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RFID News Roundup

Avery provides RFID-training scholarships; Weber offering corner-wrap smart labeler; RFID-optical hybrid card; American RFID Solutions installs Faraday cage; Applied Logistics and RCD raise funding.
By Andrew Price
Jun 02, 2006The following are news announcements made during the week of May 29.

Avery Provides RFID-Training Scholarships
Avery Dennison RFID is working with OTA Training, a provider of RFID training courses offered in locations around the world, by providing $500 scholarships to OTA's three-day RFID training seminar, "A Systems Approach to RFID." The seminar is being held at Avery Dennison RFID's Atlanta Technical Center (ATC), from June 6 to 9 and July 25 to 28 in Georgia. The scholarships are available to all attendees working for companies mandated to begin applying RFID tags to shipments of goods. The full course, after deducting the scholarship, costs $2,995. Attendees enrolled in the Avery Dennison/OTA Training sessions are encouraged to bring a selection of their own SKUs for live product testing. To register or learn more, visit OTA's Web site or call 972-386-9655.

Weber Offering Corner-Wrap Smart Labeler
Weber Marking Systems, a labeling systems developer based in Arlington Heights, Ill., is introducing an RFID smart label printer-applicatorable to apply label that wrap around adjacent sides of a case. Label applicators that apply labels around corners are not new, however. Such devices are presently used to comply with some retailers' and distributors' requirements that cases of goods bear labels on two adjacent sides. Weber's marketing and communications manager, Randall Stake, says Weber designed the Model 5200 Corner-Wrap in anticipation of retailer requirements that cases bear both an RFID smart label on one side and printed labeling on two adjacent sides. But the 5200 can also be used to print and apply non-RFID labels, and is available with an optional RFID encoder customers can use to encode data to and verify the functionality of inlays embedded in smart labels. The printer-applicator advances each label, removing it from the liner and holding it by vacuum on a swing arm-mounted pad. As a carton approaches, the pad applies the label to its front panel, then follows around the carton's corner and wipes the remaining portion of the label onto its adjacent side. The system handles labels up to 4 inches wide and 12 inches in length, and will print and apply labels up to a maximum of 15 cartons per minute. The 5200 Corner-Wrap operates with Weber's print-apply software for label formatting, editing and printing, and for RFID encoding. Stake says the device will print and apply—or print, encode, verify and apply—any label with an EPC Gen 1 or Gen 2 inlay.

RFID-Optical Hybrid Card
Mountain View, Calif.-based LaserCard Corp., a provider of optical memory cards for access control, is launching a hybrid card combining optical memory with RFID technology. The new LaserPassT secure ID card contains both optical memory, either 1.1 or 2.8 megabytes, and a passive RFID inlay. LaserCard is working with HID, one of the largest providers of RFID-based building access systems, to source its ISO 14443-compliant high-frequency RFID inlays and provide card readers to its customers. Like a CD or DVD disc, an optical memory card is read by means of a laser. A hybrid optical-RFID card can be used in facilities where all visitors would require quick access to common areas, such as a building lobby secured by RFID readers, but would be granted only selective entrance into more secure sections. To enter these secure areas, users would present the card to an optical reader, which would read the cardholder's biometric data, such as fingerprint or facial scan, in order to authenticate the person's identity. LaserCard will begin accepting orders for the cards this month.

American RFID Solutions Installs Faraday Cage
American RFID Solutions, a provider of RFID training, test and measurement instruments and professional services, says it has equipped its testing lab with a walk-in Faraday cage. Composed of a conductive material, the cage keeps out any stray electromagnetic fields that might interfere with RF transmissions occurring inside the cage. The cage enables users to evaluate and test RFID equipment, including tags, readers and antennas, while removing any RF interference that could skew results. American RFID Solutions is using the cage to determine the optimum placement of tags on products so it can improve read rates in real-world applications. The company says the cage helps it reduce the time and cost associated with testing and implementing an RFID solution.

Applied Logistics and RCD Raise Funding
Applied Logistics, a provider of asset-tracking services to the transportation and logistics industry, says it is changing its name to Fluensee and has completed an initial round of financing. The firm has not disclosed the size of the investment, which is being led by IllinoisVentures, the general partner of the Illinois Emerging Technology Fund, an early-stage, technology-focused venture capital fund. Fluensee says it will use the funding to support its efforts to grow its business into the IT, automotive and government sectors, as well as into rental businesses. NextStage Capital, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on mid-Atlantic technology companies, has led a round of $2 million in funding for RCD Technology, an RFID tag manufacturing startup based in Quakertown, Penn. Zon Capital and Ben Franklin Technology Partners also contributed to the funding. RCD Technology has a proprietary patented technology for producing low-cost specialty RFID tags.
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