RFID tag benchmark study

Like to know how different RFID tags perform head-to-head under various conditions? This benchmark study looked at how eight different tags performed.

Pw 12303 2 Nl Rf Rl Odintags

ODIN technologies released in October its EPC (Electronic Product Code) Tag Benchmark, a study of testing done using tags from Alien Technologies, Symbol (Matrics), and Avery Dennison. Eight different tags from these three manufacturers were tested.

ODIN claims that the Benchmark is the first scientific and objective comparison of how leading RFID tags work with various standard materials such as paper, plastic, water, and metal. ODIN expects to benchmark an additional six tags following the same testing protocol in January.

ODIN shared a chart (see graphic) exclusively for our RFID Antenna readers. It shows the relative performance of tags at high speed on high liquid-content products.

Study highlights

ODIN reports that protocol differences can skew testing results. One of the most important conclusions from the study is that traditional tag-performance testing does not take into account protocol differences (e.g., Class 0 versus Class 1) when measuring tag performance. As a result, Class 0 tags often seem to perform better when using simplistic measurement techniques such as tag counts over a specific time period.

However, it is not an adequate indicator for likely field performance because the Class 0 protocol and certain configurations of Class 0 readers by design make Class 0 look better in these tests when in reality Class 1 tags may be performing measurably better. When conducting tag testing it is important to understand the physics of tag performance and follow a sound scientific process to yield practical results germane to RFID implementations.

Another important conclusion of the benchmark analysis is the performance of various tags with certain materials. One example is tag performance with high liquid-content materials passing rapidly through reader interrogation zones. This is an important test because Wal-Mart mandates that tags be readable on conveyors traveling 600 ft/min.

This is also important when considering fork trucks routinely travel through RFID interrogation portals at 10 mph. To conduct this test, ODIN technologies pushed tag performance by testing at speeds up to 1겨 ft/min--twice the Wal-Mart standard.

Testing summary

The EPC Tag Benchmark study includes the following:

  • Communication link margin analysis that measures how well each tag extracts, consumes, and reflects RF power and assesses the quality variance in a random lot of 100 tags

  • Distance performance analysis that provides a ranking based on tag performance at several distances with different common product materials

  • Speed performance analysis that provides insight into how well tags performed when moving rapidly through a reader interrogation field similar to a conveyor application

  • Orientation sensitivity analysis ranks each tag based on orientation sensitivity with different common materials.

    ODIN technologies’ scientific tag speed testing benchmarking identified two tags exhibiting strong performance with high water content products. The Alien i2 and the Symbol Dipole tag were the top performers in this test.

    For more information, visit the company’s Web site.

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