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RFID News Roundup

Ecom instruments intros UHF reader for intrinsically safe iroc-Ci70 handheld computer ••• FineLine's SolidTag service offers fashion RFID hangtags, labels in low volumes ••• Proventix RFID data helps researchers discover hand-washing compliance patterns ••• Protavic Releases RFID-GO, a matched system of adhesives and inks for tag manufacturers ••• TI RFID readers on rovers prove to be less stressful to penguins ••• LogiTag releases mobile app for hospital inventory management, charge capture.
By Beth Bacheldor
Nov 13, 2014

The following are news announcements made during the past week related to the following organizations: ecom instruments; FineLine; Proventix; Protavic; Texas Instruments; and LogiTag Systems.

Ecom Instruments Intros UHF Reader for Intrinsically Safe iroc-Ci70 Handheld Computer

Ecom instruments GmbH. has introduced its UNI900 UHF RFID, an ultrahigh-frequency reader designed to work with ecom's iroc-Ci70 handheld computer. Unveiled in 2012, the iroc-Ci70 (co-developed with Intermec) is an intrinsically safe handheld mobile computer for use in hazardous environments. It includes the option of RFID capability, along with various bar-code scanner capabilities (see link RFID News Roundup: Ecom Instruments, Intermec Partner on Handheld Mobile Computer With RFID Capability).

Ecom's iroc-Ci70 handheld computer with an add-on module
Ecom offers two versions of the UNI900 UHF RFID reader—the NE-UNI900-AA 868 MHz UHF RFID R/W Module (complying with ETSI regulations) and the NU-UNI900-AA 915 MHz UHF RFID R/W Module (complying with FCC regulations). The new reader, ecom reports, is designed to mitigate concerns users have regarding the use of RFID technology in hazardous areas, including struggles they have with PDA devices that are large and poorly balanced, with difficult-to-use and protruding "bolt-on" UHF readers and antennas that can be snagged on plant equipment and infrastructure, such as ladders. In addition, the company says, users have expressed concerns about scanning the wrong equipment during inspections, since equipment is often moved, as well as the challenges associated with reading smaller RFID tags embedded or mounted on metal. According to the company, typical applications for this device include plant audits and surveys; equipment and tool management; field inventory management; supply chain logistics; operator rounds; inspection, maintenance and repair; emergency mustering; and plant security checks.

The UNI900 UHF RFID reader for ecom's iroc-Ci70 is designed to operate safely in hazardous areas, and can read and encode UHF RFID tags from both close and long ranges. The antenna performance allows the reading of small tags embedded in and mounted on metal, ecom reports. Connected to the iroc-Ci70 PDA as an integrated head module, the UNI900 head does not have any protruding "bolt-on" modules. An automated Scan N Go capability eases the process of setting it up with the handheld device, ecom notes, and the UNI900 can easily be retrofitted to existing Ci70 devices.

FineLine's SolidTag Service Offers Fashion RFID Hangtags, Labels in Low Volumes

FineLine Technology has announced a service that provides apparel retailers and brands in North America and Asia with short runs of RFID hangtags and labels that are fully integrated with logos, full-color graphics and variable data. According to FineLine, the new SolidTag service provides these companies with an alternative to fully integrated RFID hangtags and labels that traditionally are only available at very high volumes or at high costs, as well as generally unacceptable turnaround times.

FineLine hangtags
The SolidTag service delivers RFID hangtags and labels with custom graphics, minimal volume commitments and 48-hour service levels. SolidTag offers any inlays that a retailer or brand requires, but the inlays specified by the customer must contain the newer generation of chips, such as Impinj's Monza 5 or NXP Semiconductors' Ucode 7—that are capable of being read and written to at very high speeds. FineLine offers a free application evaluation for apparel businesses considering fully integrated RFID tagging. "We work with either the retailer or brand to convert their current branded tag into an integrated RFID tag and then provide them with samples, usually a hundred or so at no cost," says George Hoffman, FineLine's president and CEO. "These samples are usually first approved by the appropriate merchandiser and then may be subjected to an internal evaluation to ensure they meet the client's specific RFID performance requirements."

If clients wish to implement any type of compliance program within their supply chain for RFID-tagged merchandise, FineLine will also work with them to set up a custom solution using its mobile QCTrak. This, Hoffman explains, enables the client to easily implement a compliance program to ensure suppliers are using only client-approved RFID inlays, and that those inlays are performing properly.

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