Small RFID tags allow you to master efficiency in your business or field. Through the use of these tags, tasks are simplified and done faster, whether in access control systems or libraries. Additionally, their compactness opens the door to the versatility of RFID systems.
Now that you have reached the end of this article, we hope you learned a lot. May this ultimate handbook serve as your guide as you venture through the world of small RFID tags. If you are interested in this technology, feel free to contact JLT Card Factory.