RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

Xerafy adds new flexible RFID inlay; Litmus, Oden Technologies offer IIoT smart manufacturing solution; CAEN RFID unveils embedded RFID reader module; Confidex provides washable returnable item tags, durable on-metal tags; Zyter announces IoT connectivity platform for schools.

Presented here are recent news announcements regarding the following organizations: Xerafy, Litmus, Oden Technologies, CAEN RFID, Confidex and Zyter.

Xerafy Adds New Flexible RFID Inlay
Xerafy has announced its flexible Theta RFID inlay, designed for such applications as plastics injection-molding processes, returnable transport items (plastic pallets, for example), automotive components, hand tools and equipment, and portable power equipment and cables. The Theta is built to withstand temperatures of up to 230 degrees Celsius (446 degrees Fahrenheit), the company reports, making it suitable for use at the point of manufacture. Its typical operational temperature range is -40 degrees to +100 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees to +212 degrees Fahrenheit).

The Theta is designed to work with a range of thermoplastic resins, according to Xerafy. It is IP68-rated, making it compatible with multiple injection-molding processes. The inlay measures 0.13 millimeter (0.005 inch) thick and can be inserted or molded into various shapes to fit exact specifications. The dry inlay, Xerafy indicates, provides strong performance when applied to metal. Since it operates at multiple RFID frequencies (902 to 928 MHz and 865 to 868 MHz), the Theta can be used in global supply chains.

The read range for the handheld version is up to 16 feet (4.9 meters); for a fixed model, the range is up to 29.5 feet (9 meters). Polarization is linear and the RF protocol used is  EPCglobal's Class 1 Gen 2 standard. The inlay comes with an  Alien Technology Higgs-3 RFID chip containing 96 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory, 512 bits of user memory and a 64-bit serialized transponder ID (TID). The chip's data retention is up to 50 years, the company reports, based on its operation under general environmental conditions.

The Theta is resistant to various caustic chemicals, Xerafy reports, and to drops of up to 3 feet (0.9 meter) onto concrete or granite. The inlay is designed to work with a range of thermoplastic resins, the company adds, and is compatible with multiple injection-molding processes.

Litmus, Oden Technologies Offer IIoT Smart Manufacturing Solution
Litmus, a provider of intelligent edge-computing systems, has announced a partnership with  Oden Technologies, a firm that helps manufacturers make decisions via machine learning and analytics. Litmus and Oden are offering a solution for smart manufacturing that includes data acquisition, analytics and machine learning, to help users drive production efficiency.

The Litmus Edge data-intelligence platform can collect and analyze high volumes of live data from industrial assets, the company reports, and can make that information available to OT and IT systems via edge-to-enterprise integration. Oden provides a big-data computing engine, machine learning, and real-time and predictive process metrics. The two companies offer a 90-day pilot of the Litmus + Oden solution to demonstrate the return on investment that companies can achieve, from installation to pre-built machine-learning-prescribed improvements.

"We can get customers up and running by connecting to any machine and collecting data in minutes, then integrate that data with Oden so customers can see proven predictive and prescriptive applications to deliver value in under 30 days," said John Younes, Litmus's co-founder and COO, in a prepared statement. "Litmus provides intelligence at the edge, and Oden provides the cloud-based analytics and machine learning necessary to predict and prevent problems, then prescribe actions that lead to better business decisions."

Litmus Edge is deployed at the edge with more than 250 pre-built drivers to connect to any PLC, CNC, sensor or robotic system with no programming required, the companies report, and can process and normalize data automatically. Litmus feeds clean data to Oden's industrial AI platform, which offers real-time metrics and reporting, along with predictive quality, performance optimization and other automated insights.

"With Litmus + Oden, customers can create a complete source of truth for all production data," said Willem Sundblad, Oden Technologies' co-founder and CEO, in the prepared statement. "We are excited to partner with Litmus to deliver increased operational visibility and automated insights that help customers reduce waste, optimize performance and maximize profitability across the factory floor." Pricing for Litmus + Oden is based on the number of manufacturing processes and the number of sites deployed.

CAEN RFID Unveils Embedded RFID Reader Module
CAEN RFID has announced the availability of its latest RFID reader module for embedded applications, known as the Hadronmini. The reader module has a compact form factor, the company reports, and is suitable for integration in a variety of identification devices, such as mobile terminals, kiosks, wearables and other devices that need to embed RFID technology.

