New RAIN RFID Cattle Ear Tag for Animal ID

Case Studies

New RAIN RFID Cattle Ear Tag for Animal ID

For animal breeders and livestock owners, RFID-enabled tags provide convenience and reliability – features that Smartrac is taking to a new level with its innovative Cattle Ear Tag using the RAIN RFID (UHF) standard. Offering superior read range through RFID technology, and outstanding ruggedness through its advanced antenna design, the new tag is set to make its mark in the animal ID market.

For the livestock industry, the introduction of Low Frequency (LF) RFID tags few years ago considerably improved the accuracy and speed at which individual animals could be identified. However, LF technology has limitations in terms of read range and signal collision (i.e. only one tag can be read at once). Working closely with industry experts, Smartrac has further extended its comprehensive product portfolio with a newly developed Cattle Ear Tag, an innovative RAIN RFID product that effectively overcomes previous limitations.

Based on UHF technology, which enables multiple tags to be read simultaneously, more quickly and at much greater distances than typical LF tags can do, Cattle Ear Tag’s read distance under normal conditions (tag applied to cattle ear, outer antenna functional) is approximately five meters/15 feet. The extended read range and read speed significantly reduce operator risk and increase speed of handling and data collection throughout the entire supply chain.

Superior resistance against harsh environmental impacts
Technically, Smartrac’s Cattle Ear Tag is a GS1 UHF Gen2-compliant RAIN RFID transponder comprising a chip module that is inductively coupled to an embroidered RFID antenna. That configuration offers dual benefits: compared to traditional etched antennas, Smartrac’s wire-made embroidered antenna offers more resistance against fractures or disruption in the antenna structure – effects that would compromise the tag’s reliability in its day-to-day use. The embroidered antenna wire is affixed to the carrier material – thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) foil – using the state-of-the-art “Tailored Wire Placement” technique.

Furthermore, the antenna is not directly bonded but inductively coupled to the chip loop, which itself has a tiny inner antenna within its encapsulation. The absence of any intermetallic connection between chip loop and antenna also contributes to the tag’s ruggedness. If the worst case happens and the outer antenna is damaged by brute force, the tag and its ID can still be read over a short distance using the inner antenna’s basic transmission capabilities. In contrast, traditional tags for livestock are no longer readable once their antennas are damaged.

A perfect fit to animal ID market demands

All electrical parts of the new Cattle Ear Tags are fully sealed by colored TPU material that is widely recognized in the market for its convenient handling characteristics and ability to withstand harsh environmental impacts. Thanks to Smartrac’s manufacturing expertise, the TPU color and the design of the embroidered antenna can be customized to specific needs, and laser engravings may be added on request. Equipped with high-performance Impinj Monza R6-P chips, the tags come in a compact size conform to the shape of typical LF cattle ear tags and are priced competitively despite their technological advantages. Product samples are available upon request as of now.

*RAIN RFID is a wireless technology that connects billions of everyday items to the Internet, enabling businesses and consumers to identify, locate, authenticate and interact with each item. RAIN RFID technology is based on the GS1 UHF Gen2 protocol standard.
(Source: Stdies