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Print and Document Integrity Solutions Company Brings Flexible RFID to Customers

Lake Image Systems' customers are using RFID technology, including Feig-based reader hardware, to build RFID solutions into direct-mail advertising, product packaging and high-volume label printing.
By Claire Swedberg

With the Feig readers, Stevens says, the company can accomplish 1,200 label reads per minute, while encoding can take place at approximately half that speed. However, he adds, Lake Image can also install additional antennas to increase encoding speed. The advantage to the Feig solution, Steven explains, is that his customers can use the technology without being locked into a single RFID chip technology or a license fee for the use of that technology.

The nature of Lake Image's service is flexibility, Stevens says. "There is never a 'typical' deployment," he states. "This is a technology that demands clever solutions and efficient production methods."

The RFID technology can be used not only to ensure accurate mailings, Stevens reports, but also to automate processes, such as the printing of addresses. In the case of a direct-mail application, he notes, a business can personalize a piece of advertising for a specific consumer, while hiding all external reference to that personalization.

For instance, a special offer or promotion can be sent to a consumer based on his or her shopping or buying history. When the item is being inserted into an envelope, Lake Image technology can read the RFID chip, Stevens says, "which tells us who it is personalized for, from which we can inkjet the proper name and address on the envelope."

In the label industry, the goal is often to simply produce labels that include RFID tags, and to encode the tag and inkjet with a matching number on the label's face. The RFID data can be used as well to prompt the production of specific sized rolls of labels, based on RFID tag reads, and to store data indicating which tags are on which labels. Such labels are being used not only in packaging, but for luggage and automobile windshield identification labels.

In addition, the technology can be employed in the production processes for products or packaging. In such a scenario, a tag is encoded and interrogated, then is used to track the label itself, or the packaging to which it is attached, as it moves through the company's production line. The RFID tag, in some cases, is being utilized not only to prompt controlled inkjet printing, but to collect camera images for verification. Additionally, some of Lake Image's customers are using the RFID tag reads to trigger other machine functions, such as diverting specific tagged products or labels, roll-cutting, matching or stacking.

With the new partnership, Lake Image says it is providing Feig's CPR74 for HF ISO 15693 labels, as well as Feig LRU1002 UHF readers. Thus far, four customers are using the technology with Feig hardware, each with multiple production lines. In the meantime, Stevens says, "We are providing quotes on new systems almost weekly."

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