RFID technology has been around in wide usage for almost two decades now. We use it to optimize our day-to-day operations, overhaul production, and reduce production costs over a period. An essential part of this technology is antennas. There is one kind of antenna that is very popular, the UHF RFID antenna. So, today, we will discuss the use of this technology for a specific application. Let’s check out the use of UHF RFID antennas for asset tracking applications.
But before we get on with it, let us understand in brief what are RFID antennas.
What is a UHF RFID Antenna?
UHF refers to Ultra-High Frequency. As you may already know, RFID technology operates by sending and receiving data using radio signals. These systems can operate on a vast range of radio frequencies. Based on these frequencies, we have classified the systems into three different classes, namely – Low Frequency, High Frequency, and Ultra-High Frequency.
(A). Low Frequency – 125 KHz to 134.2 KHz
(B). High Frequency – 13.58 MHz
(C). Ultra- High Frequency – 850 MHz to 960 MHz
You probably understand by now that UHF RFID Antennas operate between the frequencies of 850 to 960 Megahertz. The frequency of a signal has effects on its functionality, like-
(A). Frequency is directly proportional to transfer speed, i.e., the higher the frequency of a signal, the more data it can carry in a specific amount of time.
(B). Higher frequencies are more vulnerable to signal distortions & detuning due to metal surfaces.
(C). UHF devices also have the highest range of communication.
Some common examples of UHF RFID Antennas are –
Applications of RFID Antennas in Asset Tracking
There are two primary applications of an antenna in an RFID system. Firstly, an antenna broadcasts the radio signals and creates an interrogation field around the reader. Secondly, it is also responsible for receiving signals from the tags and transmitting them to the reader for decryption. Basically, an RFID antenna is the main component responsible for facilitating communication within the system.
However, let’s based on the operational frequency, their field applications can differ significantly. So, let’s check the applications of UHF RFID antennas in Asset Tracking.
These constantly maintain an interrogation field around the reader & communicate with all the tags within that field. UHF RFID antennas can automate asset identification, data collection, and item tracking without the need for human interference. Allowing users to find the location of every tagged item within the facility with ease.
Speed & Efficiency
As we discussed above, the frequency of a system is directly proportional to its data transit speed. Radio waves have the same propagation rate; however, they do have different data-carrying capacities. To clarify, as the frequency of a signal increases, so does its capacity to carry bits, i.e., its bandwidth increases. So, it can transmit more data in the same amount of time. If you understood all that, then you’ll know why UHF RFID antennas offer the best data transfer speed.
Supply Chain Management
These systems allow users to track the movement of their items/assets, wherever there is a system of RFID antennas. Meaning if you use UHF RFID antennas, you can not only track items within your facility but also set up a system of communication between different RFID systems in all your facilities and centralize the monitoring of your entire operation.
You can use mobile/handheld antennas or shelve/cabinet UHF RFID antennas to identify & track assets in and out of the physical inventory. This system also can communicate with your database & update it in real time. This allows you to automate inventory management & make it more accurate. It also helps in keeping your inventory replenished and prevents any stock-outs.
Advantages of Using UHF RFID Antennas for Asset Tracking
Now you have read about the applications that this technology can have in the field of asset tracking & identification. It’s time to learn why using UHF RFID antennas is a good option and replacement for more traditional practices.
Unlike manual methods of asset tracking, where there is always a risk of human error, loss of assets, etc, utilizing UHF RFI antenna systems for the purpose of asset tracking gives you a far more accurate result. Every tag has a different identity, and an antenna will read all the tags within their interrogation field. Having an accurate view of the functioning of your organization allows you to make minute necessary adjustments and optimizations without the risk of doing any damage.
As mentioned above, UHF RFID antennas provide automation and improved data transfer services. Both of these functions significantly optimize day-to-day operations like Asset Tracking. In addition, they also free up the resources previously invested in these time-consuming tasks, allowing them to be utilized in productive work positions.
Integrating the use of UHF RFID antennas, you also get access to loads of data regarding customers, production issues, etc. This information can further be utilized to create customized marketing strategies, create redundancies in failure-proof sectors & identify areas with low productivity. In addition to that, this system also allows you to have a real-time watch on the effects of said changes and strategies.
Radio Frequency Identification technology has been responsible for revolutionizing the logistical aspect of various industries. A subset of this technology, UHF RFID Antennas has had a significant part in optimizing an essential aspect of such operations, i.e., asset tracking. From automation to drastic improvement in accuracy, this technology has become an essential part of growth and development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How does Radio Frequency Identification assist with asset management?
Ans - RFID technology has become an essential component of asset management operations worldwide. This is due to its ability to automate the complete process while offering greater accuracy at faster speeds and negligible costs.
Q2. What are the benefits of asset tracking devices?
Ans - Asset tracking is an essential part of product-oriented businesses, it is necessary for maintaining a healthy stock of items, tracking sales, preventing loss or theft, and overall monitoring the operations. Asset tracking devices allow businesses to automate and make asset tracking faster and more accurate. Even after the initial implementation cost, these systems still create a net increase in revenue in due time.
Q3. What is the purpose of an antenna in a UHF RFID system?
Ans - There are a minimum of two antennas necessary in a working RFID system, one in the reader and one in the tag. Although, when we talk about RFID antenna, we talk about the reader’s antenna. Readers can have an integrated antenna inside them or attachable antennas.
The purpose of an antenna is to broadcast the signals from a reader and receive the incoming signals from the RFID tags. Essentially, they facilitate communication between the two components of an RFID system.
- Last updated on Aug 19, 2023