Opportunities for Label Converters

By Mark Roberti

The growth of RFID adoption in retail, apparel, baggage tracking, food and other industries is creating new business for label converters, and a new resource can help them grow their business.

Five or 10 years ago, most radio frequency identification projects were fairly small and tactical. The number of tags or "smart labels" used was typically in the tens of thousands, or perhaps the hundreds of thousands. These days, projects are much larger, with many deployments involving millions of RFID tags, and the growth of RFID in retail, apparel, airline baggage, food and other sectors is creating new opportunities for label converters.

To help companies seize this opportunity, RFID Journal has produced a white paper for Avery Dennison, titled "Intelligent Labels: New Market Opportunities for Label Converters."

The purpose of this paper is to guide label converters in identifying markets, choosing inlays and converting inlays into finished labels. There is a section that explains the state of the market for smart labels in automotive manufacturing, aviation, cosmetics and beauty, food production, logistics and other sectors. The paper also discusses the level of RFID knowledge required, as well as the technology and equipment needed. A key section involves choosing an inlay provider. (An inlay is an RFID chip and an antenna mounted on a substrate; this is sandwiched between an adhesive layer and a layer of paper that can be printed.)

In addition, the white paper features a section about sustainability, as many governments around the world are adopting regulations that restrict what can be put in landfills. In the past, RFID antennas were made from etched copper, which requires the use of harsh chemicals that must then be disposed of. Newer production techniques allow Avery Dennison, for example, to produce high-performance inlays without the need for harsh chemicals or plastic substrates, making these inlays more environmentally friendly. This is a great new resource for label converters, and you can download the white paper here.

Avery Dennison will host a free seminar, "Understanding the Value of RFID and the Future of Intelligent Labels," at RFID Journal LIVE! 2020, which will take place on Apr. 28-30 at Florida's Orlando Country Convention Center. If you are a label converter or an apparel company that wants to produce its own smart labels, please send an email to customerservice@rfidjournal.com and request a free pass.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal.