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RFID Badges Printed With Color Photos

Primera has launched a new printer that encodes EPC UHF RFID tags in disposable badges or ID cards, while printing color logos, text and a photo of an individual on the front, for use by visitors or trade show guests.
By Claire Swedberg
May 08, 2018

Government agencies, utility companies and trade shows are among the firms that employ RFID-enabled badges so that they can closely monitor the movements of visitors or personnel for safety and security purposes. However, most badges must be made in advance, or else they lack visual data about an individual, his or her credentials or what that person looks like.

For this use case, printer and accessories company Primera Technology has released the RX500 Color RFID Label & Tag Printer, which enables the printing and encoding of a disposable employee or visitor badge. The device can print text about an individual's ID and credentials, as well as take a color picture and print that photo on the front. In that way, companies can enable visitors or employees to have a badge printed, and also stored in back-end software, along with the badge's unique ID number, within minutes.

Primera's RX500 Color RFID Label & Tag Printer
Primera's printed and encoded badges can work with RFID readers and antennas from companies such as Brady Corp., which provides the RFID readers some companies are installing at their facilities, to then track the movements of individuals minutes after they first arrive and check in. Brady Corp. makes identification products, including bar-code scanners and RFID readers.

Primera Technology, based in Minnesota, designs and manufactures specialized digital printers. The company announced its new color RFID-enabled printer at RFID Journal LIVE! 2018, held last month in Orlando, Fla. The RX500 is the only fully integrated, full-color, on-demand RFID label and tag printer, according to Mark D. Strobel, Primera's VP of sales and marketing. When used in conjunction with a fixed or handheld reader solution, the device enables companies to manage where individuals go, based on tag reads of their badges.

Traditionally, Primera has offered RFID encoder and printer technologies for use during marathons; its larger RX9 device could print and encode tags built into bibs worn by athletes. It also provides printers that could create RFID badges for those visiting state agencies and other locations, such as nuclear power plants. In most cases, however, the company's printers lacked the ability to print a color picture taken onsite, as each badge was created.

With the RX500, when an individual arrives at a user's facility, that person provides his or her name, company or other credentials, or shows identification. An employee can input that individual's information into the software, or simply into the printer itself, then use a camera external to the printer to take that person's picture.

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