A few months ago, I started receiving questions about switching into a new IC in inlay manufacturing. All these vendors had done several IC changes over the years, but there was something new going on. The questions were centered around possible shortcuts in the process.
“What if I just change the IC and don’t change the antenna design at all?”
“What if I don’t waste time in machine settings and just do it quick n’ dirty?”
“Are there any ICs that are ‘plug and play’ with other models?”
Unfortunately, I could not offer any help. I did find the question interesting though. At first, I tried to figure out some approaches on my own but did not get past the very basics. That is when I asked help from my colleagues Juho Partanen and Jesse Tuominen, and started doing some research on the topic.
For more than a decade, RAIN RFID tag antennas were etched, and the substrate was PET film. Copper was first substituted with aluminium, and various other technologies have emerged, such as printed antennas, and cutting, milling or laser engraving metal foils.
I work as an engineer at Voyantic and my main field of expertise are electronics and radio science. Last autumn I started studying business administration to get a wider perspective in general. I have been trying to tie my work and studies together as much as possible, and when I attended a course called “Future experts 2030”, I got the idea to look into the future and see what it might bring for the RFID industry. More specifically: I tried to pick some trends which would have the most impact on the growth of the RFID industry.
On Feb 17th 2021, we hosted an online panel discussion on the future direction of RAIN RFID tag design and tagging implementations. The panelists for the discussion were Matti Tavilampi from Avery Dennison, Steve Berry from Impinj and Jesse Tuominen from Voyantic. The discussion topics ranged from industry trends and standards to the development of readers, systems, ICs, and manufacturing technologies as well as embedded tags and smart packaging.
I recently gave a presentation at the RAIN Alliance and AIM EngageAgain event about co-existence of multiple RAIN RFID systems in hospitals. I felt that the topic is important since the use of RAIN RFID is booming in the healthcare industry – including hospitals. Hospitals are unique and challenging environments as there may be several RAIN RFID systems operating in parallel. Each system has its own tags and readers, but they are not isolated from each other.
The coexistence of these systems should be taken into account from the beginning to ensure reliable system operations. The good news is that RAIN RFID technology includes several tools and methods to help with the challenge.
The COVID-19 pandemic has motivated many companies, including us, to develop and improve different business areas. We started a project studying ARC certified labels, which first required us to get our hands on as many certified labels as possible. Most companies were easy to cooperate with, but in many cases, the sourcing process was extended by additional communications. As a recommendation to tag suppliers, we want to point out that sample orders can be the start of a new, long-lasting customer relationship, which is a good reason to process sample orders with the same importance as regular orders.
中文版 Chinese version Dear Santa, It’s great to start a letter by recognizing that 2019 has again been a truly astonishing year. Not only the tide of RAIN business has been positive, but also the talent pool is headed in the right direction. Take an example, Mr. Sipi Savolainen, a veteran of UPM, Smartrac, and Walki, made a 1-year detour to now find himself back in RAIN business at StoraEnso. We’ve also been fortunate to hire new talents to further expand our own team in Finland. 2019 Cleared Many Issues off the Slate In my letter to you a year ago I called f...
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The Finns drink more coffee than anyone else in the world. If you read more, you’ll see what it has to do with NFC.
In the past year, I have given half a dozen presentations aimed to label printers and converters considering entry to smart label manufacturing. Just recently I introduced RAIN RFID to a group of printing professionals from Thailand and elsewhere in East Asia and South-East Asia in ASPT 2019 popup event in Bangkok. Many printing companies are thinking about how to replace declining ink-on-paper business, and smart labels are a good option popup.
中文版 Chinese version I recently visited an NFC forum meeting where I listened to industry presentations and discussed with many NFC industry experts. User experience, user expectation, and physical level interoperability of various NFC devices came up frequently. This prompted me to finish this article, a draft version was written already while ago. I tested a few smartphones for NFC tapping user-friendliness and dug a bit deeper on the factors affecting the user experience. Three NFC Application Types When I think of NFC, I think of three very different application types and different experiences with them. Smart card: Think of a hotel ...
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