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RFID News Roundup

Smartrac offers UHF RFID beer keg tags; JADAK unveils RFID starter kit; HID Global helps BigWise add fingerprint biometric authentication to POS solution; Traxens selects AVSystem IoT platform for smart container management; Nordic Semiconductor intros modem based on its LTE-M/NB-IoT SiP; Thingstream launches connectivity solution for LoRaWAN networks; OptConnect adds Banyan Hills Technologies' IoT platform canopy to its development kits.
By Rich Handley
Oct 31, 2019

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations: Smartrac; JADAK; HID Global, BigWise; Traxens, AVSystem; Nordic Semiconductor; Thingstream; OptConnect, and Banyan Hills Technologies.

Smartrac Offers UHF RFID Beer Keg Tags

Smartrac Technology Group, a provider of RFID products and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, has announced the launch of its MAXDURA KEG tag product line. Available as UHF and dual-frequency (UHF and NFC) tags, and for adhesive mounting or PU embedding, Smartrac's new hard tags are intended for identifying and tracking beverage kegs, gas cylinders and other curved metal returnable transport items (RTI) under bulk reading conditions.

With its MAXDURA KEG products, Smartrac says it has addressed the drawbacks of conventional RFID tags for curved metal RTIs: reading failures in multiple-unit environments, tag damage during production, distribution and maintenance processes such as cleaning, and forklift handling. To avoid these problems, the tags are designed to withstand harsh treatment.

The base version MAXDURA KEG and the dual-frequency version MAXDURA KEG DUAL are encased hard tags that are permanently glued to the inner face of a keg's collar. In that way, the company explains, they are protected, do not interfere with hand transport and allow a lifting rod to be inserted. This tag placement allows for 100 percent reading rates, according to Smartrac, even when palettes or trucks containing up to 50 kegs pass a UHF RFID gate. The tags' UHF antennas are built to deliver maximum reading performance when placed about 15 to 20 millimeters from the handling hole.

For kegs with polyurethane (PU) covers, Smartrac offers its MAXDURA KEG EMBEDDED tags, which come as printed circuit boards (PCBs) without a casing. These are optimized for embedding or inserting into the PU, the company explains, which then acts as a casing.

The tags' NFC functionality enables various options, the company reports. Keg suppliers can connect with customers and provide them with a multitude of mobile digital experiences at the tap of a smartphone. NFC enables innkeepers, retailers or other customers to access keg ID data, which was formerly provided through low-frequency tags, via a smartphones and without the need for dedicated handheld readers.

All MAXDURA KEG tags come with Impinj's Monza R6-P ICs, which comply with the EPC Class 1 Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards and protocols. The chips provide up to 96 bits of EPC memory and 96 bits of serialized TID with a 48-bit serial number. Dual-frequency tags are equipped with NXP's SLIX ICODE SLIX2 IC, featuring up to 316 bytes of user memory, which complies with the NFC Forum's Type 5 specifications and the ISO 15693 standards.

Smartrac's "glue-on" MAXDURA KEG and MAXDURA KEG DUAL tags have a compact ABS casings and are prepared for adhesive fitting. MAXDURA KEG EMBEDDED tags are available either as plain PCBs or equipped with mounting devices for diverse manufacturing or retrofitting processes. Additional accessories, an applicator gun and special glue are available from Smartrac.

Smartrac's partner, Wilms Supply Chain Technologies of Melle-Buer, Germany, supported the development of the new hard tags and is one of the first to provide turnkey solutions for the beverage industry based on the tags. Wilms has secured private brewery Gaffel Becker, one of Germany's largest suppliers of draught beer, as a pilot customer for the retrofitting of its PU kegs with MAXDURA KEG EMBEDDED tags.

All MAXDURA KEG tags are expected to be available in high volumes next month.

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