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Flexible, Cheaper RFID Converting Machine Released

Label converting company Worldlabel is now selling an RFID smart label converting machine for the first time. Worldlabel and TÜV SÜD PSB Group co-developed the new Infinity V1 smart label converting machine, which can accommodate a wide range of inlay types and sizes and label media up to 21 inches wide.
Tags: Labeling
Feb 13, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

February 13, 2007—Worldlabel, best known as a label converter, announced it will now sell a new RFID smart label converting machine it co-developed. Worldlabel said its new Infinity V1 RFID tag and inlay embedding system differs from other conversion machines currently available because it can easily accommodate a full range of label material and RFID inlay sizes. Worldlabel is the marketing division of Singapore-headquartered Innotech Resources, which partnered with German technology services provider TÜV SÜD PSB Group to design and manufacturer the converter.

"The Infinity V1 can produce any size label, and can place the inlay anywhere in the label. You can be up and running with a new label size in 15 to 20 minutes," Russell Ossendryver of Worldlabel told RFID Update. He said the machine could produce labels up to approximately 21 inches wide, and “very small" labels and any size in between, but did not give exact specifications for supported label sizes. Maximum output is approximately 100 labels per minute.

The Infinity V1 includes several proprietary and patent-pending designs and processes. All inlays are verified before they are converted to prevent unreadable smart labels from being produced and having to be marked as void. The machine can be integrated into current label converting lines or used as a standalone device.

Ossendryver said the product will be priced considerably lower than other convertering equipment currently on the market but would not disclose pricing. The product is targeted to label converters, but there could be a market among high-volume end users, according to Ossendryver.

"This product makes it cost effective for label converters to get into the RFID business," Ossendryver said. "We originally thought we’d conquer the world by converting labels. However, the market is moving to where converters need to be near their customers. A lot of label converters are going to have to get into the RFID conversion business."

Recall label converters' role in the RFID tag value chain: they "convert" raw inlays from manufacturers like Alien, Avery Dennison, Symbol/Motorola, and Raflatac into usable tags by inserting the inlays in labels, sheathing, adhesive, cards, or other material. Typically end users purchase tags not from the inlay manufacturers directly, but from a label converter partner. Some of the most recognized label converters are CCL, George Schmitt & Company, The Kennedy Group, Lowry, Marnlen RFiD, Mid South Graphics, Moore Wallace (subsidiary of RR Donnelley), MPI Label Systems, Nashua, PLITEK, The R and V Group, Repacorp, RSI ID Technologies, and Topflight. Often label converters' core business is providing packaging to consumer packaged goods manufacturers, but in other cases, like Zebra and Paxar, the converters are first and foremost equipment manufacturers.

There are thousands of label converters around the world, many of them small businesses or mom-and-pop operations. Because the equipment necessary to convert delicate RFID inlays is expensive and specialized, the majority of label converters have shied away from RFID, leaving it to their larger and/or more intrepid counterparts.

However, that may be changing, predicts research firm IDTechEx (see IDTechEx Identifies "Booming" Areas for RFID). Smaller label converters are identifying niche areas that are too small to interest the big label converters, who often cater to huge consumer packaged goods manufacturers. Advancements in converting equipment, such as that introduced by Worldlabel, will likely contribute to this trend.
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