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Designing RFID Tags for Extreme Conditions

RFID tags can help you identify and locate thousands of assets, even across a large area, so you can more effectively manage your operations for compliance, forecasting, and inventory tracking. However, to keep track of that many RFID tags, or to even locate one, you’ll need to ensure your tags can handle specific physical conditions, such as below zero temperatures or extreme heat, exposure to seawater or direct sunlight, challenging terrain or physical obstructions, or other factors. Construction, landscaping, and other industries often use RFID tags in harsh weather conditions for tracking equipment.

These tags are exposed to sunlight, friction, high impact, and water on a regular basis. Man-made stresses affect the reliability of an RFID tag during its use as well. These stresses include: exposure to erosive chemicals, explosives, friction, high-impact, etc. For instance, RFID tags are often applied on the automotive assembly line while the paint is baked on each car, and used on tools or other items that are exposed to harsh chemicals, like bleach, when being cleaned or during their use.

As mentioned, due to their numerous different applications, RFID tags may deal with various types of conditions during their entire lifetime, and some of these conditions often occur concurrently. Different tests can be used to study the effects of specific conditions and the combinations of different stresses on the reliability of each tag. Strenuous testing is crucial to ensure RFID tags operate as they should, since if they’re not properly used, they may also put people in danger. Especially when explosives or inflammable materials are involved, RFID tags need to be certified: ATEX, C1D1, C1D2, and IECEx.

RFID Harsh Environment Tags:

While every RFID solution is unique, and involves specific requirements, here are a few guidelines for designing or selecting tags for applications in extreme conditions:

  • Chemicals: Designing the optimal RFID tag with the right materials, coatings, and adhesives is critical for deploying tags in environments involving chemical exposure. And it’s imperative that your RFID tags can withstand individual chemicals, as well as possible chemical combinations, whether just a splash or completely submerged. When using RFID tags for medical instruments, as an example, it’s also critical to consider biohazards and other contaminants.
  • High-Impact: RFID tags need to be able to handle real situations and extreme conditions, since they might be repeatedly compressed, crushed, and torqued during use. They need to be strong enough to withstand being used in drilling pipes, shipping containers, operators, or other heavy objects. In a warehouse or near industrial machinery, tags may need to handle intense friction or pressure.
  • Inflammable Materials: Ask for certification, compliance materials, and test data when it comes to using RFID tags around explosives. Other tags need to also withstand electric charges. This is vital, as workers cannot always track every RFID tag all the time.
  • Temperature: Some industries use RFID tags to lay pipelines and other internal structures. These tags can withstand temperatures from well below freezing to several hundred degrees. Some RFID tags have a special sealant that makes them resistant to severe temperatures.

Syrma Extreme Conditions Tags:

We offer a full catalog of high-performance LF/HF/UHF tags made from specialty engineering materials designed for extended use under even the harshest conditions, along with air coil/ferrite transponders available in bio-grade glass or clear laminate encapsulations. Our extra-durable extreme environment tags are specifically engineered to sustain full RFID/loT functionalities where direct human interaction is limited, such as areas of high physical impact, presence of corrosive or toxic chemicals, severe temperature variations, or UV light instability.

Many of our tags also have medium to high resistance to blood, gasoline, vegetable and mineral oils, salt solution, soaps, detergents, diluted acids, and alkaline, each for 100 hours. Some of our laundry tags can even go through several hundred wash cycles and be exposed to gamma radiation for sanitization. And our bio-grade tags can even survive being in blood environments when used for identification of meat, as well as for use on surgical tools and medical equipment for tracking purposes. This wide spectrum of RFID tag sizes, applications, and form factors promises to offer the perfect choice for embedded or external tagging of any asset or product.

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets, and we look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. We understand our home India market, familiar with its vast regulatory and selling environments. We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs seeking to enter the India market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport, with additional road and rail, connectivity linking to the rest of India and beyond, as well as infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have labor force availability, both technical and manual, to rapidly scale to client demand.

To learn more about this topic, please contact us.

Syrma TechnologyDesigning RFID Tags for Extreme Conditions