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RFID News Roundup

Confidex announces Confidex Links service for NFC tags ••• William Frick & Co. releases RFID-based asset-tracking Android app ••• PANMOBIL intros apps for RFID-enabled logistics, asset-tracking ••• Avery Dennison's RFID sales up more than 35 percent in third quarter ••• Pepperl+Fuchs buys ecom instruments, a provider of RFID devices for hazardous areas ••• TransCore to provide all-electronic tolling for NYC bridges, tunnels.
By Beth Bacheldor
Nov 03, 2016

The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Confidex; William Frick & Co.; PANMOBIL; Avery Dennison; Pepperl+Fuchs, ecom instruments; and TransCore.

Confidex Announces Confidex Links Service for NFC Tags

Confidex has announced Confidex Links, a modular Near Field Communication (NFC) tag portfolio for high-volume applications. The product line's modularity is based on multiple options related to the tag's chip memory, label materials and optional Confidex services for printing, encoding and branding the tags.

According to Confidex, the complex manufacturing process of custom-branded NFC labels has been perceived as a major barrier for broader NFC technology adoption, especially relating to high-volume applications such as smart packages or mass event advertising. Confidex Links is a direct response to fulfill these market requirements, the company reports, as the product offers easy access to affordable printed and encoded NFC tags in high volumes.

Confidex Links products include NFC-enabled tags, stickers, printed cards and posters. The tags can be placed practically anywhere, Confidex explains, or be embedded in packages or in a product itself. Confidex Links connects online content—such as such as product manuals, videos, apps, mobile games or websites—to any physical product containing an NFC sticker.

There are three RFID chip options: NXP Semiconductors' NTAG210µ (micro), with 48 bytes of memory for encoding just a URL, the NTAG213 with 144 bytes for a broad set of applications or the NTAG216 with 888 bytes for memory-consuming applications. "We use the optimized antenna capacitance/design for supporting all of these chip options," says Mikko Nikkanen, Confidex's business development and marketing director. "We do accept orders starting from 50,000-piece volumes up for all of these memory options; thus, customers will get the Confidex Links exactly with matching ICs suitable per their application."

Confidex Links' modular service options for NFC labels also include branding (printing custom graphics, such as logos) and personalization (printed Data Matrix, QR codes or bar codes), and static and variable NDEF encoding into chip memory can be performed directly at Confidex's factory without the need for an external label-converting process. Finally, Confidex offers multiple options related to the label, such as material (paper or synthetic), adhesives (for different application environments), thickness and die-cut size.

"The benefit for the end user is that they can get complete label solution from one source—Confidex channel partners globally—at an affordable level," Nikkanen says. "This type of modular product, with modular service options for large volumes, has been missing from the market before and seen as a bottleneck for major volume applications, such as smart packages, smart media (magazines, ad campaigns) and some of the industrial consumables applications. Also, with Confidex Links, we want to help big brands to take steps forward by making big, global NFC campaigns in magazines or directly in product packages."

According to Nikkanen, Confidex Links can also be employed to support brand integrity usage, have product manuals (such as consumer electronics) to always be "online and updated" via Confidex Links RFID labels placed on their products, support consumer applications, and help mobile game and app companies promote their Google Play app download links for the physical world. The modularity is further extended into Confidex's Ironside Micro NFC, an IP68-level tag, with a hard plastic casing for on-metal applications, the company reports.

The Confidex Links service is available in sampling volumes during the fourth quarter of 2016 and in volumes during the first quarter of next year.

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