The Do’s and Dont’s of Attaching RFID Tags

Posted by Advanced Mobile Group on Aug 15, 2017 3:25:03 PM

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RFID tags are a crucial part of the manufacturing world. Now, instead of having to rely on traditional methods of scanning and managing your inventory, you can utilize this powerful yet simplistic system to streamline your operations. However, while RFID tags make our lives easier, we still have to make sure that we are using them the right way.

One of the most important things to consider when implementing a new RFID system is to know how to attach them correctly. If you don’t this the right way, it can have a significantly adverse effect on your bottom line. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the various factors to consider when attaching RFID tags.

Types of RFID Attachments

Fortunately, there are plenty of different ways that you can implement RFID into your inventory system, which means that no matter what kinds of materials and packaging you use there is a tag that will correspond with it. Nonetheless, there is a right and wrong way to go about it, so let’s break each type down.

Welded/Bolted

Many different industries need to be able to track metallic objects, whether it’s farming equipment, company laptops, or cars. As such, a permanent RFID tag that’s been welded or bolted on offers the best tracking because it won’t fall off easily. Here are some ways to ensure that you’re attaching these tags in the best way.

  • Make sure there’s not too much interference. RFID scanners can have a hard time with metal because it reflects the signal and can create problems. Thus, it’s best if you get tags that are rated for this material so that they generate a stronger, easier to read signal.
  • Consider the environment. Usually, the kinds of products that require these tags will have to withstand the outdoors, meaning that issues like rain and dirt can be a problem. Be sure that you place the tag somewhere to minimize this issue and ensure a strong signal all the time.

Zip Ties/Hanging Tags

Sometimes, you don’t need the tag to be applied permanently, which means that you want a method of attachment that will hold steady in most situations without being too easy to remove. One of the issues with hanging tags is that people can rip them off, so it’s imperative that you make sure that that can’t happen.

  • Place the tag in an inconspicuous location. If this is possible, try to make it harder for other people to find. For smaller products, this will be difficult, but still try to minimize the chances of theft or tampering.
  • Tie it tightly. Zip ties are better because they won’t loosen over time, but other methods such as string can slip off if you’re not careful.
  • Make sure the tags are sturdy. Since they may be flopping around in transit, you don’t want tags that can break easily.

Bonus: The Ultimate Barcodes vs RFID Comparison Guide. Which technology is best  for your business?

Adhesive

For the most part, if you want a fast and easy way to affix an RFID tag to a product, it’s usually best to use an adhesive. They are semi-permanent and can withstand most environments without any problems. As such, they are reliable for all kinds of industries.

  • Consider rounded edges. Sometimes, you may have difficulty scanning a tag if it is around a pipe or on the curve of a barrel. As such, you should test out the tag with a scanner to make sure that there are no problems later.
  • Determine how long you want the tag to stay on. In some cases, you might be able to get an adhesive that can be removed relatively easily. However, if you want it to be more permanent, then stick with a model that won’t peel off very well.

Sewn On

While adhesive tags are perfect for flat surfaces, if you work with textiles then you don’t have that kind of luxury. Thus, it’s usually better to sew the tags onto the fabric so that they remain there semi permanently without any problems.

  • Make the tag easy to find. If you are embedding the tag into the merchandise, then it can be difficult to find it when it comes time to scan. So, you can either boost the signal of the tag or the scanner, or you can mark the placement somehow.
  • Don’t skimp on stitching. The one thing you want to avoid is the tag coming off. You may also be worried about people removing them. To help minimize this problem, ensure that you use sufficient sewing methods, and avoid having the tag stick out too much.

Locking Tags

Finally, if you want a secure yet temporary method of tracking items (particularly apparel), then a locking/removable tag is the best way to go. You can find these in a variety of sizes and strengths, so pick out the one that works best for your needs.

Overall, when using these kinds of tags, just be sure that your locking mechanism can’t be broken easily. Also, make sure that the placement is in a conspicuous location so that people know that they are there. This will be an effective deterrent to theft.

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