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Century Link America Opens Doors for RFID Partners

The Chinese tag producer has launched a North American division to better meet the needs of systems integrators developing and ordering tags for customers' solutions, such as hybrid EAS-RFID systems for retailers.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 15, 2015

Hangzhou Century Link Technology Co. is bringing its RFID technology to North America with a new office in Schaumburg, Ill., aimed at offering better service and support to its partners—systems integrators in the region. Century Link America will include a sales team that will work with companies using Century Link products in their RFID-based solutions. One partner is Universal Surveillance Systems (USS), which makes custom RFID and electronic article surveillance (EAS) solutions for its clients—which, according to the company, are most major U.S. retailers.

By opening a site in Schaumburg, Century Link will be able to personalize tag design, as well as provide assistance with tag selection, pre-encoding and printing services to North American partners, according to Lou Leuzzi, Century Link America's senior VP. The company manufactures tags for item-level tracking of merchandise in retail stores, as well as for asset-management applications in the health-care, industrial, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

Century Link's CE36071, made with an Impinj Monza 4QT chip, is a durable, reusable hangtag for small items like jewelry, glasses and watches.
Founded in 2012, Century Link develops and manufactures a range of passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) and high-frequency (HF) tags. Its passive UHF RFID tags come in a wide variety of form factors, including on-metal, windshield, wristband and sew-in laundry models, and are made with a variety of chip types, including Alien Technology's Higgs3 IC, or Impinj's Monza 4QT or Monza R6 IC. Century Link also makes tag form factors such as lock-removable tags or hang-on models that, according to the company, can be easily affixed to unusually shaped products.

Lou Leuzzi, Century Link America's senior VP
In the past, Leuzzi says, most U.S.-based end users of Century Link products employed EAS technology to prevent shrinkage of goods, with minimal use of RFID. That is changing, he notes, as "more and more people are beyond the piloting phase [for RFID]," and are using the technology to track assets and manage apparel in stores.

In China and North America, Century Link sells its solutions to retailers and other end-user customers through its channel of systems integrators.

"When people talk about retail, they typically require tagging of specialty items," Leuzzi says, beyond the more standard apparel that can be tagged with standard adhesive disposable tags. For specialty items, he adds, "retailers need specialized tags" to track everything from shoes to baseball bats, golf clubs and jewelry. "What separates us [from other RFID tag manufacturers] is our broad product line."

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