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  1. Discover track and trace
  2. Product platforms
  3. HF (High frequency) RFID systems
  4. Installation guidelines

Best practices for tag installation

The suggestions below are presented solely to aid in the initial design of an RFID application. All read distances are based on lab conditions and should be tested in the application before finalizing the application design.

Mounting standard RFID tags

Ideally, mount standard RFID tags on materials such as plastic, wood and paper. This eliminates potential interference of metal or wet environment. If metal or moisture are in the near vicinity, follow the guidelines below.

 

Allow a metal- / moisture-free zone of 2 times the tag diameter adjacent to the tag as shown in the image.

  1. Standard RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Non-metallic material
  3. Metal

 

Allow a metal- / moisture-free zone of 2 times the tag diameter in front of the tag as shown in the image.

  1. Standard RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Non-metallic material
  3. Metal

 

 

While not recommended, you can mount a standard RFID tag to a metal surface when you place a plastic or epoxy spacer between the tag and surface. For best results, the spacer should be a minimum of 10 mm or ½ of the tag diameter, whichever is larger. Be sure to test this installation thoroughly. As shown in the image:

  1. Standard RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Plastic or epoxy spacer
  3. Metal

While not recommended, you can recess a standard RFID tag into metal by following all three guidelines below. Be sure to test this installation thoroughly.

  1. Provide a plastic or epoxy spacer between the tag and the surface. For best results, the spacer should be a minimum of 10 mm or ½ of the tag diameter, whichever is larger.
  2. Size the recessed area at a minimum of 2 times the tag diameter.

As shown in the image:

  1. Standard RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Plastic or epoxy spacer
  3. Metal

Tip:  A smaller recess may be possible, but this may create an inductive current that will affect the reliability of the installation. In some cases, a radial cut in the metal surface may be enough to interrupt the induction current.

  1. When selecting an antenna for this installation, consider the size of the inductive field. A flush mount antenna has a more confined field than a non-flush mount antenna. Similarly, a smaller diameter antenna has a smaller field.

Standard tag / antenna reading distance

  Antennas ("xxx" = DTI for IO-Link, ANT for modular, DTE for all-in-one)
Tag Memory
(Bytes)
Block size
(Bytes)
Dimensions
(mm) / Type
xxx410
(M12)
xxx411
(M12)
xxx420
xxx424
(M18)
xxx421
xxx425
(M18)
xxx430
xxx434
(M30)
xxx431
xxx435
(M30)
xxx513
(40x40x54)
xxx515
(20x7x48)
xxx600
(120x50x113)
        Maximum reading distance (mm)
E80383 2000
FRAM
8 Ø50
Thru-hole disc
15 25 10 45 35 60 80 45 170
E80384 112
EEPROM
4 Ø50
Thru-hole disc
15 25 15 50 35 65 90 50 190
E80380 8192
FRAM
32 Ø30
Thru-hole disc
15 20 10 30 25 40 65 30 115
E80370 2000
FRAM
8 Ø30
Thru-hole disc
12 20 10 30 25 40 60 30 105
E80371 112
EEPROM
4 Ø30
Thru-hole disc
15 20 15 40 30 50 65 35 140
E80349 2000
FRAM
8 Ø20
Disc
10 15 10 30 25 35 50 25 N/R
E80377 112
EEPROM
4 Ø20
Disc
14 20 12 30 25 40 50 25 110
E80344 112
EEPROM
4 Ø16
Disc
10 15 10 25 20 35 45 20 90
UR0002 128
EEPROM
4 Ø9.5
Disc
12 17 13 23 18 33 42 28 62
E80379 112
EEPROM
4 80 x 50
Label
22 35 20 65 50 85 120 50 250
E80410 112
EEPROM
4 65 x 30
Label
15 24 10 40 30 50 60 35 130
E80382 112
EEPROM
4 65 x 30
Label
15 24 10 40 30 50 65 35 130
E80407 112
EEPROM
4 86 x 54 x 1
ID card
22 35 20 65 50 85 120 50 230
E80387 112
EEPROM
4 40 x 31 x 5
Key fob
10 20 15 40 30 45 60 30 80

N/R = Not recommended

Mounting pre-tuned RFID tags

ifm offers tags that are pre-tuned to provide maximum reading distance when mounting directly on metal. These specialized tags can also be applied to non-metal materials.

Allow a metal- / moisture-free zone of 2 times the tag diameter adjacent to the tag as shown in the image.

  1. Pre-tuned RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Non-metallic material
  3. Metal

Allow a metal- / moisture-free zone of 2 times the tag diameter in front of the tag as shown in the image.

