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By Rich Handley

Xerafy Unveils On-Metal RFID Tag for Automotive Sector

Xerafy, a provider of Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID on-metal tags, has announced that it has released its new Micro X II on-metal tag designed to meet the challenges of Industry 4.0 in the automotive industry. The tag can be used to track parts and components across supply chains, as well as work-in-progress (WIP) and paint-shop applications on assembly lines.

The Micro X II Automotive RFID tag allows automakers to meet the requirements of industry standards, such as the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)'s cross-application RFID recommendation, in order to achieve a more agile supply chain and provide real-time monitoring and traceability, as well as customized flexibility.

"The ability to reliably track parts through the harsh, complex automotive manufacturing environment has always been a challenge," said Dennis Khoo, Xerafy's CEO and founder, in a prepared statement. "Our Micro X II tag family has already been qualified as the leading on-metal RFID tag for these applications by manufacturers like Volvo, Daimler, and Toyota. With the addition of the Micro X II Automotive tag, automotive suppliers and manufacturers will have access to a robust and reliable RFID tag that can provide real-time visibility throughout their manufacturing operations and the supply chain."

The tags feature higher memory than previous generations of the Micro X II family, the company reports, allowing data to be stored and associated with the parts to which they are attached, rather than on the server. This allows flexibility and traceability throughout the manufacturing process, during which automotive parts may be produced and assembled in different plants. The tags are available with more durable casing material and larger mounting holes, the firm indicates, to facilitate fast rivet attachment options.

Like the original Micro X II on-metal tag family, the new Micro X II Automotive is designed for a variety of rugged environments, and to perform under extreme heat and repeated exposure to caustic chemicals. The tags will be available in two configurations: Micro X II Automotive and Micro X II Automotive-Paint Shop. Both are encased in engineering-grade nylon polymer and weigh 1.06 ounces (30 grams). Tag dimensions are 57.6 millimeters by 36.2 millimeters by 7.5 millimeters and can be attached mechanically using screws, pop rivets (3.2 millimeters) and adhesive bonding.

The RFID tags can be used for applications in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to +482 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees to +250 degrees Celsius). They provide a read range on metal of up to 23 feet (7 meters), with an IP-68 ruggedization rating. Xerafy also offers personalization options, including tag programming, customized laser engraving and a metal insert option for some applications.

"Manufacturers are transitioning to the networked, real-time capabilities of Industry 4.0," Khoo said in the prepared statement. "With our new Micro X II Automotive tags, Xerafy helps automotive companies prepare for this transition by enabling the digitization of complex supply chain and manufacturing processes."

Tag samples are already being tested by customers in the automotive industry. According to the company, shipping is expected to begin by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

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