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RFID News Roundup

Alien Technology unveils new 4-port fixed UHF reader; Tageos expands its product range with RFID hangtags; Metalcraft announces destructible RFID windshield tags; Serialio debuts, demos new RFID products; William Frick intros high-temperature RFID tag for manufacturing, industrial applications; MTI Wireless launches new family of slim, low-profile RFID antennas; Voyantic launches new HF tag performance measurement system; Lockheed Martin chooses RFID Revolution's RFID Essentials E-learning to boost productivity from RFID.
By Beth Bacheldor

William Frick Intros High Temperature RFID tag for Manufacturing, Industrial Applications

The SmartMark High Temperature Foam Backed RFID Tag

William Frick & Co., a supplier of RFID technology, has announced the availability of its SmartMark High Temperature Foam Backed RFID Tag, designed to help streamline manufacturing operations and improve quality control. The passive read-write tags are ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 tags that are ISO/IEC 18000-6C-compliant and feature an Alien Technology Higgs-3 chip. The tags were initially developed for a large vehicle manufacturer, to tag parts in its powder-coating paint line in order to provide tracking and verification of process time and color. Because the time required to process each part is dependent on the specific paint color, William Frick explains, the use of the tags helps the manufacturer maintain quality, speed up operations planning and lower production costs, by streamlining the once-laborious task of matching parts with the correct paint characteristics. The SmartMark High Temperature Foam Backed RFID Tag is designed to withstand harsh chemicals and temperatures ranging from 250 degrees to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (121 degrees to 204 degrees Celsius), the company indicates, making them suitable for tracking and identifying parts through industrial high-temperature finishing processes, such as drying, curing, paint or powder-coating lines. A metal-mount adhesive on the foam-backed tags prevents damage to or tampering with the part's design, and the consumable tag can be discarded after the process has been completed. SmartMark labels can be customized for each application, including such information as printed bar codes, corporate logos, serial numbers and messages. The RFID tags can be read directly on metal, the company reports, and the label form factor allows for human-readable verification. William Frick will demonstrate the SmartMark High Temperature Foam Backed RFID Tags and other tagging solutions in booth 543 at next week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, being held in Orlando, Fla., from Apr. 30 to May 2.

MTI Wireless Launches New Family of Slim, Low-Profile RFID Antennas
MTI Wireless Edge, a developer of flat-panel antennas, has announced a new family of slim-line antennas that cover both ETSI and FCC frequency bands. According to MTI, the antennas measure only 12 millimeters (0.47 inch) in thickness, giving them an extremely low profile and making them suitable for a variety of applications, including electronic article surveillance (EAS), smart shelves, narrow doorways and slim portals. The antenna family is specifically designed for direct wall mounting, the company notes, and to suit any application requiring a slim antenna. The new family of antennas will debut in booth 232 at next week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, being held in Orlando, Fla., from Apr. 30 to May 2. MTI offers three slim-line antenna models that work in the 865 to 870 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz frequency bands. The MT-262042/CLH is an LHCP shelf antenna measuring 700 millimeters by 250 millimeters (27.6 inches by 9.8 inches) and weighing 1.75 kilograms (3.85 pounds), with a radome of plastic. The MT-242063/CLH is an RFID Conveyor Side antenna measuring 710 millimeters by 310 millimeters (28 inches by 12.2 inches), with a radome of painted fiberglass, while the MT-262045/CRH antenna measures 120 millimeters by 120 millimeters (4.7 inches by 4.7 inches).

Voyantic Launches New HF Tag Performance Measurement System
Voyantic, an RFID testing solutions provider based in Finland, intends to unveil a new system for measuring the performance of high-frequency (HF) passive RFID tags, including those complying with the Near Field Communication (NFC) standards. The tool is designed to help evaluate the functionality and characteristics of HF tags, according to Voyantic, so that organizations can bring new tag designs to market faster, improve quality control and improve application design and other activities. The system helps determine tag sensitivity and provides visibility into parameters essential for tag research and development (R&D) activities, as well as for the monitoring of production quality, the company reports. The Voyantic Tagformance HF solution will be unveiled in booth 200 at next week's RFID Journal LIVE! 2013 conference and exhibition, being held in Orlando, Fla., from Apr. 30 to May 2. Specifically, the system is designed to help developers verify tag tuning and sensitivity using a single tool, benchmark different tags or tag ICs, study the effects of materials and tag stacking, test tag samples from production and perform onsite troubleshooting. Finland's Tampere University of Technology has been testing the new Tagformance HF. In a prepared statement, Leena Ukkonen, a professor at the university, said the system is easy to use, adding that "the measurement data created in a few days immediately led to a publication manuscript." All of the Tagformance HF's functionalities can be controlled via a graphical user interface that follows the same logic found in the Tagformance UHF system, which is being employed by a variety of organizations, including Tampere University of Technology and HID Global (see RFID News Roundup: HID Global Deploys Voyantic Tagsurance UHF Tester for Tag Quality Control). "During the first trials," Ukkonen said, "we were delighted to notice that the Tagformance HF is as easy to use as the widely adopted Tagformance UHF system, which we have been using for years in our RFID research projects." The Tagformance HF Measurement System consists of the Voyantic Tagformance HF Measurement Unit, control software for a PC and measurement accessories. It operates in a frequency range of 0 to 28 MHz, has an output power range of -1 0 to +24 dBm, and supports the ISO 15693 and ISO 14443 A and B standards, as well as FeliCa.

Lockheed Martin Chooses RFID Revolution's RFID Essentials E-learning to Boost Productivity from RFID
RFID Revolution, a provider of RFID education and consulting services, has announced that Lockheed Martin is now utilizing its RFID Essentials interactive Web-based course to educate Lockheed's employees regarding the fundamentals of radio frequency identification. Lockheed Martin has been using RFID for several years for a variety of applications, including the tracking of components for the timely repair of customer equipment, as well as the authentication of parts and subassemblies within its supply chain (see Lockheed Martin Uses RFID to Help Track Stealth Fighter). RFID Revolution's RFID Essentials, the company explains, is an interactive RFID e-learning tool designed to help professionals understand the technology, how to apply it and how to measure the return on investment. Users learn to identify the most promising applications in their enterprise and jumpstart projects. They can complete the course in about eight hours, at their own pace, from any Internet connection. Lockheed Martin selected RFID Essentials in November 2012, RFID Revolution reports, and the training tool is now in use. "By improving visibility of objects and reducing human error through automation, RFID technology can positively impact a vast array of operations and products," said Denton Clark, Lockheed Martin's corporate AIT manager, in a prepared statement. "But incorporating a new technology into operations can be disruptive. Lockheed turned to RFID Essentials to get hundreds of employees up to speed, so they feel comfortable. The more people understand, the more they can envision how to use RFID in our company and even across the industry. We need to take full advantage of our human capital in order to achieve our goal of mainstreaming RFID." The RFID Essentials training can be purchased at RFID Revolution's Web site, as well as through RFID Journal. Individuals can purchase a 60-day subscription, while organizations looking to educate groups of people can purchase a one-year license featuring group rates.

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