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Apex Supply Chain Technologies, Zebra Technologies announce strategic OEM relationship ••• Schreiner ProTech unveils globally usable RFID label for metal applications ••• RFID company Tönnjes acquires Utsch AG's stake in Utsch Tönnjes International ••• eX2 Technology intros smart truck parking system for Iowa Department of Transportation ••• Kerlink, Electronica Elemon partner to accelerate IoT adoption in Latin America ••• PodM2M offers IoT security monitoring, threat detection as standard on all connectivity products.
By Rich Handley

RFID Company Tönnjes Acquires Utsch AG's Stake in Utsch Tönnjes International

German company Tönnjes has announced that it has acquired Utsch AG's share in Utsch Tönnjes International GmbH to acquire the majority stake in the company. Utsch will exit the combined company in the process.

While Tönnjes has operated as a technology supplier in recent years, the firm is now emerging as a systems provider for vehicle registration and identification, ranging from license plate production and issuance to the creation of central registration systems. The new group has established subsidiaries at 50 locations outside of Germany, employing approximately 2,000 workers worldwide.

In addition to exporting goods, Tönnjes also invests in local subsidiaries. "We have always been a family business and want to develop long-term collaborations with our local partners," said Dietmar Mönning, the company's managing director, in a prepared statement. "That's what makes us a reliable supplier and producer for each jurisdiction. We take full responsibility wherever we work, e.g. in the US, Canada, Brazil and South Africa. We get to know each jurisdiction and its needs, allowing us to adapt systems to local requirements."

The group also supports the local economy by creating jobs, Tönnjes reports, adding that shorter transportation routes have a positive environmental impact. The Philippine authorities commissioned Tönnjes to produce around 5.5 million license plates and RFID stickers for the island nation at the beginning of 2018. The group carried out this project by establishing a local joint venture, by which number plates and electronic RFID labels are produced and personalized for cars and motorcycles.

"This acquisition will benefit our partners, authorities and governments," Mönning said in the prepared statement. "It will make us even stronger and more reliable, because we've now got a more homogeneous structure, allowing us to make quicker decisions and streamline our operations." The management team at Utsch Tönnjes International, which will herein operate under the name Tönnjes International GmbH, will also remain in place.

"We want to use our international experience and local presence to make the identification of vehicles as modern and secure as possible," Mönning added in the statement. The firm is thus researching and developing technologies in line with Industry 4.0. The world's first fully automated license plate production plant is currently being developed at the Italian Mint, and an intelligent embossing system (IDePres) is being used in Dubai to stop vehicle license plates from being given the wrong numbers. The automation and integration of embossing robots (IDeRobot), meanwhile, helps companies boost security. "Our machines can't be manipulated, so every stage of the production process can be traced—even when our license plates are on the road."

Tönnjes digitalizes its number plates to make them forgery-proof, the company claims. The IDePlate has an integrated passive RFID chip (NXP's UCODE DNA) containing a unique encrypted identification number that can be decoded by authorized readers and compared against governmental databases using electronic vehicle identification. "This invention is the first of its kind around the world," Mönning added. "It's going to revolutionize vehicle identification."

The system includes an RFID windscreen sticker, the IDeStix, to prevent the manipulation of number plates, the forgery of validation tags and the misuse of stolen plates. IDePlate and IDeStix can already be found on vehicles in many countries.

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