Are there any inexpensive mount-on-metal tags that can be used (printed on and encoded) with a Zebra printer?
Several firms manufacture metal-mount tags that can be printed via a thermal bar-code printer that is RFID-enabled. One is Omni-ID, which makes the IQ 400 and IQ 600 tags (see Omni-ID Introduces Printable On-Metal RFID Labels). These tags are designed to provide on-metal functionality in the form of a hard tag, but can be printed on a thermal bar-code printer and then be affixed to an item via the tags’ built-in adhesive.
Another company is Xerafy, a manufacturer of industrial RFID tags. Xerafy’s Titanium Metal Skin tag is a small, thin, on-metal RFID label that the company says it developed for very cost-sensitive asset-management applications. The Titanium Metal Skin label complies with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards for passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags, and measures 1.77 inches by 0.22 inch by 0.03 inch (45 millimeters by 5.6 millimeters by 0.8 millimeter). It is small and flexible enough for use on smartphones, tablet computers and other low-profile assets requiring accurate, secure identification, according to Xerafy, and is engineered to work well when applied to foil packaging, such as on pharmaceutical bottles or cosmetics (see RFID News Roundup: Xerafy Intros New Read-on-Metal RFID Label).
A third is Finnish RFID tag provider Confidex. The company’s printable, flexible on-metal adhesive label is known as the Silverline (see Confidex Releases Printable, Flexible On-Metal RFID Label).
Whether these tags are inexpensive or not depends on your definition of the term. You can purchase a roll of 200 IQ 400 labels for about $300, so they cost about $1.50 each. The other tags are probably around the same price. If you purchase in larger quantities, you will get a better price.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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