In recent years, RFID solutions are finding an increasing number of applications in a wide variety of industries. There are some natural limitations when applying RFID technology in the steel industry, because the tags do not function well in metallic environments. Even though some commercial RFID metal tags are available in the market, they are found to be too expensive by steel companies. This paper proposes a useful and practical RFID tag design for management applications involving steel-bar and wirerod products manufactured by the steel industry. The dual-function metallic RFID tag, comprising of both an RFID code and a barcode, involves technology advancement in RFID design, and named Window-Tag (WinTag). The maximum read range of this tag can reach about 5.7m for the radiated power of 4.0W EIRP in free space. In the practical application, the maximum read ranges are about 2.3m and 5.0m for the worst and best case, respectively. The design methodology as well as simulation and measurement results of the WinTag are presented in this paper. The low profile and low cost features of the WinTag makes the RFID tag well suited for metallic type tag of labeling system that requires integration of RFID technology.
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