RFID technology uses radio waves to automatically identify objects, collect data about them, and enter that data directly into computer systems without human intervention. A typical RFID machine has three components: an RFID tag, an RFID reader, and an antenna. The RFID card contains a unique number and other details, which are captured by the reader and converted into data saved in the computer.
RFID tags come in three frequencies - low, high, and ultra-high. Enterprises decide the frequency type based on the application of the tag. Before we explain the usage scenarios of these HF and UHF tags, let's first understand the basics of "frequency" in these industrial tags.
What is the frequency?
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time. It is measured in hertz (Hz), which is equal to one cycle of repeating events per second. Frequency is an important measure used in science and technology to specify the rate of mechanical vibrations, audio signals (sound), radio waves, and light. A wave that completes one cycle in one second will be counted as one hertz. So a tag with a frequency of 14.56MHz would radiate a wave that loops 14,560,000 times per second.
What are low frequency, high frequency, and ultra-high frequency (UHF)?
RFID systems use many frequencies, but the most common are high frequency (13.56MHz) and ultra-high frequency, or UHF (902-928MHz). RFID tags and readers must have the same frequency to work properly. Low frequencies are used to scan nearby objects, while UHF can scan a wider range of objects and transmit data faster than others.
Low-frequency tags: Low-frequency tags work in the range of 30KHz to 300KHZ. These tags are passive and require no additional batteries to operate. These tags are best for metals and objects with high water content, such as liquids, fruit, and livestock, because they have longer wavelengths to penetrate these substances. LF RFID tags are used for asset tracking, laundry management, livestock tracking, and healthcare management.
High-frequency tags: Compared with low-frequency or ultra-high-frequency tags, high-frequency tags have a shorter reading distance and weaker anti-interference ability, so they are not suitable for reading animal tags. But they have good encryption and they are readable and writable. They also have a better storage capacity than LF tags. High-frequency tags operate at 13.56 MHz and have many applications.
These tags can be used on objects ranging from millimeters to meters, in various storage capacities, and on objects exposed to water. Businesses can choose from a variety of label sizes and memory combinations to suit their application. Another type of high frequency is "near field communication" (NFC), which allows the use of smartphones to communicate with tags.
HF and NFC tags are relatively inexpensive, and their prices vary by size. They are usually designed as labels, cards, or plastic packaging labels.
High-frequency tags are used in scenarios such as passport ticketing, payment, libraries, hospitals, and other data transmission applications.
NFC is especially widely used in marketing and advertising, access control, and data transfer applications.
UHF tags: UHF typically measures longer distances from meters to feet between 860 and 960MHz. UHF tags are used for objects that need to be scanned quickly from a distance. This marking system is popular for its speed, accuracy, and fast data transfer. UHF tags are much less expensive and are mainly used for retail inventory tracking, drug anti-counterfeiting, livestock management, and other high-volume labeling scenarios.
There are two types of UHF tags:
Passive UHF RFID: These tags have no additional power in the form of batteries. They function on the energy transmitted by the reader. Therefore, these tags work at a range of 30 meters. Since these labels are sensitive to liquids and metals, they are widely used in laundry management. In addition to this, passive RFID is used for tool tracking, game timing, IT asset tracking, and many other applications.
Active UHF RFID: These tags run on battery power. They have a longer scan rage than passive readers. These tags can be scanned from up to 100 meters away. Active tags are expensive compared to passive tags due to the extra battery. Active RFID tags are widely used in transportation and logistics, vehicles, oil and gas industries, construction, healthcare, life sciences, and more.
Above we have introduced the application scenarios of high-frequency and ultra-high-frequency RFID industrial tags. If you want to buy RFID tags or readers, please contact us
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