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RFID News Roundup

GS1 US publishes RFID tag-serialization guidelines; Saident announces RFID-enabled tube for product packaging and promotion; RFcamp launches small, thin metal-mount RFID tags; Blue Spark Technologies, IDS Microchip codevelop EPC Gen 2 BAP RFID sensors; RF Technologies releases software update for wandering-management solution; OnChip Devices unveils thin silicon-based dual-capacitor for RFID applications.
Jun 07, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

GS1 US Publishes RFID Tag-Serialization Guidelines
Nonprofit standards organization GS1 US has announced the release of new technical guidelines describing best practices, as well as various methodologies for assigning globally unique identification to individual trade items, using a Serial Global Trade Item Number (SGTIN). The guidelines, titled "EPC-enabled RFID Serialization Management for SGTIN-96," are available as a free download here. Assigning a SGTIN to each individual item means that two otherwise identical units of the same product are uniquely identifiable, making it possible to fully use RFID for simultaneous inventory counts, and to ensure that the correct product is in the proper place at the right time, according to GS1 US. The guidelines are "another example of how industry is driving the responsible use of RFID technology in order to achieve interoperability and inventory visibility like never before—all the way from the manufacturing source to the store shelf," said GS1 US' Gena Morgan, who chaired the cross-industry user group that authored the guidelines, in a prepared statement. Several U.S. retailers and brands were part of the group that had a hand in creating the document, including Jockey International, Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Maidenform and PVH Corp. (the owner of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and other leading brands), along with several technology providers. "This should be part of every company's EPC item-level RFID implementation toolbox," added Pam Sweeney, the senior VP of logistics systems at Macy's, in the prepared statement. "It helps companies understand the importance of serialization, its relationship to the technology and why standards are so important when managing serialization." The methods described in the guidelines include so-called IT-based serialization methods, because they rely upon a tagging party's IT systems to manage the allocation of serial numbers, and are used to track which serial numbers have or have not been allocated. An alternative is chip-based serialization, which makes use of an RFID tag hardware feature known as a Tag Identifier (see Three RFID Chip Makers Agree on Serialization Approach).

Saident Announces RFID-Enabled Tube for Product Packaging and Promotion
Saident, a provider of RFID-enabled solutions for the consumer goods, health, fashion and jewelry markets, and Industrial Sagarra have introduced an RFID-enabled version of Industrial Sagarra's Packintube line of cardboard packaging for the food, beverage and perfumery industries. The new Smart Packintube product will provide detailed product information, such as ingredients, photographs and videos, when a consumer places the packaged goods on an interactive table equipped with an RFID reader. Each tube will have an RFID tag integrated within it during the manufacturing process, the company reports, adding that since the tube has metal covers, on both the top and bottom, the tag must be located between the cardboard sheets used to make the sides of the tube. Any type of RFID tag can be employed, based on the final product that the tubes will contain (such as liquids, metals and so forth). Each tag will be encoded with a unique identifier. When a tag is scanned by the RFID reader that is part of the interactive table, its unique ID number is utilized to access product information in associated software, and that information is then displayed. The table is designed to be placed at point-of-sale areas. Saident recently demonstrated the Smart Packintube in Barcelona, Spain, where the tube had an integrated ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 tag, supplied by Smartrac. Industrial Sagarra specializes in the manufacturing and marketing of cardboard tubes, and its Packintube line includes several models: Senso (packaging for goods with odors or textures), Liquid (special containers for liquid products), Eco (ecological and sustainable packaging), Protect (shipping containers for delicate products) and Design (packaging designs as works of art, drawings, posters and so on). The Smart Packintube solution is available now from Industrial Sagarra.

RFcamp Launches Small, Thin Metal-Mount RFID Tags
South Korean RFID specialty tag manufacturer RFcamp has announced a new small, thin EPC Gen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) passive tag, known as the Titan Thin-Inch, designed to be mounted on both metal and non-metal items, especially tools. The tag, measuring 1 inch by 0.4 inch by 0.08 inch, has an on-metal read range of up to 1.5 feet by a handheld reader, and up to 2.5 feet by a fixed interrogator. The read range for off-metal applications is up to 1.5 feet with a fixed reader. Available in two frequency bands—866 to 868 MHz in Europe and 902 to 928 MHz in the United States—the tag employs Alien Technology's Higgs 3 chips containing 96 or 128 bits of EPC chip memory, plus 512 bits of user memory, according to Jerry Ryu, RFcamp's CEO and founder. The Titan Thin-Inch tag is designed to withstand any harsh treatment that tools undergo during their life cycles: temperatures of 300 degree Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius), pressures of 50 bars, ultrasonic washings and various cleansing materials. RFcamp developed its own three-layer antenna on a printed circuit that is laminated under high pressure, and at a temperature of 392 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius), Ryu reports. Since 2003, RFcamp has developed more than 20 types of tags, he says, and has supplied tens of millions of specialty tags to more than 40 countries. The tags, available in samples at no cost, are currently undergoing testing. RFcamp can also laser-mark 1-D or 2-D bar codes, as well as serial numbers, on the tag's surface.

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