RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

Printronix Auto ID launches industrial RFID printer; D.O RFID releases plastic RFID cards; Otis Elevator Co. debuts IoT solution to lift elevator performance; ShieldIOT raises $3.6 million seed round led by Innogy Innovation Hub; Kerlink intros LoRaWAN IoT gateway for smart cities and buildings; BehrTech unveils smart sensor for environmental monitoring in IIoT applications; Unified Office offers IoT-based restaurant food-safety service platform.

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Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Printronix Auto ID;
D.O RFID;
Otis Elevator Co.;
ShieldIOT;
Kerlink;
BehrTech; and
Unified Office.

Printronix Auto ID Launches Industrial RFID Printer

Printronix Auto ID, a provider of enterprise-level printing solutions, has announced an RFID version of its T4000 thermal barcode printer. The T4000 can print and encode on-metal RFID tags, as well as standard labels, which the company says makes it suitable for most RFID applications, including the tagging of tools and equipment used in the health-care, manufacturing, supply chain, IT and service yard sectors.

“On-metal tags typically come with a foam insulator and metal foil backing, which makes them incompatible with most standard RFID printer-encoders,” said Neil Baker, Printronix Auto ID’s sales manager for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Benelux and South Africa, in a prepared statement. “But because the T4000 RFID printer was designed from scratch, it was engineered to handle such media with ease.” To maintain accuracy, the T4000 will back up and completely overstrike, then reprint, any RFID labels that fail to encode properly.

“The T4000 with RFID capability is a welcome addition to our rapidly growing line of RFID printers,” Baker said in the prepared statement. “It’s highly affordable and represents great value to our customers. It’s easy to use, is very compact, offers extremely high productivity and has the dual flexibility of printing on-metal or traditional RFID tags.” The T4000 can be ordered with or without RFID capability, Printronix reports, noting that its small footprint and compact size enable it to be housed in areas where space is limited. The device can print up to 5,000 labels or tags a day at a rate of 10 inches per second.

The T4000 has multiple connectivity options, remote printer management tools and automated alerts to keep operations functioning at peak efficiency and productivity. It comes standard with Ethernet, USB host, USB device and serial connectivity; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are optional extras. The device is built on the Printronix System Architecture platform, which is intended to simplify printer replacement and installation. A quick-change memory card is optionally available.

The T4000 stores printer configurations and network settings, simplifying printer installation and operation. “Operation could not be simpler,” Baker added. “A 3.5-inch color display provides good, clear illumination for easy navigation in any conditions. The T4000 has a bifold door to enable users to easily change media and ribbons, even in confined spaces. To cut down on media changes, the side-loading label and ribbon spindles can accommodate 8-inch media rolls and 450-metre ribbons.”

D.O RFID Releases Plastic RFID Cards

D.O RFID, a China-based company, has announced the release of its plastic RFID cards. According to the company, the plastic in its RFID cards enables it to customize the cards according to a customer’s specific needs. The cards are designed to be durable and offer a long lifespan.

The basic material used in the cards is PVC plastic, according to D.O RFID. The company prints various kinds of cards, such as business cards, gift cards, membership cards, loyalty cards and more. The company says it can make cards according to a customer’s coloring scheme and shape requirements.

D.O RFID’s Combo plastic card can be used for advertisement and as a loyalty card. The cards are made from the 30-mil plastic and are suitable for use with gym and club memberships, as well as at grocery stores, malls, hotels and restaurants. In addition, the cards can enable customers to check in and out of a facility. Applications include access control, employee attendance tracking, employee identification, ticket reading and more.

Otis Elevator Co. Debuts IoT Solution to Lift Elevator Performance

Otis Elevator Co. has announced that it has launched its Otis IoT Solution in China. With the debut of this solution, Otis is offering a digital service that connects elevator systems, Otis field professionals, property managers and regulatory authorities in China. The goal, according to the company, is to increase elevator safety and performance by boosting maintenance quality and reducing elevator downtime.

“Bringing our customer focus and service digitalization together, Otis IoT is now available in China from Otis Elevator China, under the brand name Otis ONE and from Otis Electric as Otis CONNECT,” said Perry Zheng, the president of Otis China, in a prepared statement. “These offerings bring field professionals and customers into the data-insight-action loop and make elevator systems more visible and predictable. The growth potential of IoT and other digital technologies is beyond our imagination today as we continuously upgrade with new applications and functions to meet customers’ dynamic needs. It empowers us to help people connect and thrive in a taller, faster, smarter world.”

