How to Troubleshoot RFID System Errors
Apr 01, 2020Radio identification 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, systems 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 percentrate on tags, so long as you know common errors to look out for. Here are 10 different ways to troubleshoot an system.
1. Review Material of Tagged Products
When troubleshooting an system, 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 anon 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 a and . The human body is mostly water and can easily absorb an RF signal.
Some tags can be regardless of their . However, in some systems, if the and aren't well-aligned, it won't receive enough energy to return a signal. If a can't consistently a , make sure they are aligned correctly when scanning.
The longer the cable connecting an and , the more energy will be lost. If it's too long, the may not even have enough power to send an adequate signal. If you're experiencing difficulties like this, ensure cables aren't too long. When possible, try to minimize the distance between the and antennas.
In general, small tags will have shorter ranges. If you are struggling to a particular , consider upgrading to a larger size. For example, replace a button with a card .
5. Prevent RF Interference
When possible, test for and limit sources of interference that can degrade RF signals and prevent tags from being altogether. 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.