For people who don’t know Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and are just starting to understand the know how of RFID, it’s a challenge to make a right decision while choosing a correct tag that helps your business. It is a fact that people want to experience more automation in menial tasks, from employees to customers, everyone wants better results.
Earlier, barcodes were being used on everything from FMCG to retail to manufacturing materials to identify and stock these, but to scan each item manually using an optical scanner, employees taking hours to get things done, was a bad look for any business and it wasn’t fun either. You get the gist, right?
RFID is the most popular Automatic Identification and data collection (AIDC) technology now leaving behind the traditional barcodes.
Sure, QR codes (quick response codes) are now used more than barcodes but still RFID takes a lead here, since RFID tags use a micro-chip to store data and provide real-time inventory visibility.
What is RFID then?
RFID is a system of RFID tags, antennae, and Readers which come together to identify, trace, track, and sort articles, without a clear line of sight to read/scan. Ultra High Frequency (UHF) RFID tags operate on the frequency range of 860MHz to 960MHz but the most used frequency range for UHF in India is 865MHz-867MHz.
Why choose UHF RFID tags?
RAIN RFID tags or UHF passive RFID tags are the most used RFID tags and labels being used in retail and supply chains. Followings are some of the reasons to choose UHF RFID tags for various applications:
1. UHF RFID tags have an extended read range. It can be read from a distance of several meters, making it ideal for long-range identification.
2. The UHF band, ranging from 860 MHz to 960 MHz, allows for faster signal propagation, which enables faster communication between the RFID tag and reader.
3. Unlike LF and HF RFID, where there are more standardized frequencies globally, UHF RFID frequencies vary by region. For India, the UHF Frequency is 865-867 MHz.
4. They are well-suited for high-volume applications where a large number of tags need to be read quickly and simultaneously that provide applications like inventory management, and supply chain management.
UHF Bands in Various Countries
There are some specific regulations for UHF bands that vary from country to country all over the world as follows:
1. European Union(EU): 865MHz~868MHz
2. Japanese: 952MHz~954MHz
3. United States: 902MHz~928MHz
4. Canada: 902MHz~928MHz
5. South America: 902MHz~928MHz
6. China: 840~844MHz or 920~924MHz
7. Hong Kong: 920MHz~925MHz
8. Singapore: 920MHz~925MHz
9. Thailand: 920MHz~925MHz
Also, using correct RFID tags and RFID readers, businesses can move towards a great deal of automation and cut cost but to make a right decision is very crucial.
It depends upon the following factors:
1. How big your store or warehouse is?
2. Do you need long range scanning or close range?
3. Do you need fixed screening points or just handheld readers are enough?, or a combination of both?
4. Do you need tags that emit signals continuously (active RFID tags) or the passive tags?
5. What kind of business it is?
Choosing the right RFID Tag for Your Business:
Selecting the right RFID tag can transform your business. According to a survey report, businesses like retail and logistics are the ones that employ RFID greatly and are the great beneficiaries of this technology.
According to Statista:
“In 2025, the market for RFID tags is forecast to be around 41.3 billion U.S. dollars, and retail applications are expected to account for the largest share of the market.”
RFID UHF passive tags are the most used tags since these provide a long-range scanning than low frequency (LF) and High Frequency (HF) tags. These are capable of being read from a short range, like scanning an article with a barcode, and also from a long-range, like scanning a huge stockpile going up to 20 feet in one go.
The cost of employing UHF RFID tags in bulk is not high as well, which makes a fair case for using UHF tags.
What are Some Common UHF RFID Tags?
Here are some common UHF RFID tags as follows, they meet various applications:
1. RFID UHF ABS Tags: First we have the RFID-based UHF ABS Tags, which are durable and have good RF (radio frequency) performance. Appropriate uses for it include warehouse pallets monitoring, tracking of equipment, and asset management.
2. UHF Animal Ear Tag: The purpose of the Animal Ear Tag is to monitor and track the well-being of livestock and other animals. Utilizing UHF RFID commonly in farming and animal caretaking practices.
3. UHF Car Light Label: RFID-based UHF car light labels are headlight tags that are transparent and have an adhesive layer, which makes them easy to attach to the headlight of the vehicle to track and identify the car.
4. UHF Ceramic Tag: Ceramic tags work well on metal surfaces. They are made up of rugged ceramic material, are fragile, and are ideal solutions for anti-counterfeiting.
5. RFID UHF Jewelry Tags: The UHF Jewelry tags are designed to track the retail, wholesale, or storage of jewelry operations in an automated way. They are an efficient way or solution for jewelry management.
6. Blank UHF RFID Stickers: UHF RFID Stickers are generally used for library operation and management. The sticker has a back-glue layer that can be easily attached to objects.
7. RFID UHF PCB Tags: The UHF Headlight RFID tags are based on passive UHF technology. These tags don’t contain any batteries, which makes them maintenance-free.
8. UHF Silicone Laundry Tags: UHF silicone RFID laundry tags are soft and highly durable. They can handle high temperatures and harsh environmental conditions and are widely used in the laundry industry.
9. UHF Tire Labels: UHF RFID Tire Tags are designed to track and manage vehicle tires. It is sealed with the same base material as the tire, making it very durable. They are usually made up of polypropylene (PP) with an aluminum layer that attaches to rubber.
Applications of UHF RFID Tags in various sectors
UHF RFID tags in retail:
UHF RFID tags (passive RFID tags here) are used in large no. in retail business. Apart from taking stock of inventory, identifying which articles is less in stock in warehouse or at the selves, which can be done automatically by use of RFID UHF tags; it can scan the contents of a shopping cart without manually taking out each item and scanning them. It will felicitate fast check out at POS (point of sale) and enhance customer experience as well.
UHF RFID tagging can also help retailers understand which items need to be cleared early and put on sale as well which will reduce losses and improve inventory control. Carrying cost will also come down as well.
Retail stores like Wal-Mart, Target, H&M, Zara, Gap etc. are using the RFID UHF tags for a long time and now that tag prices have come down from it were a decade ago, it only makes sense to adopt this technology.
UHF RFID tags in Logistics:
The Logistics industry is another great beneficiary of RFID technology. Many businesses are employing UHF RFID tags to manage inventory and track their consignments.
In Logistics, client expectations have also only grown now. Customers need regular updates on their consignment, its status, and the exact delivery date as well and RFID has helped in this department greatly.
Logistics businesses use UHF RFID readers at intersections to keep track of consignments passing through an intersection and manage inventory effectively. Businesses also employ RFID with other technologies to track consignments that are in transit. It has helped with identifying bottlenecks in the supply chain as well.
Frequently Asked Questions on UHF RFID Tags
Q1) what are the advantages of UHF RFID Tags?
1. It can easily identify moving objects at high speed
2. Capable of identifying multiple tags at the same time
3. High-level of security and privacy protection
4. It has a long reading range, up to 15m, compared to other operating frequencies
5. Large memory capacity and can be reusable
Q2) why using UHF RFID tags over other RFID tags?
UHF (Ultra High Frequency) RFID tags operate at higher frequencies compared to LF (Low Frequency) and HF (High Frequency) tags. UHF tags offer longer read ranges and faster data transfer rates.
Q3) Can UHF RFID tags be used for outdoor applications?
UHF RFID tags are suitable for outdoor applications. They have long reading range and resistance to environmental factors, which makes them effective for tasks such as vehicle tracking, container management, and outdoor asset tracking.