Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics


Mechanical, Industrial and Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Manbir Sodhi


The knowledge of the location and the stock of work pieces are essential for companies to produce their products more effectively. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is becoming a widely used technology for this purpose. The goal of this thesis is to study the application of RFID for localization of work pieces in a manufacturing environment.

To achieve this goal, this report reviews different localization and identification systems. Then, requirements for an ideal system are establish. The system that best meets the requirements is determined to be an RFID system. The components of an RFID system are described, and since the antenna is a critical component of RFID systems, different antenna constructions and the important Friis formula are discussed.

After that, scenarios for localization of parts in an assembly line are listed. From these, the localization of work pieces in a warehouse is selected for further investigation. An experiment to determine the location of tags in this environment is designed. Data from multiple readings are recorded.

Then the recorded data for the described experiment are analyzed. The data indicate that the read range of the antenna is not symmetric and that every tag has a different response in the amount of counts. All recorded data imply that the amount of counts depends on the orientation and distance between tag and antenna, the antenna power and the number of read tags.

From the findings the localization of tags can be done by the following procedure. The first step is a scan with the maximum antenna power. The result of that scan is a list with all tags in the antenna read range. After this scan the antenna power has to decrease and the next scan starts. The decreasing antenna power leads to a decreasing read range. Below a certain antenna power, the tags read with the full antenna power cannot be read anymore because the distance between tag and antenna is larger than the antenna read range. With the known shape of the read range for the lowest antenna power were a tag could be detected it can be assumed that the tag is at the border of this read range. When this procedure is carried out at multiple antenna positions, the tag location could be determined.