How to Troubleshoot RFID System Errors

2020-04-13 15:57:49 Megan R. Nichols 4

Radiofrequencyidentification systems have become increasingly popular in recent years. These tags are now commonly used in a range of applications—like in employee badges or warehouse goods. However,RFIDsystems can often work improperly due to subtle design mistakes that can result in cascading or difficult-to-notice errors.

These issues can be challenging to troubleshoot, simply due to the number of things that can go wrong. Fortunately, it is possible to achieve a near-100 percentreadrate onRFIDtags, so long as you know common errors to look out for. Here are 10 different ways to troubleshoot anRFIDsystem.

How to Troubleshoot RFID System Errors

1. Review Material of Tagged Products
When troubleshooting anRFIDsystem, review handbooks to ensure material type or density do not cause issues with signal transfer. Dense or water-laden materials can absorb radio waves, preventing unpowered tags from reflecting signals to RF readers. Metal can also cause detuning, which will prevent connections.

If you need to use an RFID tag on a metal object or a product that contains a large amount of liquid, consider using on-metal versions. You can also use battery-assisted passive tags, which can send a stronger signal on products containing liquid. When possible, ensure workers aren't holding tags when reading them and are not standing between atagandreader. The human body is mostly water and can easily absorb an RF signal.

2. CheckTag Orientation
Some tags can bereadregardless of theirorientation. However, in some systems, if thereaderandtagaren't well-aligned, it won't receive enough energy to return a signal. If areadercan't consistentlyreadatag, make sure they are aligned correctly when scanning.

3. ManageReader-AntennaCable Length
The longer the cable connecting anantennaandreader, the more energy will be lost. If it's too long, thereadermay not even have enough power to send an adequate signal. If you're experiencing difficulties like this, ensureantennacables aren't too long. When possible, try to minimize the distance between thereaderand antennas.

4. ConsiderTagSize
In general, small tags will have shorterreadranges. If you are struggling toreada particular RFID tag, consider upgrading to a largertagsize. For example, replace a buttontagwith a cardtag.

5. Prevent RF Interference
When possible, test for and limit sources of interference that can degrade RF signals and prevent tags from beingreadaltogether. Common sources of RF interference include dirty power in industrial settings, consumer devices like smartphones and electronics with design failures that are causing issues with electromagnetic compatibility.

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