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Smartrac Intros Flexible On-Metal NFC Tags for Industrial and Retail Sectors

The flexible, ferrite-based inlays and tags are suitable for multiple applications for which items with metallic surfaces need to be identified or interacted with.
By RFID Journal
Sep 25, 2019

Smartrac Technology Group, a provider of RFID products and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, has announced the launch of its Block On-Metal tags. These flexible, ferrite-based Near Field Communication (NFC) inlays and tags, the company reports, are suitable for multiple industrial, retail and business-to-consumer (B2C) applications for which items with metallic surfaces need to be identified or interacted with.

For the new tags, Smartrac has combined its antenna design with a thin layer of flexible ferrite material, which the company says isolates the magnetic field from a metal surface. The ferrite redirects a reader's inductive field and prevents energy from being wasted as heat within the metallic surface.

Smartrac's Block On-Metal tags
According to Smartrac, the tags' on-metal performance and read range make them a viable solution for an array of industrial, retail and consumer applications. These include customer engagement and loyalty, asset management, brand protection, secure product authentication and payment.

The Block On-Metal tags have a die-cut size 50 millimeters by 50 millimeters (1.97 inches by 1.97 inches) and are designed to enable the identification and provision of a digital identity to many objects, ranging from metallic components to spare parts, signs, tools, machines and domestic items. The tags are suitable for roll-to-roll manufacturing processes, the firm notes, making onward processing easier and more cost-effective. Converters can overprint the inlays if required.

Block On-Metal tags are equipped with NXP Semiconductors' ICODE SLIX2 IC chip, which complies with the NFC Forum's Type 5 standard and is backward-compatible with NXP's other SLIX models. The chip features NXP's originality signature and provides increased speed for inventory management, a greater read range due to its resistance to detuning effects, flexible user memory segmentation with separate access conditions, a password-protected on-chip service cycle counter and 2.5 kilobits of user memory.

The new Block On-Metal tags are slated to be made available in high volumes starting in the fourth quarter of this year, Smartrac reports.

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