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Confidex Releases Printable, Flexible On-Metal RFID Label

Silverline, a passive Gen 2 EPC UHF self-adhesive label able to be attached to curved surfaces, is being tested by potential customers after gaining a nod from four RFID printer-encoder suppliers.
By Claire Swedberg

The Silverline label has been tested by four suppliers of such devices: Zebra Technologies, Finn-ID (an official partner of Toshiba TEC), SATO Nordic and Datamax-O'Neil. Each printer manufacturer used its own testing methods to meet its own functionality standard, Pylvänäinen says, adding, "All tests included evaluation of printing quality and encoding reliability."

Zebra tested a roll of the tags with its RZ400 and RZ600 printer-encoders, designed for the asset-tracking market, says Michael Fein, Zebra Technologies' senior RFID product manager. "We were impressed with Confidex's design approach," he states. "The print quality was exceptional for an on-metal asset tag." Zebra's printer-encoders, together with the Silverline label, he notes, "provide a scalable solution."

The Silverline, measuring 3.94 inches by 1.67 inch by 0.03 inch (100 millimeters by 40 millimeters by 9 millimeters), is resistant to water, chemicals and dust, with a read range of up to 5 meters (16 feet). The label is designed to be attached to metal equipment or tools, office or IT assets, or liquid-filled containers, all of which may have curved surfaces. It supports a bending diameter up to 50 millimeters (2 inches).

The tag is currently being tested by end users, Pylvänäinen says, though he declines to specify the companies involved.

"We have seen Monza 4 QT, with 128-bit EPC and 512-bit user memory, as a good default chip for our high-end products like Silverline," Pylvänäinen reports. However, he adds, "We do leave a door open for other options, and are already providing Silverline with Monza 4E, with 496-bit EPC and 128-bit user memory, in cases where a longer EPC is needed, such as in automotive applications."

The Silverline joins other printable on-metal labels that have recently entered the market. Earlier this year, Omni-ID debuted printable adhesive on-metal RFID labels—namely, its IQ 400 and IQ 600 models—that are also made with a Monza QT chip and come in the form of reels that have discardable spacer material between each label (see Omni-ID Introduces Printable In-Metal RFID Labels). The labels were certified by Zebra (see RFID News Roundup: Zebra Technologies Certifies Omni-ID On-Metal Labels for Printer Compatibility). In June, engineering and electronics conglomerate Siemens has announced that is incorporating an IQ 400 label into the nameplate of every Simogear electric gear motor it produces, so that customers can quickly identify a motor even when it is installed in a hard-to-access location (see Siemens to RFID-Tag Its Gear Motors).

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