Ask the RFID Expert: Tag Lifespan for Industry

How long can I expect RFID tags to last in an industrial environment?

You can expect properly selected passive RFID tags to last for the entire lifespan of the assets to which they’re mounted.

Like all objects, RFID tags are stressed by external factors, like thermal and humidity cycles. However, passive RFID tags – like the Sentry series – have no moving parts or internal power sources. That means the chance of stress- or age-related breakdown within the tag itself is extremely low – and its practical lifespan is constrained only by the lifespan of the asset to which it is mounted.

There is, however, a caveat: All passive RFID tags are not suitable for all uses. Label-style tabs, for instance, are basically just pieces of paper or thin, flexible plastic. They are designed for short-term tracking of large numbers of inexpensive assets – such as articles of apparel in a retail setting. These label-style tags are not suitable for industrial applications where durability is essential. Their underlying technology is sound and their cost is low but, their construction is unlikely to survive harsh use.

For industrial use, we highly recommend the use of a tag that is built for the specific environment in which it will be applied, and has a track record for endurance in that environment. All of the products in the Vizinex Sentry line are built for durability in tough environments. They stand up to thermal and humidity cycles, chemical exposure and impacts. They are designed to last at least as long as the durable assets to which they are attached.

In summation: Choose the right passive RFID tag for the asset and conditions, and there is no reason it won’t provide a lifetime of service.

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