RFID Tags For Your Application

RFID Asset Tags and Labels for Standard and On-Metal Tagging Projects

Metalcraft's passive RFID tags and labels are ideal for your ID projects and applications providing durability, flexibility, and affordability. We have tags that work on plastic, cardboard, glass, and metal.

What Are RFID Tags?

RFID tags are labels that use that uses radio waves to identify an object. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and labels have 3 main components:

  • IC (integrated chip) which executes commands and stores data
  • Antenna which absorbs RF waves and helps broadcast the signal
  • Substrate (polyester, paper, etc.)  which is the material that the chip and antenna are attached

Advantages of Passive RFID vs Barcode

  • Line of sight not required to read the tag
  • Read up to 40ft vs inches to a few feet
  • Can uniquely identify each item rather groups or types of items
  • Obstructed tags can still be read vs obstructed barcodes (covered or torn barcodes cannot be read)
  • RFID is read and write capable / Barcode only read capable
  • Most fixed RFID are automated and don't require human involvement


How Do RFID Tags Work?

RFID tags work by sending and receiving information through an antenna and an attached microchip or integrated circuit. An RFID reader, a device that can generate and read the information on radio waves is used to communicate and interact with the RFID tag.  These RFID readers can both read and write to the memory on the RFID tag's microchip.  This means different pieces of data (uniques identifying numbers, serial numbers, etc.) can be read and written onto the tags which can be attached to any item or product for easy tagging and tracking.


Are there different types of RFID?

There are two primary categories of RFID tags: tags with batteries and tags without batteries.  Tags with batteries are called either called battery assist or active RFID tags. As the name indicates, battery enabled RFID tags incorporate a battery as a power supply or to supplement the power provided by the RFID reader. 

A passive RFID tag does not use a battery and instead works by using electromagnetic energy transmitted from the RFID reader. When a passive label is read/scanned by an RFID reader it is energized (interrogated) by the radio waves coming from the reading device.  The energy received from the radio waves are received via antennas attached to the passive tag's chip which powers the chip and responds to the reader all in a matter of milliseconds.

What Frequency Do Tags Operate?

Passive RFID tags use 3 main frequencies to transmit information:

  • 125 – 134 KHz, also known as Low Frequency (LF)
  • 13.56 MHz, also known as High Frequency (HF) / Near-Field Communication (NFC)
  • 865 – 960 MHz, also known as Ultra High Frequency (UHF).

The frequency used affects the tag’s read range performance or how far a tags information can travel on the radio wave. When a passive RFID tag is scanned by a reader, the reader transmits energy to the tag which powers it enough for the chip and antenna to relay information back to the reader. The reader then transmits this information back to a software program for interpretation. 

Active RFID technology uses one of two main frequencies to transmit information

  • 433 MHz
  • 915 MHz 

What Type of Applications Are Ideal for RFID?

  • Asset Tracking
  • Heavy Equipment Management
  • Logistics & Supply Chain (Returnable Containers, Pallets, Bins)
  • Materials Management
  • Access Control (People)
  • Vehicle Access Control
  • Attendee Management
  • Race Timing
  • Livestock Tagging
  • Office and IT Assets
  • Tool Tracking & Inventory
  • Laundry Management
  • Tamper Security
  • Interactive Marketing ( NFC tags )
  • Temperature & Moisture Sensing
  • Audio / Visual / Cable Management
  • Manufacturing (Work -in- Process)
  • Hospital Equipment