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RSI ID Prices Gen 2 Labels at 9.9 cents

The company's new EPC RFID labels are aimed at pharmaceuticals and other small-item applications.
By Jonathan Collins
May 03, 2006RFID systems integrator and inlay manufacturer RSI ID Technologies has launched two new item-level Gen 2 Electronic Product Code (EPC) RFID labels, each priced at 9.9 cents in volumes of at least 1 million.

The company believes that lower price points for RFID labels are essential, even for tagging such high-value items such pharmaceuticals, and that its new tags will help spur item-level adoption. "When it comes to item-level tagging, every application is cost-sensitive," says Tawnya Clark, RSI's vice president of sales and marketing.

The Chula Vista, Calif., company reports that the small size of the new labels has helped reduce their cost, compared with the larger, more expensive labels it produces for case- and pallet-level tagging. In September of last year, RSI ID announced it was selling its 4-by-6-inch printable smart labels, with embedded EPC Gen 2 inlays, for 14.9 cents apiece in quantities of 1 million (see Avery Dennison, RSI ID Lower Price Bar). Since then, the company notes, that price has dropped slightly.

In addition, RSI ID says a new production line, deployed in the past few weeks, will enable the company to produce the two new iTrack labels—as well as two other slightly larger item-level tags already launched—more cheaply than it could with its previously existing production lines. The new line reportedly takes RSI's production capacity up to 33 billion tags annually.

The new EPC Gen 2 iTrack labels use a 96-bit Gen 2 chip from Impinj and are roughly 9mm in diameter. The smallest, dubbed the Button, was designed for pharmaceuticals, vials, e-passes and other small-item applications. The other label, the Paper Clip, targets the same applications. Both RFID labels have near-field read ranges.

The launch of RSI ID's new low-priced labels comes within days of an announcement by Israeli RFID systems provider SmartCode that it will offer its customers Gen 2 RFID inlays for 5 cents apiece in volumes of 100 million or more (see SmartCode Offers 5-Cent EPC Tags). SmartCode's inlays, however, first need to be converted either into printable labels that can be applied to boxes, or into so-called 'wet inlays' (nonprintable tags with adhesive). Either process would increase the cost of the transponder to the end user.
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