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SML Group Announces New Tags, Production Center

The Hong Kong-based company has opened a new facility in North Carolina, and has released three new EPC RFID inlays designed for fast encoding and read sensitivity.
By Claire Swedberg
The three new inlays are intended not only to provide a more sensitive tag for end users, but also to speed up production for SML Group, Calderbank explains. "All of these tags compare favorably to anything in the market when it comes to read and write speed," he says.

Writing and encoding speed, Calderbank adds, is becoming more important, as order size grows, along with the need for a fast turnaround time. SML Group employs service bureaus around the world to encode tags produced at SML's facilities, thereby ensuring that turnaround time does not exceed 10 to 15 days. Potential bottlenecks, he notes, do not stem from trying to direct the tags to the proper geographic location, but rather from attempting to move them very quickly through the printing and encoding processes. With customers sometimes placing orders for tens of millions of tags, SML's service bureaus are employing faster encoding techniques. The company has recently launched the use of high-speed machines at its service bureaus that can encode up to 180 labels per minute. As such, he says, the ability of write data to tags that quickly requires a sensitive chip and a well-designed antenna.

During the past year, SML Group has more than doubled its inlay sales for the apparel market, Calderbank reports. "We're experiencing very strong growth," he states.

The new design center will employ two senior engineers and three assistants. The Maze inlay was under development by CGP at the time of the July acquisition, while the GB1 and GB2 models followed and were designed in Hong Kong. The Maze is already in use by apparel suppliers, with the GB1 and GB2 versions just now coming into production, Calderbank says.

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