We're here to help!
rfid

RFID Readers

Real-Time Data

At a simple level, a radio frequency identification (RFID) system consists of an RFID tag that emits a radio signal and a device that picks up the signal. The device that receives the analog signal is called an RFID reader, which produces electricity that runs down its cable at a particular rate. When the electricity reaches a piece of metal on the reader’s antenna, the antenna radiates the same signal out in space at a certain frequency and wavelength. After generating the outgoing signal, the RFID reader “listens” for a response from the RFID tag, which has its own antenna from which to transmit this response.

The tags referred to here are of the passive type, meaning that they do not have their own power supply and must rely on the signal emitted from the reader in order to transmit data back to the reader. Active RFID tags, on the other hand, have an onboard power supply (e.g., a battery), and they are constantly emitting signals (provided that the battery is not dead, of course). For a more in-depth discussion of the differences between active and passive RFID tags, refer to Passive RFID Tags vs. Active RFID Tags.

Types

RFID readers can differ based on configuration: they can be handheld, fixed (stationary), or mounted.

Handheld

Handheld readers are typically used to locate items in distribution centers or to read tags that do not go through RFID portals. These wireless, battery-powered readers are convenient and versatile. Some are self-contained computers, while others can be attached to handheld computers made by a variety of manufacturers.

Fixed

Stationary RFID readers can be affixed to walls, doorways or other types of portals, and tables/desktops. As tagged items pass through the portal (or by the table or desk), the reader picks up the tags’ data, which are then stored in a database. The database is updated in real-time, making RFID a powerful technology for use in asset tracking and inventory management applications.

Mounted

Mounted Readers

Mounted readers are used on trucks or forklifts, and they keep track of the movement of items from one location to another. Mounted RFID readers read the tags attached to the items, cases, or pallets that the vehicle is carrying. The locations of the readers themselves can be determined by interfacing the readers with tags embedded in the ground or mounted on walls throughout the facility. Mounted readers can operate in either autonomous mode; reading tags and immediately sending their data to the database host or interactive mode; where the reader stores data for a specified length of time before they are uploaded to the database.

Antennas

An RFID Reader can have one antenna or several

It is not limited to reading data from a tag; it can also write data to the tag. Performance features used to characterize RFID readers are:

  • Read range: the distance at which all of the tags in use can be read
  • Read rate: the number of tags that can be read per second
  • Write range: the distance at which unique identifying information can be encoded on all of the tags in use by the particular application
  • Write rate: the number of tags that can be encoded per second
  • Identification range: the distance at which all of the RFID tags in use can be identified

Have questions about RFID Solutions? Leave us your contact information and we’ll be happy to help you!

Blog Posts

Read the latest blogs on RFID Solutions

Solving challenges and making it work for your business is our #1 priority.

AB&R®’s Solution Process

Site Survey & SRDS

Phase I

In Phase I, AB&R® experts analyze your operation and environment to begin developing a solution. It starts with a site survey which allows our team to understand exactly where your pain points lie. Once the site survey is complete, we move into the System Requirement & Design Study (SRDS). During the SRDS our technical team will determine exactly what hardware and software work best in your environment. In this sample SRDS, we examine a proposed solution for a company that wants to better track their fabrication employee’s progress. The current system has them manually entering updates.

Pilot

Phase II

Once all the data is gathered from Phase I, the pilot phase can begin. At this point, our team of engineers will begin placing and testing equipment. As the solution is tested, more data accumulates, and our team will make the adjustments to achieve the expected outcome.

Implementation

Phase III

The problem has been assessed, a solution has been developed, and rigorously tested. We are ready for Phase III, full implementation. This includes installing all of the hardware, wiring, software, and training your team to comfortably handle all of the new tools they’ll be using on a regular basis. AB&R® provides future follow up strategies to validate the performance of the solution and evaluation of ROI.