What to consider when testing pallets or large RAIN RFID tagged items?

Over the years RAIN RFID has improved supply chain visibility in different verticals. For the final RAIN implementation to be successful, testing needs to be done only at the item level but also at the pallet level. However, testing pallets and/or large RFID tagged items may have their challenges. Some of the common errors are:

  • Testing large RFID tagged items requires an appropriate distance to obtain correct results. This is often overlooked during the testing phase.
  • We need to make sure the reader is reading the correct tag. In this case the tag on the pallet and not on the item.
  • Even with the improvements in the technology, there is a lack of accuracy in the read rates in major warehouses/logistics operations.

As mentioned earlier appropriate distance for testing is critical. Testing a pallet loaded with tagged items at the distance of 50 cm to the tester’s antenna might not deliver results that match the performance in the application setup. With the right test equipment such as RFID Xplorer testing of large tagged items can be easy. The test setup consisting of special helical test antennas, a high power amplifier, and the standard Xplorer test unit is a solution for testing large and small tags, with high and low read range and strong and weak backscatter. The bi-static setup consists of two antennas with high directivity and extremely low leakage from the transmitter to the receiver even at high transmit power. This maintains superior sensitivity of the test unit to characterize tags, which would be otherwise not detectable by a standard RFID reader.

Wondering about how these special antennas and high transmit power of the test instrument match the target application setup? Tag performance testing is about quantifying the sensitivity and other parameters of the tags/tagged items. There should be no impact of the reader/test instrument on the results. Therefore, if we want to characterize the weakest tag, high-performing test equipment like RFID Xplorer is needed.


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