For cylinder tracking applications in extremely harsh environments, we recommend the Trovan ID-310-G. This is a passive, low frequency transponder. Passive simply means that the RFID works without a battery. The power to turn on the chip in the transponder is generated by a signal from the reading device. The low frequency tag has a read distance that is relatively short. This is an advantage when shipping and returning cylinders. When a driver is shipping and returning cylinders, the cylinders are often nestled closely together. The ability to distinguish a cylinder being shipped from one being returned when they are inches apart is important.
Cylinders also take a lot of abuse. The Trovan ID-310-G is the perfect tag for harsh environments. The specially designed conical surface deflects glancing blows, protecting the structural integrity of the transponder. The transponder is also capable of withstanding the repeated bead blasting that distributors often do to remove the paint from cylinders.
Another advantage is that RFID tags are not visual. In simple terms, it means they act like a radio station broadcasting a signal. Since the reading device does not have to “see” the tag, tags can be repeatedly painted over and still work properly.
Passive, low frequency RFID tags offer a lower price point than other types of RFID tags. A lower price point is extremely important when tracking tens of thousands of assets.
Another advantage offered by the RFID tag is long life. While barcodes typically last three to five years, we have large numbers of cylinders being tracked with RFID tags that were installed more than 15 years ago. The inherent design of the passive RFID tag gives it an exceptionally long life expectancy.