Tag selection is one of the first stages in preparing for an RFID deployment. Historically, the process has been time consuming due to the large number of options available. However, RFID standards have evolved along with the technology in the past couple of years, making tag selection far more straightforward.
RFID tags can range from under 10 cents to more than $60 each. High volumes in retail deployments have brought passive RFID labels down to a few cents, whereas specialized tags for rugged applications and active tags provide additional functionality at a higher price point.
Regardless of application, tag cost should not be the determining factor for an RFID project, since higher priced tags are generally designed to track and protect higher value items. Tags used for capital asset management can last for decades, and some are designed to store maintenance history for the life of the asset.
Retailers who tag items for loss prevention can replace their current EAS tags with dual RFID-EAS tags that provide theft deterrence and inventory management in a single tag. Dual RFID-EAS hard tags are reusable, providing even greater cost savings. Standardizing on a few tags versus purchasing different tags for each product/asset category can provide better quantity discounts and simplify the sourcing and testing process.