How Are RFID Tags Made?

by GeorgeL

Radio frequency identification (RFID) technology has been in use since the early 1940s. It was first used by the military in fighter jets to identify if a plane was a friend or foe. RFID is still used by airlines.

Transponders

RFID tags consist of two main elements, the microchip that is mounted on the integrated circuit and the antenna that is attached to the integrated circuit. The microchip is programmed with a unique identification code and then is mounted with the integrated circuit on a wafer that holds the assembly in place. The antenna is soldered onto the integrated circuit. The process of mounting and soldering the antenna to the integrated circuit is done by robotic machines due to micro-sized manufacturing involved.

Inlay

The wafer that holds the microchip, integrated circuit and antenna is mounted on an inlay, which holds all of the tag components together. The inlay can be embedded into the final form of the tag.

RFID Tag Final Form

An RFID disc and glass transponder used for identification.

The final assembly of the tag is done by embedding the inlay into its final form. This could be a label, like a bar-code pallet label; a casing of Arylonitrile Butadiene Styrene and epoxy for plastics, or glass. An epoxy case provides the best protection for the RFID tags, as well as the ability to embed the tags with a strong adhesive to such products as wood, plastic and metal.The glass transponder is used most frequently in animal identification.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera rfid tags image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com