Platinum Metal Skin Creates News Opportunity

DSC03838With the expansion of RFID’s use within retail, healthcare, pharmaceutical, and other applications has come an increasing demand to put RFID tags on more challenging items.

Containers that contain liquids or metals, curved surfaces, pharmaceutical and cosmetic containers, IT assets and other items have proven challenging because of surface materials, shape and size, and because it was historically difficult to get consistent tag reads near liquids and metal. Xerafy developed its Metal Skin line of RFID labels to address those challenges, and earlier this year we unveiled the Platinum Metal Skin smart label to offer a new form factor for these emerging applications.

The Platinum Metal Skin UHF RFID smart label provides a flexible, high-performance solution for extending RFID into product categories like housewares, cosmetics, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, electronic equipment, and items in foil-based packages in a cost-effective manner.

The Platinum labels can be printed and encoded using standard RFID printers, and can be quickly applied on multiple types of surface. Along with the label’s slim form factor (58mm by 19mm), this makes the new labels perfect for retail applications where cost, convenience, and label space are primary concerns. Continue reading

Partner Spotlight : RFIQ and Xerafy break down the cost barrier for RFID adoption in South Africa

RFIQ Red Logo - MediumXerafy’s extensive network of partners represent innovative RFID solutions implemented around the globe. This week’s blog features RFIQ, a leading RFID turnkey solutions provider in South Africa that is redefining the RFID landscape in Africa. Thanks to Conrad Taljaard, Managing Director of RFIQ for his contribution to the blog.

1) How is your company positioned in the RFID industry?

RFIQ was created back in 2011, but we have been involved in the RFID industry since 2005. We are an RFID solution provider company based in Johannesburg South Africa and make RFID come alive. RFID is not simply a small division in our company but forms a major part of what we do on a daily basis. We offer solutions in terms of LF, HF as well as UHF RFID technology. We have successfully combined other technologies like biometrics with RFID — making it possible not only to manage RFID enabled products but to manage the human identification associated with the RFID items. We are an integrator partner, developing in-house applications, systems and integrating these with other systems. As a complete turn-key solutions provider, we provide world leading technology and assist customers on a daily basis to make the correct selection in terms of tags, and we pride ourselves in the actual implementation and ongoing support.

2) Tell us about an interesting RFID application you’ve worked on or been working on?

Fire-Equipment-Cape-TownWe have been involved in many interesting RFID projects ranging from issue and return solutions using biometrics to maintenance application in terms of fire equipment asset management using Xerafy’s Metal Skins. Xerafy’s Metal Skin was chosen because it is cost effective, high performance and easy to print, encode and apply around curved surfaces securely.We have also deployed the CargoTrak in many applications ranging from vehicle and trailer management to mining applications because it is IP68 and provides up to 12m of read range reliably. One of the most popular tags in the market remains the Xerafy NanoXII offering good all around stability, ruggedness and high performance to size. We recently completed a merger with BlueChip Holdings and should see some very interesting applications coming from the divisions in the group.
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Stay Attached to Your Asset Tracking Solution

worker-in-plantIndustrial asset tracking initiatives have benefited from the introduction of RFID tags that are small and light enough to be attached to tools and other assets in such a way that they don’t impede performance of the asset or significantly change its size, shape or weight.

However, the smallest and most durable tags are not particularly useful if they don’t stay firmly and securely attached to the asset — even when the asset is exposed to harsh environments, chemicals, or high temperatures. Tag attachment is a critical, but often overlooked, component of the design of an RFID solution. Without the proper attention, attachment issues can sink an RFID project.

The more high-profile RFID deployments tend to be in logistics or retail applications, where the tags are not necessarily exposed to the same type of wear and tear found in an industrial setting. Price and read range are often key concerns in those environments, and tag attachment is often an afterthought.

In many of the markets we serve, tags are exposed to high impact and caustic chemicals (as in the oil and gas applications). In others, chemicals and cleaners, combined with high heat, can erode adhesives (as is the case in healthcare, where tagged instruments are sterilized throughout the life of the instruments). The adhesive or epoxy has to match the use case and the material on which the tag is adhered. For applications where tags are exposed to extremely high or low temperatures, impact, humidity, pressure, and other conditions, the durability, reliability, and performance of the tag can be compromised. Continue reading

Air Force Fire Reminds Us that Tiny Parts Play Big Safety Role

6990918855_de0fa1db70_bIf you ever needed more evidence that tracking and maintaining even the smallest parts in an aircraft is critical, you need look no further than the multi-million dollar fire that erupted on an Air Force reconnaissance plane back in April.

The plane was taking off for a training exercise in Nebraska when it skidded to a stop and then burst into flames. Thankfully, the 27 airmen on the plane all made it off safely. As it turns out, the culprit was a defense contracting company, L-3 Communications, that failed to tighten a nut.

According to the Aug. 3 report from U.S. Air Force investigators: “Failure by L-3 Communications depot maintenance personnel to tighten a retaining nut connecting a metal oxygen tube to a junction fitting above the galley properly caused an oxygen leak. This leak created a highly flammable oxygen-rich environment that ignited.”

The fire caused $62.4 million in damage to the RC-135V aircraft. You can read more about the incident on CNN, or if you are feeling particularly ambitious, you can read the full Air Force report here. Continue reading

All eyes on IOTE China 2015 as it repeats itself

2015ioteAll eyes have been on China’s volatile stock market lately, which has been down almost 40 percent since its peak and along with it, dragging down global markets amid fears the world’s second largest economy is slowing down. Although the market is still relatively unstable, people are now betting on stronger fundamentals and shifting to stocks with attractive valuation and higher dividend yields.

Similarly the Chinese RFID market, although growing at an impressive rate, seems to be headed toward a much needed reform. China has now become, according to IDTechEx Research, one of the major exporters of RFID UHF inlays in the world, growing from a 10 percent share of the market to 30 percent this year. However, most RFID programs and applications are for low value items while large and important RFID programs in China are backed by the government, such as the one billion contactless ID cards issued to rail car management systems and favor domestic players. Continue reading