Based on Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, the Otis IoT Solution has undergone several pilot implementations in China since being announced globally last year. Customers, regulators and field professionals have been involved in the trials, providing feedback to customize the solution, and to ensure it meets the specific needs of the Chinese market.

The Otis IoT Solution automatically collects data regarding individual elevator units through multiple interfaces, then interprets that information in the cloud via data analytics and predictive algorithms. These insights are routed to Otis’s monitoring center, as well as to field professionals, using the smartphone-enabled Otis Eagle System, facilitating preventive maintenance and providing regulatory authorities and customers with real-time data and health reports.

The Otis IoT Solution provides transparent information, proactive communications and predictive insights, according to the company. It offers continuous visibility of a customer’s elevator portfolio and allows field professionals and customers to drill down into precise unit-specific information. As a result, the firm explains, the Otis IoT Solution helps field teams make faster and more informed decisions, while enabling Otis to improve elevator performance and reduce downtime for building owners and passengers.

“Driven by innovation and teamwork, our sales, marketing, field and engineering teams have come together to create the Otis IoT Solution,” Zheng continued in the prepared statement. “We are proud to continue to revolutionize elevator service to help customers protect and prolong their assets and give passengers the safe, comfortable and reliable riding experience they expect from Otis.”

ShieldIOT Raises $3.6 Million Seed Round Led by Innogy Innovation Hub

ShieldIOT, an Internet of Things (IoT) cybersecurity software company, has announced that it had raised $3.6 million in a Series Seed funding round. The round was led by Innogy Innovation Hub, the accelerator and venture capital arm of German energy company Innogy SE. The round was joined by additional investments from Janvest Capital Partners, Danmar Capital, Minvest and private investors. Founded in 2017 by cybersecurity and big-data analytics industry experts Udi Solomon and Ohad Levin, the Israeli-based company leverages Coreset-AI technology to help service providers protect large-scale complex IoT networks.

“The IoT is going to shape the future of many industries, with the energy system chief among them,” said Christof Kortz, Innogy Innovation Hub’s director of strategic cybersecurity venturing, in a prepared statement. “The IoT-enabled energy system will face new multi-layered and complex security challenges. In ShieldIOT, we have found a company with exciting technology that is designed to secure any IoT device in any topology at scale. We are impressed by the ShieldIOT team’s vision and the strong business traction they’ve generated with customers and partners across different IoT domains, such as smart cities, connected buildings, connected transportation and smart grid security.”

ShieldIOT’s AI-based software security platform enables service providers and utilities to manage the security of any IoT device, application or network across different verticals, the company reports, while generating new revenue streams. “The Internet of Things is a new chaotic sphere, characterized by countless different devices and applications across various IoT networks and protocols,” said Udi Solomon, ShieldIOT’s CEO and co-founder, in the prepared statement.

“Many of these devices were not designed with security in mind, are cost-sensitive and lack the minimum resources required for performing security functions,” Solomon explained. “Ultimately, all IoT devices connect to the network center either directly, for example over cellular networks, or indirectly via a dedicated gateway. ShieldIOT’s secures both channels while delivering up to 20 times’ reduction in false alarms, and without the need for any network changes or costly hard-to-find security expertise.”

Kerlink Intros LoRaWAN IoT Gateway for Smart Cities and Buildings

Kerlink, a provider of solutions dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT), has announced the latest member of its i-series LoRaWAN gateway line targeting use cases in smart cities, smart buildings and other digital applications that require dedicated indoor coverage and/or network densification and built-in 3G/4G backhaul.

The solution, known as Wirnet iFemtoCell-evolution, leverages the same software as Kerlink’s Wirnet iBTS, iStation and iFemtoCell equipment, which allows LoRaWAN IoT network owners to reduce operational costs thanks to a simpler integration and a unique user experience. This new gateway offers a more intuitive design, the company reports, and is supported by Kerlink’s Wanesy Management Center software suite for monitoring and managing IoT networks.

The new LoRaWAN gateway offers flexible power options, mixing a 90-264VAC/12VDC power supply with a jack connector provided, a 5VDC power/USB-C and an uninterrupted power supply granting 24h autonomy (accessory) to cover a wide range of field use-cases. To power small private networks, Wirnet iFemtoCell-evolution supports Kerlink Wanesy Small Private Network Version 2 (SPN2), which bundles a LoRaWAN gateway-management system and a LoRaWAN network server.

