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.
Published: September 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.