What will I need to do?
I hope you have some money to invest. You will need to purchase chips from one of the companies that manufacture the microchips that go into RFID transponders, such as those from NXP Semiconductors, Impinj or Alien Technology. NXP makes chips for both passive high-frequency (HF) and ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags, while Alien and Impinj offer only UHF chips. You will also need to buy antennas or equipment for making antennas, and material for the substrate. And you will need to purchase a machine that attaches the chips to antennas, and then inserts inlays into labels. Or you could just buy inlays and convert them into labels.
The challenge with such a business, frankly, is that it is volume-driven. Avery Dennison, Smartrac Technology and Invengo, three major players, can produce a billion tags a year, so they will be able to manufacture tags more cheaply than you would likely be able to as a startup. They thus receive volume discounts on purchases of raw materials, and benefit from the economies of scale.
A more realistic idea might be for you to focus on the services associated with installing RFID systems, and with integrating them with a company’s existing systems. Good luck!
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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