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Tadbik Expands RFID, NFC Offerings in the United States

The Israeli company is providing customized RFID functionality to its labels and packaging, in order to offer smart cabinet solutions, as well as race-timing, cold chain tracking and NFC-based payment solutions, to its customers.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 13, 2014

Israeli labeling solutions company Tadbik Advanced Technologies has spent the past four years growing into the RFID market, by combining its custom print solutions for labels and packaging with Near Field Communication (NFC) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID inlays, in order to provide anti-counterfeiting, cold-chain, food-traceability, animal-tracking and race-timing labels to its customers worldwide. Now, the firm plans to expand further into the U.S. market, by offering its RFID-based solutions through its American subsidiary, Logotech.

Currently, the only labels that Logotech produces do not include RFID technology. For that reason, U.S. customers—the majority of which use Tadbik's labels for marathons and other race-timing purposes—have purchased RFID solutions directly from Tadbik's Israeli headquarters. With the availability of RFID products through Logotech, the company expects to broaden its customer base in the United States.

Tadbik's T-RFID Timing Labels used on runners' bibs—as well as for tags that attach to athletes' ankles or shoes—are made with Smartrac ShortDipole M5 inlays.
Tadbik's RFID and NFC Solutions division provides a wide variety of solutions, most of which are used in the Middle East, Africa and Europe. For instance, this division makes a sticker containing an embedded NFC RFID inlay. The sticker is designed to be attached to an object, and can be interrogated using an NFC-enabled phone or tablet PC operating an application to manage the collected read data, or by an NFC reader linked to a point-of-sale (POS) device. Michal Yanuv Max, the sales and marketing manager of Tadbik's RFID division, says that although her company does not provide software, it works closely with NFC app developers and can connect customers with the appropriate software or app provider for a specific use case.

A recent example of a use case involves Nigerian mobile-payment solutions company Teasy Mobile, which will launch a system this spring using Tadbik's NFC stickers. The majority of cell phones in use in that country lack NFC or smartphone functionality. Therefore, Teasy sought an NFC sticker that would enable individuals to use their "dumb" phones as a payment device. Some merchants have NFC readers wired to their POS system. Consumers will be able to acquire the NFC stickers from Teasy Mobile and then go online to enter their own identifying information, such as a bank account number, which will be linked to the unique ID number encoded to the high-frequency (HF) NFC RFID inlay embedded in the sticker. The consumer would attach the sticker to his or her phone, and tap it against a merchant's reader when making a purchase. The ID number is read, the purchase amount is deducted from that person's account, and he or she can receive a text message or paper receipt.

Tadbik also sells a UHF RFID on-metal tag in quantities of millions (approximately three million were sold during the past two months), for use in smart cabinets. For this application, RFID readers and antennas are built into locked cabinets, and a Tadbik tag made with an EPC Gen 2 passive UHF inlay (most Tadbik tags utilize inlays provided by Smartrac Group) is attached to each item placed within that cabinet. Tags are typically applied to items for which users require a high level of security, in order to ensure that those goods are not removed from the cabinet—or, if they are, the reader will no longer capture those products' ID numbers, and the software can generate reports indicating who has last accessed the cabinet, as well as the time at which each item has been removed. By using RFID software, a manager could track which items are inside the cabinet at any given time.

The tags attached to the items stored within the smart cabinets also come with tamper-detection functionality, according to Michal Yanuv Max, the sales and marketing manager of Tadbik's RFID division. The tag, known as the Security Label, includes an on-metal feature in a polyethylene foam spacer layer that allows it to function and be read within metallic environments. In addition, she says, it has several security layers ensuring that the tag cannot be removed from an item, including destructible materials, security print and special adhesives.

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