Wirnet iFemtoCell-evolution is the second new Wirnet i-series carrier-grade gateway introduced by Kerlink this year. Wirnet iStation, announced in June, is designed for outdoor LoRaWAN network deployments, delivers 4G backhaul connectivity with integrated internal antennas and meets customer requirements for outdoor LoRaWAN IoT network deployment and management, according to the company.

BehrTech Unveils Smart Sensor for Environmental Monitoring in IIoT Applications

BehrTech, a disruptive enabler of wireless connectivity for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced the launch of its MYTHINGS Smart Sensor. This wireless, multi-purpose sensor uses telegram splitting technology for long-range communication in IIoT networks.

The MYTHINGS Smart Sensor measures acceleration, temperature, humidity, vibration, pressure and shock levels. Unlike smart sensors intended for stationary use only, the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor supports mobile data communication up to 120km/hr, whether attached to a moving object or transmitting data to a moving base station. Its compact, portable design makes the MYTHINGS Smart Sensor suitable for a variety of environmental monitoring and other IIoT applications, the company reports, such as production quality and control, equipment health monitoring, off-road fleet management, cold chain monitoring and energy management. An integrated GPS unit facilitates asset tracking and can establish a real-world wireless coverage map.

“As with all MYTHINGS products, our goal is to deliver highly integrable and interoperable wireless connectivity,” said Wolfgang Thieme, BehrTech’s chief product officer, in a prepared statement. “The MYTHINGS Smart Sensor is built with an open serial interface so our customers can connect to their existing equipment for simplified deployment in brownfield environments and more flexibility in defining application data.”

BehrTech provides OEM partners with access to the complete MYTHINGS Smart Sensor reference design, including schematics, layouts, firmware and relevant documentation.

Unified Office Offers IoT-based Restaurant Food-Safety Service Platform

Unified Office, a managed services provider offering hybrid cloud-based business-communications services, Internet of Things (IoT) services and data analytics, has announced its Food Safety Service for restaurants. This program combines various components of its Total Connect NowSM business-communications platform, including its Visual Performance Suite business analytics and Total Connect Now Operations Performance Suite IoT services. Hundreds of Quick Service and Fast Casual restaurants across the United States, including more than 100 Domino’s franchisees, are currently using these services to meet food-safety requirements, the company reports.

“With Unified Office, we can spend more time running our business and training and coaching employees and less time worrying about our phone services going down or our temperatures going up,” said Augusto Garcia, the owner of Domino’s franchise Springfield Pie, in a prepared statement. “If any indicator goes out of my pre-set ranges, I get a notification so I can stay in charge of our operation from anywhere in the world. We have also increased our revenue using Unified Office’s Total Connect NowSM service with its Food Safety Service. The service is very easy to use and reliable, and Unified Office’s execution has been flawless. It has given us a great return on our investment.”

The Food Safety Service is based on Unified Office’s Total Connect NowSM and VoIP/UC services, which run on its patented HQRP transmission network platform. This secure HQRP network is the foundation of Unified Office’s Total Connect NowSM managed services platform, upon which all of its services are based.

“Food safety is a major hot button issue in the restaurant industry right now,” said Ray Pasquale, the founder and CEO of Unified Office, in the prepared statement. “The food safety technology market is a $20 billion-dollar market with millions being spent each year on everything from germ-detection AI technologies to automated food kiosks, IoT sensors and robot chefs. We saw a way to meet this need with a combination of our existing services, which we customized for the restaurant industry.”

Unified Office’s Food Safety Service incorporates its Total Connect Now Operations Performance Suite offering to monitor refrigeration, fan exhaust emissions, prep table temperatures, door sensors and other components that are crucial not only to maintaining food safety compliance but also monitoring and alerting on temperature variations that might result in food inventory waste. The service monitors and analyzes IoT data, and this information can also be made available to an HVAC contractor so it can proactively respond to potential failures before they can occur. For example, the company’s software can report on temperature ranges set by a restaurant operator so that if the temperature rises above or falls below a specified level, an alert can be issued to management.

The Food Safety Service also enables restaurant managers to upload videos to play periodically for employees on VPSTM TV wallboards, to remind them to perform specified safety procedures such as washing hands or checking make table temperatures. The wallboard can display analytics in real time, showing staff performance in answering calls and providing customer service. A portion of the wallboard can also be dedicated to IoT analytics that monitor different elements of a company’s infrastructure, such as freezers, refrigerators and make tables.