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Company Boosts Sensitivity and Shortens Length of Its RFID Yarn

Primo1D's E-Thread is being tested by industrial and textile companies to track parts and products that do not lend themselves well to an affixed RFID tag.
By Claire Swedberg

The technology is intended to remove several obstacles to RFID deployments in the retail sector. First, the ability to be integrated directly into a garment makes the E-Thread an alternative to labels that need to be attached and are then removed from an article of clothing or other textile item.

Based on some engineering improvement as well, Papanti says, the E-Thread "outperforms most of the current solutions in stacking conditions since the sensitivity has been improved." This means that, for instance, if multiple pairs of jeans are stacked on a shelf, an RFID interrogator can still reliably read the tags—and do so more quickly than traditional labels, he claims. Further to this, Papanti says, "We have shortened the tag length which is facilitating the physical integration into the product." The RFID yarn can be 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) or 20 centimeters (7.9 inches) in length, depending on the application. The RFID yarn is sold to customers, either by the segment or on bobbins. The earlier version was only available in 20-centimeter (7.9-inch) lengths, with one 10-centimeter-long (3.9-inch-long) antenna on each side of a chip).

Primo1D's Alain Papanti
The E-Thread, Papanti says, can enable what the company called a connected garment. He adds that the improved sensitivity allows users to read tags with 40 percent more packing density.

E-Thread provides a solution for industrial customers as well. "In the industrial market segments," Papanti states, "the need for traceability and authentication is getting stronger every day, and that concerns parts for which shape, size, flexibility and elasticity require a yarn type of tag." He says the E-Thread has been tested in the industrial market on rubber gaskets, flexible composite materials, optic fibers protection tubes, tires, textile fabric, fiber glass composite materials and medical products.

Primo1D is demonstrating the technology at this week's RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition, being held in Phoenix, Az.

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