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Xtreme RFID and Vizinex Jointly Market Rugged Passive UHF Tag

The Allied VX-Mid tag incorporates Vizinex's Sentry tag, as well as a rugged encapsulation molded to the tag by Xtreme RFID, to render it impervious to impacts, dirt and fluids, while boasting a read range of about 25 feet.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 17, 2014

RFID tag providers Vizinex and Xtreme RFID are marketing a new passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag that the two companies have designed to be more rugged, as well as higher-performing than those of competitors. The tag, known as the Allied VX-Mid, consists of Vizinex's Sentry AST MidRange tag, using the company's patented manufacturing process known as ViziCore, and Xtreme RFID's ruggedization processes, to ultimately create a sturdy tag.

The Allied VX-Mid tag's underside is designed to come in direct contact with metal (to optimize read range), while its top is encapsulated with a polypropylene protective layer.
Vizinex, based in Allentown, Pa., sells a wide variety of passive RFID tags, including on-metal tags, to the oil and gas industry, as well as to companies that rent out equipment to construction sites or other customers, or that employ RFID for yard management. The ViziCore technology refers to the method by which the tags are manufactured, using a combination of materials and processes, according to Sandra Garby, Vizinex's president and founder. The tags are often sold to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and are built into other products, and thus must sustain harsh processing, including injection molding or rubber encapsulation. The ViziCore method is intended to make the tag strong enough to protect its integrated circuit and antenna during these processes.

Vizinex's Phil Koppenhofer
The tag's ability to withstand an OEM's manufacturing process also makes it sufficiently robust for end users in oil and gas, yard management or other industries. However, an end user's work environment can be so tough that the tag still requires further protection. It is not unusual for the tags to be slammed by pieces of equipment, immersed in chemicals or water, and covered in ice. Vizinex had already been offering tags, such as its MidRange model, for some of these rugged applications, says Phil Koppenhofer, the company's VP of sales and marketing. However, he adds, several users informed him that they were worried about the tag's endurance, and especially the security of an adhesive mount.

Simply encasing the entire tag in plastic or rubber, however, was not a viable solution, Koppenhofer says. It would not be sufficiently rugged, he explains, and the tag would need to be placed directly on metal in order for it achieve the long-range reading performance that it offers, while a plastic or rubber "cap" would have made that impossible. What's more, he adds, "We needed more than just a cap over a tag—we wanted [protective] material bonded straight to the tag."

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