Enterprises purchasing RFID equipment should not only understand the requirements of RFID system for readers, but also understand the characteristics of general readers. After analyzing the business requirements of RFID and confirming that RFID will bring great returns, the next step is to consider what type of reader to buy. This article has a good reference value for those users who are ready to deploy UHF EPC. It gives a better method to select the reader under the condition that it can save hardware investment and meet the current RFID needs.

Each enterprise should determine the type of RFID reader according to its position in the supply chain and the purpose and location of installing RFID reader. It is very important to choose the right UHF reader for other work. If the reader purchase strategy is reasonable, a lot of costs can be reduced. For example, when purchasing a reader, the purchase method of large batch and small batch can save money than the purchase method of small batch and multi batch.

Cost budget

You have to calculate all the costs that need to be invested, including the cost of antenna, antenna cable and network cable besides the cost of equipment, which should be included in the installation cost. In addition, many users need to install a power supply in order to power the reader. Of course, you also need to buy software to monitor the reader

Choose intelligent reader or fool reader

First of all, users should choose between intelligent reader and fool reader. Intelligent reader can read tag information of different frequencies, and has the functions of filtering data and executing instructions. Fool reader has less functions but is cheap. In the specific operation, sometimes multiple readers are required to read the label information of a single model, such as reading the label information on the transmission device. At this time, the reader with simple function can be selected. However, if the retailer’s products come from different suppliers, it is necessary to use the intelligent reader to obtain the goods information in different labels.

With the increase of data processing, the number of intelligent readers used by end users is also increasing. Some intelligent readers can not only filter data, but also store data. Some intelligent readers have advanced filtering ability, which can retain useful information after data processing. For example, when a pallet with a label passes through the reader, the reader must read the label information more than once due to the congestion of the site, but the reader only inputs the label ID number to the inventory management system once.

Some intelligent readers have the function of executing the filtering command by running the application software. For example, some retailers have a reader with sound and light alarm in the receiving area. If the reader reads the label information on the newly purchased goods, but the goods are not on the sales shelf, the reader will give an alarm, The shop assistant will put the goods on the sales shelf immediately after hearing the alarm.

Before buying a reader, we must consider many aspects. There is no doubt that the purchase of fool reader will save a lot of cost, but with the upgrade of application software, fool reader can not be replaced by intelligent reader in a short period of one and a half years. Before purchasing the reader, we should also consider what data the reader needs to collect, the RFID technology adopted by other users in the supply chain, when to purchase the goods with RFID tags, and what kind of protocol the tags use( Currently, the reader can read the information on the tags of GEN1 and Gen2. In the future, it may read the information on the tags of Gen2 and gen3.)

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Readers with different structures

When you choose between smart reader and fool reader, and between single frequency reader and mixed frequency reader. The next step is to choose a fixed reader or a handheld reader.

Fixed readers are generally installed in places with a large amount of goods in circulation. Many fixed readers are installed in metal boxes and can be installed on the wall. These readers either have an antenna inside, or they have no antenna inside but have a socket for external antenna access. In order to prevent damage, fixed antenna is usually encapsulated by plastic or metal products.

The reader and antenna in the box can be protected from forklift damage and dust pollution. The reader manufacturer has also produced a special reader for forklift. There is no doubt that a variety of readers expand the scope of RFID applications.

RFID brings the greatest benefit to people is to reduce the number of people engaged in tag scanning. Generally speaking, users use handheld readers because they are cheaper. For example, Wal Mart mainly uses handheld readers to search for containers in the warehouse.

There are two main forms of handheld reader. One is RFID reader with barcode scanner, which can scan barcode and read RFID tag. Another is the RFID reader installed on the PC card. The PC card is embedded in the PCMCIA of the laptop or palm computer.


The working frequency of UHF tag is 860 mhz-960 MHz. Because of its long reading distance, it is widely used in the supply chain. However, because HF label (working frequency is 13.56 MHz) has good performance in short distance, and water and metal have little influence on it, EPCglobal, a non-profit organization, not only sets standards for UHF, but also sets standards for HF label. In this way, when purchasing readers, we should also consider whether we need to buy mixed frequency readers.

If you want to read both HF tag information and UHF tag information, you need to consider whether you want to buy both HF reader and UHF reader, or just buy a hybrid frequency reader. Although many reader manufacturers only produce UHF readers, it is not difficult for us to buy hybrid frequency readers. Because most of the supply chain applications work in UHF frequency, UHF reader should be the main reader when purchasing, and HF reader should be purchased when necessary. This is because buying a single frequency reader is cheaper than buying a mixed frequency reader.

When users plan to deploy global RFID, they should ensure that the selected readers and writers can work in different regions of the world. Because the working frequency of RFID in the world is not the same, the working frequency of UHF reader in Europe is 865-868 MHz, in North America is 902-928 MHz, and in Japan is 950-956 MHz.


It is necessary to consider what type of antenna to install on the fixed reader and the number of antennas to install. The fixed reader has either an internal antenna or multiple antenna interfaces for installing external antennas. Different types of antenna readers can be used in general.

The advantage of the fixed reader with internal antenna is that it is easy to install. In addition, the signal attenuation from the reader to the antenna is less. But in the same case, the number of internal antenna readers is more than that of external antenna readers.

The choice of network

Many new readers are connected with LAN or WAN through Ethernet or Wi Fi. Wireless connection reduces the installation difficulty and saves the installation cost, because it does not need to lay a large number of cables. The handheld reader needs to download data to PC either by wire or by wireless.

Upgrade to Gen2

In order for the first generation reader to read the information of Gen2 tag, it is necessary to upgrade the firmware of the first generation tag. In order to make full use of the advantages of Gen2 tag, it is better to upgrade the hardware of the first generation reader. If you want to buy a reader before the second generation reader is put on the market, you should ask the manufacturer whether the hardware can be upgraded and whether the firmware can be upgraded remotely through the network.

Input output device

The fixed readers are connected with the input and output devices. The function of these devices is either to control the readers or to be controlled by the readers. For example, the electronic eye is an input device. When the tag enters the working area of the reader, the electronic eye turns on the reader and makes it work.

Editor in charge: CT

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