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Metalcraft Offers Lower-Cost, Longer-Range On-Metal Tags

The company reports that its Universal MC adhesive tags offer a variety of options, including printable-onsite or pre-printed tags that can be ruggedized and offer a read range of 7 or 15 feet, at about 40 percent of the cost of similar on-metal tags on the market.
By Claire Swedberg

The Plus is the mid-level option for the three tags. It offers a read range of up to 7 feet on metal, but with a stronger adhesive than the Standard: 2 millimeters (0.08 inch) thick. The tag has an IP86 rating to operate in a ruggedized environment, and it can be received blank for thermal transfer printing and encoding, or already printed and encoded by Metalcraft. The cost is between that of the standard and the Pro.

The MC family of tags is geared to operate on metal but can operate across all surfaces, the company reports. Metalcraft was one of the first companies to offer flexible, adhesive on-metal RFID tags, Elling says. It started with the Universal Asset model, then introduced the Mini with a smaller footprint, and then the Micro. Throughout the past few years, he adds, as new products have been released, "We've been meeting the demands for customers for a tag that can be applied to small items. We heard those comments and understand the challenges they face, so we went back to the drawing board for an on-metal tag that was more economical."

The UCODE 8 chip, as well as in-house design by Metalcraft engineers, led to the MC series' development, the company reports. All three versions of the new tag measure 2 inch by 1 inches, though the firm plans to provide additional sizes in the future. The 2- by 1-inch form factor works well with standard RFID tag printers, Elling notes.

The Universal MC passive UHF tags, as well as all other Metalcraft RFID tags, are ISO-certified and meet the DFARS standards. DFARS compliance ensures that the data management for the RFID tags meets cybersecurity regulations—a feature required by numerous government entities. That means suppliers of government agencies, as well as the agencies themselves, can employ the Universal MC tags and remain in compliance.

The Pro has already been piloted by several companies and is now in commercial production. Metalcraft is currently accepting pre-orders for the MC Standard and Plus models. "Our tiered approach is something we think will be very beneficial for our customers," Elling states, since it offers a variety of choices depending on requirements and can be upgraded as needs change.

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