Find Your Tags

Passive RFID Tags For Asset and

Inventory Tracking Systems

Passive RFID tags engineered to deliver on metal performance at the service of industrial identification and tracking systems

Leading companies all over the world know and trust Xerafy for passive UHF RFID tags that withstand harsh environments and deliver superior performance.

Xerafy Product Guide

What are passive UHF RFID tags for asset tracking?

Asset tracking RFID tags, or industrial RFID tags, are essentially passive RFID metal tags with distinctive performance and durability features for harsh environments.

Specialized companies like Xerafy have been developing rugged passive UHF metal tagging platforms with uniquely innovative features focused on performance, durability, and survivability:

At what frequencies operate passive UHF RFID tags?

Industrial RFID systems predominantly operate within the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) bands on the electromagnetic spectrum (860 to 960 MHz band as per UHF Gen2 standard).
 

Technically, UHF is ideally suited for assets in motion and in uncontrolled positions because it allows for fast data processing (imagine an asset moving quickly on a conveyor belt), increased accuracy (identifying items in bulk in seconds), and extended read ranges (over several meters).

 

Passive RFID tags operate battery-free by harvesting energy from the readers. The lower acquisition of cost of passive RFID tags has driven their wide adoption for metal tagging, helped by their longer lifespan as well as their global standardization led by the RAIN RFID consortium, with most countries operating between 900 and 915 MHz.

In the debate on active vs passive rfid tags, the early emphasis on specialized applications has naturally accelerated innovations in the field, including the ability for passive UHF RFID to operate effectively around metals and liquids that it would normally find difficult to penetrate due to these materials' ability to reflect and change the tune of radio-frequencies.

Because of these factors, LF (low frequency), HF (high frequency), and Active RFID (battery-assisted) technologies have been relegated to niche metal tagging applications such as fixed assets, very close ranges, and RTLS. In the field, passive UHF RFID tags are sometimes deployed in conjunction with complementary asset identification and tracking technologies such as Barcodes, NFC (Near-Field Communication), BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), and UWB (Ultra Wide Band).

Chart RFID Frequencies
RAIN RFID Logo
FCC logo
ETSI logo
 

What standards apply to passive UHF RFID tags?

Full standard compatibility is essential to industrial systems, with passive RFID tags following RAIN RFID recommendations as well as a number of additional standards (FCC, ETSI, CE, REACH, RoHS, ATEX...).

 

The same principle applies to all the RFID system components, including RFID Readers and Antennas, with leading suppliers including Zebra, Times7, Impinj, TSL, Alien, Turck, Honeywell.

ISO logo
CE Logo
REACH Logo
ROHS Logo
ATEX Logo

6 Steps To Finding The Best Passive UHF RFID Tags

How do you select the best passive UHF RFID tags for an asset tracking system? Xerafy's 6-Step ABCDEF assessment helps frame the system's essential performance requirements, including:

At any step of the process, product and application specialists are available to help build the right RFID asset tagging solution.

Custom RFID tags development services from Xerafy provide the technology, manufacturing, and application expertise needed to design a bespoke RFID tag. Leverage the most advanced passive UHF RFID platforms on the market for RFID metal tags and sensors, to meet your attachment, packaging, and form factor requirements.

Industry-specific tagging solutions are also available: Xerafy has developed industry-specific UHF RFID metal tagging solutions and expertise that cover the performance requirements and environmental conditions of specialized applications such as tool tracking, manufacturing, inventory, oil and gas, IT assets, infrastructure, and healthcare.

A for ASSETS > Bonding > Customize > Data > Environment > Fit

What assets does the RFID system track?

Start with the type of assets to be tracked and the materials they are made of: Metal tagging is the most common use case in industrial systems alongside plastics. Other materials include wood, glass, cardboard, and so on.

 

RFID tags are typically applied to the surface of the asset to be tracked. The composition of the substrate and the nature of the content of the asset can have an impact on the overall performance of the tracking system, such as read range, accuracy, and durability.

 

Industrial RFID tags are specifically designed as mount on metal RFID tags, with a spacer to ensure optimal RF performance. Xerafy took it a step further by developing a metal tagging technology that leverages the presence of metal in the asset to improve its RF performance in terms of accuracy and read range. Xerafy developed a range of rugged RFID tags that are optimized for high performance on metal surfaces.

 

What is the read range of passive UHF RFID tags?

Mount on metal RFID tags have the capacity to use the metal in the asset to extend the read range, to reach distances of 20 meters and beyond.

And in the absence of a battery, the rugged RFID tags' life expectancy frequently exceeds that of the asset they are tracking.

Over time, the technology has supplanted other types of RFID such as High Frequency and Low Frequency as the standard RF identification for metal tagging of indoor and outdoor assets, with passive UHF RFID lowering the entry barrier for Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS).

Xerafy Long Range RFID Tags

Assets > B for BONDING Customize > Data > Environment > Fit

Which tagging method is the most appropriate for the system?

A number of parameters must be considered when defining an optimal tagging method in terms of operational performance and ROI, including:

  1. What is the asset's lifespan?

  2. What is the expected rate of tag attrition?

  3. Is it necessary for RFID tags to be reusable and replaceable?

  4. Is there any legacy inventory that must be retrofitted with RFID tags?

  5. How scalable and fast must the tagging method be?

 

Each industry has its preferences for field-validated tagging methods such as rivets, screws, welding, glues, adhesives, magnets, velcro, cables, and zip ties. Xerafy's expertise in specialized tracking systems has resulted in the development of RFID metal tagging solutions that operates inside metal, also known as embeddable RFID, in which the tag is screwed into a cavity or sealed.

