What Are Integrated RFID Portals?

Various integrated RFID portals by Zebra Technologies

What Is an RFID Portal?

An RFID portal, which is also called an RFID gate, is a portal that can detect all RFID tags on devices or objects that are passing through. This helps identify the objects. RFID portals are also able to register hundreds of different RFID tags at the same time. You can typically find RFID portals on doors, gates, and hallways.

With increasing inventory volumes and velocities, companies need to maintain an accurate view of where assets are located throughout their warehouse operations. Proven to be effective in asset tracking and inventory automation, RFID tags can be efficiently read with the help of integrated RFID portals that will integrate with the surroundings of your warehouse or business environment. Assets will pass through operational checkpoints like on the warehouse floor, allowing companies to track assets. Integrated RFID portals can help companies manage and monitor inventory, control costs, and optimize workflows with fast, reliable, and highly automated updates as tagged assets pass through each portal or checkpoint throughout the day.

What Are Integrated RFID Portals Used for?

Integrated UHF RFID portals are excellent for workflow management, asset management, traceability, and compliance applications. Integrated RFID portals can be used in different commercial and industrial environments to help maximize throughput and provide high data accuracy as part of an automated asset-tracking solution. Many businesses rely on integrated RFID portals in warehouses, manufacturing plants, pharmaceutical plants, labs, hospitals, warehouses, and retail backrooms. These portals are helpful in tracking a variety of different assets, including IT devices, lab specimens, pharmaceutical items, retail inventory, boxed products, and more.

Can You Track Someone Using an RFID Portal?

As long as the person has an RFID tag, the person can be tracked as they move through the facility and pass through the different RFID portals. RFID tags are easily carried by team members through small objects like lanyards. If someone is carrying a specific device that has an RFID tag, this can also be used to track someone as they move through the facility.

How Do RFID Portals Work?

RFID portals work similarly to other RFID readers. RFID portals usually have a transceiver and an antenna. The transceiver sends a radio signal within an area or a "read zone." The object with an RFID tag that is passing through the portal gets activated by the reader. The signal is transmitted through the antenna. 

To learn more about RFID Tags, check out What Is an RFID Tag FAQ.

What Are the Different Types of Integrated RFID Portals?

The different types of portals can vary based on the company. At Zebra Technologies, there are four different types of portals available that can be utilized to deploy into RFID tracking operations. The four types are a transition RFID portal, a wall-mount RFID portal, a fixed RFID tunnel, and an integrated RFID table.

Transition RFID Portals: The transition RFID portal is primarily used at dock doors to reduce the need for human intervention and manual scanning at common checkpoints.
Wall-mount RFID Portals: The wall-mount RFID portal provides versatile RFID tracking as they are placed in doorways and hallways near storage rooms, offices, and warehouses.
Fixed RFID Tunnels: For improving conveyor operations, the fixed RFID tunnel would be ideal as it automatically reads tagged assets giving efficiency to conveyor throughput and workflow accuracy.
Integrated RFID Tables: The integrated RFID table has RFID antennas mounted underneath to read items placed on the table at any orientation so that all items passing through are accounted for as it moves through your operations.

What Are the Key Features of an Integrated RFID Portal?

Integrated RFID portals can come with a variety of features, which can range depending on who manufactured the technology, but most features can provide an easy-to-deploy transition to your operations. Integrated RFID portals offered by Zebra Technologies come fully assembled and ready to deploy using Power over Ethernet (PoE). In addition, these portals are compatible with the company's full RFID portfolio to help ease the setup on the warehouse floor. For example, if you have RFID readers, scanners, or tags in your business, you can apply those to the RFID portals and continue to utilize current assets instead of having to incur more costs to set them up. Most importantly, integrated RFID portals are built to withstand multiple environments such as transportation and logistics, manufacturing, warehouse, and healthcare.

What Are the Benefits of Integrated RFID Portals?

Implementing integrated RFID portals can provide many benefits to warehouse and manufacturing operations. Since virtually any asset can have an RFID tag applied, if the asset is tagged, every time it passes through one of the portals, it will automatically be logged by the warehouse or inventory management system. This will help ensure all assets are accounted for as they move across the floor and at different checkpoints on their journey. In addition, the portals utilize multi-linear Wave® Antenna technology that provides a rectangular field between panels to ensure that an asset isn’t missed because of where it passed through the portal. Also, with specialized antenna technology being incorporated into the portals, they will tune out crosstalk that will sustain a highly accurate read rate. Integrated RFID portals can improve asset visibility."

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