  1. Pre-tuned RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Metal

When recessing a specialized RFID tag into metal, follow both guidelines below.

1.  Size the recessed area at a minimum of 2 times the tag diameter as shown in the image.

  1. Pre-tuned RFID tag with diameter D
  2. Metal

Tip:  A smaller recess may be possible, but this may create an inductive current that will affect the reliability of the installation. In some cases, a radial cut in the metal surface may be enough to interrupt the induction current.

  1.  When selecting an antenna for this installation, consider the size of the inductive field. A flush mount antenna has a more confined field than a non-flush mount antenna. Similarly, a smaller diameter antenna has a smaller field.

 

Fully embedded tags

Some applications require a fully embedded tag, for example in a metal tool. ifm offers one tag, E80381, which is tuned especially for this type of application. Note the reduced read distance in the table below.

Pre-tuned tag / antenna reading distance

  Antennas ("xxx" = DTI for IO-Link, ANT for modular, DTE for all-in-one)
Tag Memory
(Bytes)
Block size 
(Bytes)
Dimensions
(mm) / Type
xxx410
(M12)
xxx411
(M12)
xxx420
xxx424
(M18)
xxx421
xxx425
(M18)
xxx430
xxx434
(M30)
xxx431
xxx435
(M30)
xxx513
(40x40x54)
xxx515
(20x7x48)
xxx600
(120x50x113)
        Maximum reading distance (mm on metal)
ZH4036 2048
FRAM
8 Ø50
Thru-hole disc
8 15 6 23 23 35 50 27 68
E80341 112
EEPROM
4 Ø47
Thru-hole disc
N/R N/R N/R 15 10 20 35 10 N/R
E80342 112
EEPROM
4 Ø34
Thru-hole disc
5 10 5 25 10 25 40 15 N/R
UR0003 112
EEPROM
4 Ø34
Thru-hole disc
8 15 8 24 18 30 50 30 62
E80404 112
EEPROM
4 Ø22
Thru-hole disc
6 10 8 16 15 20 25 10 40
E80388 128
EEPROM
4 Ø12.3
Disc
5 8 5 10 10 15 10 2 N/R
E80381 112
EEPROM
4 Ø4.3
Embeddable Pill tag
4 5 2 5 5 10 N/R N/R N/R
E80343 112
EEPROM
4 90 x 34 x 7
Rectangular tag
10 15 5 30 25 40 55 25 N/R
UR0006 1280
EEPROM
4 76 x 19 x 28
Rectangular tag
10 22 10 30 23 35 50 25 85
E80348 256
EEPROM
4 33 x 13
Triangular corner
4 5 N/R 10 5 15 20 5 N/R
ZH4033 2048
FRAM
8 M8 x Ø22
Bolt tag
10 12 10 17 15 18 22 10 N/R

N/R = Not recommended

Mounting high temperature RFID tags

ifm offers specialized tags to withstand exposure to very high ambient temperature while retaining their stored information. Note that the tag and ambient temperature must be within the operating range, post high temperature process, for accessing the data. 

High temperature tag / antenna reading distance

 

  Antennas ("xxx" = DTI for IO-Link, ANT for modular, DTE for all-in-one)
Tag Process  / Read temp
(ºC)
Memory
(Bytes)
Block size 
(Bytes)
Dimensions
(mm) / Type
xxx410
(M12)
xxx411
(M12)
xxx420
xxx424
(M18)
xxx421
xxx425
(M18)
xxx430
xxx434
(M30)
xxx431
xxx435
(M30)
xxx513
(40x40x54)
xxx515
(20x7x48)
xxx600
(120x50x113)
          Maximum eading distance (mm on metal)
ZH4036 -40...160
-40...85
2048
FRAM
8 Ø50
Thru-hole disc
8 15 6 23 23 35 50 27 68
E80341 -40...110
-25...85
112
EEPROM
4 Ø47
Thru-hole disc
N/R N/R N/R 15 10 20 35 10 N/R
E80404 -25...120
-25...90
112
EEPROM
4 Ø22
Thru-hole disc
6 10 8 16 15 20 25 10 N/R
UR0006 -50...250
-50...80
1280
EEPROM
4 76 x 19 x 28
Rectangular tag
10 22 10 30 23 35 50 25 85
ZH4033 -40...125
-40...85
2048
FRAM
8 M8 x Ø22
Bolt tag
10 12 10 17 15 18 22 10 N/R
E80381 -40...125
-40...85
112
EEPROM
4 Ø4.3
Embeddable Pill tag
4 5 2 5 5 10 N/R N/R N/R

N/R = Not recommended