 
 

Can passive UHF RFID tags be embedded for metal tagging and injection molding?

End-users deploy embeddable RFID tags to retrofit RF identification and locating capabilities to their assets, while manufacturers add smart IoT capabilities via flush-mounting or injection molding.

In terms of RF performance, the prevalence of metal in harsh environments poses a significant technical challenge. Xerafy’s innovation in the field changed the paradigm by making full use of the metal in the asset to increase the performance of its embeddable RFID tags.

Xerafy Embeddable RFID Tags
 
 

Assets > Bonding > C for CUSTOMIZABLE > Data > Environment > Fit

How much customization is required for the RFID system to be deployed?

Asset tracking applications benefit from a wide range of standardized tags, readers, antennas, and software that are readily available off the shelf. Personalization on-site or by the supplier can facilitate field deployment: Printing of readable identification, RFID encoding of asset data, personalized laser engraving, RFID reader tuning, and so on.

 

Can Industrial RFID tags be printed?

RFID tags can be personalized and customized for deployment in the field, including printing, encoding, laser marking, etc.

RFID has proven to be a compelling solution to barcode identification's limitations in terms of line of sight, bulk scanning, and automation. Tags support hybrid RFID and optical information in the form of human-readable data or Barcodes / QR codes.

Xerafy UHF labels in particular can be supplied blank, to be then printed and encoded on-site with any of the leading RFID printers such as SATO, Zebra, Toshiba, Printronix, and Postek. They can also be personalized with the support of the Xerafy service bureau.

Xerafy Printable RFID Labels

Assets > Bonding > Customizable > D for DATA > Environment > Fit

How is data stored in the RFID system?

RFID tracking systems reliably identify assets with the information stored in the RFID asset tags' memory. They are increasingly relying on RFID tags, which only store an asset identification number and store information in the cloud. This is due, in part, to applications that operate at faster speeds than RFID chips can read and write.

 

The following RFID chips memory can be used for identification:

  • TID memory - Also known as Tag ID, this is a serial number that is unique to the chip and cannot be changed.

  • EPC memory - Also known as Electronic Product Code memory, it is similar to an electronic barcode and can be reprogrammed, password-protected, and permanently locked.

  • Extended user memory - Some chips provide extended user memory, which is typically used when EPC memory is insufficient.

 

Higher memory requirements are found in application environments that require off-line access to complete records, secure encryption, or come with field-based cloud coverage limitations. Xerafy maintains a selection of RFID chips with extended user memory from market leaders NXP, Impinj, and Alien Technologies.

 

Assets > Bonding > Customizable > Data > E for ENVIRONMENT > Fit

What are the RFID system's environmental conditions?

Rugged RFID tags come in a variety of tough packagings that are designed to provide levels of survivability and durability appropriate to the system's requirements. It is therefore critical to specify the environmental conditions under which the RFID solution operates, for example:

  • Extreme heat?

  • Temperature fluctuations?

  • Vibrations and shocks?

  • Moisture or immersion?

  • What about caustic or acidic fluids?

  • Operations indoors or outdoors?


Some application environments, such as an automotive paint shop, are more complex than others. Xerafy has used its application expertise to create several sector-specific tagging solutions that have brought RFID tracking technology innovations to market.​

 

What is an ultra high temperature RFID tag?

With typical application temperatures ranging from 85°C to 250°C for industrial processes, tags are ruggedized using packaging materials such as ceramic, which Xerafy introduced in 2010.

Xerafy offers mount on metal RFID tags that are field-proven for ultra high temperature, available in a variety of form factors, frequencies, and case materials, and that can be customized.

Xerafy High Temperature RFID Tags
 

What is autoclavable RFID?

A combination of heat, steam, fluids, gas, and irradiation is used in medical autoclaves and sterilizers to kill microorganisms and sterilize medical devices and instruments.

Autoclavable RFID tags from Xerafy are qualified to survive and perform through the repeated sterilization cycles of hospital's CSSP/SPD re-processing.

Xerafy Autoclavable RFID Tags
 

How durable are rugged RFID tags?

Tag durability is typically achieved through the use of a combination of packaging and casing materials to protect the tag from shocks, corrosion, pressure, and water.

Xerafy consistently goes above and beyond, leveraging its expertise to engineer application and RF technology innovations like its antenna-free design encased in extra-strong solid metal.
Rugged RFID tags from Xerafy are available in a variety of durable form factors and tagging options. In addition, Custom RFID Tags design capabilities are available to meet specific needs.

Xerafy Durable RFID Tags
 

What are ATEX RFID tags?

ATEX/IECEx-certified RFID tags are intrinsically safe to operate in explosive atmospheres in the presence of gas, vapor, mist, powder, or dust.

Xerafy ATEX UHF RFID Tags
 

Assets > Bonding > Customizable > Data > Environment > F for FIT

Where to place the asset's tag for optimal system performance?​

RFID tracking solutions deal with various physical constraints that must be considered when choosing an RFID tag: Size and shape of the objects, space on the asset's surface available for tagging, curvature of the surface, optimal placement in relation to the workflow, and so on.

While RFID tags are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, RF performance tends to evolve in conjunction with the overall tag size. With a lineup of tags achieving outstanding performance in some of the world's most compact and rugged form factors, Xerafy innovation in the field managed to break through the RFID size/performance ceiling.

 

How small can passive UHF RFID tags be?

Size matters to RF performance with read-range and accuracy expected to decrease with the tags' dimensions.

Not all RFID systems can track at close ranges, and Xerafy's early innovation in tag size as well as with embeddable RFID tags that can be flush-mounted into the asset helped break the expected range/size ratio barrier for RFID systems.​

Xerafy Small RFID Tags