RFID project help

Justin Furst

New Member
Hello all,
My name is Justin and I am a 20 year old student at Marquette University majoring in Computer Science.
My dad approached me with an internship opportunity at his company and basically my job is to set up a rfid system in the manufacturing warehouse. I have zero experience with anything rfid related. I am proficient in Java, C and assembly language. The goal of the project is to put rfid chips on every box and have an antenna on the tables at the end of all the machines. When the box is placed on the table, the antenna will activate and pick up the data from the chip on the box. When the box is removed, the information will be sent to the database with all of the information, such as what material is in the box and what the number is.

My current plan is to use passive rfid tags, a circular polarized antenna and in-house commisioning.

I was wondering if anybody could give me feedback or would be willing to help.

Some questions I have are:

Is it correct that every reader can read any type of rfid tag?

Do you have any recommendations for readers/antennas that we should be using?

Any other helpful tips or advice would be greatly appreciated

Thank you

Howie Heckman III

Staff member
Hi Justin,

To answer your questions:
  • Any EPC Gen 2 RFID reader can read any EPC Gen 2 tag. All you should have to do is take a look at the tag specs, and if it is an EPC Gen 2 tag than you should be fine.
  • There are many different RFID readers available. The most common we see are readers from Motorola (now Zebra), Impinj, and Alien. Any one of these readers would probably work fine for you. The bigger issue will be choosing the correct antenna for your application. It will probably come down to form factor since you are using it on a table top. Take a look at some of the picture frame RFID antennas from Times 7, or Motorola, they may work well for what you are trying to do.
  • Finally, I think the biggest question that needs to be answered for any RFID installation is what type of tag to use. There are many, many different types of tags. The biggest thing to consider is the material type that the tag will be affixed to. If it is a metal object you will need an on metal tag. My recommendation would be to get a sample of different tags and test their performance in your environment.
Good luck, and let us know is you have any other questions.