With programmable output power ranging from 10dBm to 27dBm, the module can detect tags at a distance of more than 3 meters (9.8 feet), depending on the antenna and tag dimensions. Due to its low power consumption, the unit is designed to be integrated in battery-powered devices. The module's RF core is based on an Impinj chipset that, according to CAEN RFID, enables it to achieve fast reading speeds and be used in reader- and tag-dense environments.

The device's compact nature and surface-mount technology allow users to embed the module inside small-form-factor industrial handhelds, smartphone accessories and other compact devices. The module is available in versions for both European and U.S. regulatory environments, making it suitable for integration in systems requiring compliance with different geographical regions.


Confidex Provides Washable Returnable Item Tags, Durable On-Metal Tags
Confidex has announced that its Carrier family of tags is designed for use in tracking plastic returnable transit items (RTIs), while its Steelwave family of products are suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.

Carrier products are intended to withstand washing processes, the company reports. Labels can be printed and encoded with standard RFID printers, or they can be ordered pre-personalized. Personalization options include pre-encoding and customized printing. The Carrier HF, measuring 25 millimeters by 25 millimeters (1 inch by 1 inch) is a printer-compliant NFC and HF RFID label for washable RTIs. The Carrier HF uses industrial-grade materials and is available with  NXP's NTAG213 and SLIX2 to offer a solution for both ISO 14443 and ISO 15693 applications.

The Carrier Classic measures 8 millimeters (0.3 inch) in width and is suitable for tracking plastic containers with limited space available for an RFID label. The Carrier PRO, meanwhile, offers a large area for visual printing. Its antenna design offers reliable tracking even when close to products containing high water content, the firm reports. Designed for harsh environments, the Carrier Tough Slim is a robust hard tag with personalization options.

The Steelwave product family, according to Confidex, offers multiple attachment methods, small footprints, flexibility and high performance for deployments of asset-tracking projects with diverse requirements. The Steelwave HF, measuring 25 millimeters by 25 millimeters, is a flexible NFC and HF RFID label option for metallic assets that is available with an ISO 15693-compliant SLIX2 chip. It measures less than 4 millimeters in thickness, offers a 12-meter (39-foot) read range, has a large printing area and is protected against chemicals, with a transparent protective layer.

Zyter Announces IoT Connectivity Platform for Schools
Zyter, a digital health and Internet of Things (IoT) enablement platform, has announced the availability of its Smart Universities IoT connectivity platform, designed for school campuses. Smart Universities is intended to transform student life, both on and off campus, through smart classroom-based teaching, enhanced communication and collaboration via secure remote learning, as well as wayfinding, navigation and other personalized engagement options, all using familiar mobile devices. The platform provides campus administrators with visibility into what is happening across a network of connected devices and sensors deployed around a campus, supported by analytics. Zyter's IoT platform enables the launch of new capabilities.

Smart Universities helps higher-education providers create a connected campus experience with embedded smart technologies and sensors for facilities and utility management, surveillance and security with video analytics, campus navigation, on-campus transportation, smart parking and more. As a result, campus administrators can maximize resource utilization, minimize waste, and lower operational and labor costs. Additionally, Zyter's SmartSpaces system delivers a stream of data from all connected technologies to drive analytical insights into student behavior and campus operations.

The platform connects students and faculty members to create a meaningful, productive campus experience. It enables interactive smart whiteboard-based teaching, personal and real-time engagement with students on mobile devices through smart campus navigation, secure file transfer, private group and broadcast messaging, and classroom chats. Faculty members have access to a dynamic dashboard with student data and behavioral analytics to predict student outcomes, increase student participation in campus activities, and view and respond to student issues.

Online collaboration capabilities provide students with educational resources in a digital experience. The Smart Universities remote-learning platform for continuing education can be used by higher-education providers to attract a larger pool of remote students and boost enrollment. The solution enables collaborative remote learning using multiple tools like interactive smart whiteboards, smart annotation, analytics and smart videos.

"Zyter Smart Universities is the intelligent link that connects students, faculty and administrators to relevant data," said Sanjay Govil, Zyter's founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "While students can enjoy a more meaningful campus experience, administrators have a secure, customizable platform on which to integrate and manage all smart digital technologies across their campus."