AEG ID

Sustainable RFID Production Made-in-Europe

AEG Identifikationssysteme has been a pioneer in the world of RFID since 1989

AEG Identifikationssysteme

AEG Identifikationssysteme, or AEG ID for short, offers unique solutions for challenging applications. As a manufacturer of tags, readers and customized products, the southern German company adapts all hardware components precisely to the respective requirements.

The focus lies on solutions for access, security, identification, labeling and authentication.

Norbert Knapich, Partner and Managing Director of AEG ID since 2023, and Simon Arch, explain how the technology company has developed into an international provider of RFID technology for all frequency ranges over the past decades.

Company story powered by: the Think WIOT Group and AEG ID

Production facility and headquarters in Ulm

Production facility and headquarters in Ulm. As one of the first pioneers, AEG ID has specialized in RFID labeling and identification since 1989.

Norbert Knapich, shareholder and managing director of AEG ID

"AEG ID combines two key competencies under one roof. We are a solution provider and manufacturer of transponders and readers. This constellation ensures a stable and flexible position on the market. How do we know this? Whenever things get difficult, we step in and get the application and hardware up and running successfully."

Norbert Knapich,
Shareholder and Managing Director of AEG ID since 2023, has been with the company since 2004.

RFID Products for Almost 35 Years

Norbert Knapich: To answer your question in a few words: AEG ID has an enormous vertical range of manufacture. The only raw material we purchase is silicon. All other components are produced at the main site in Ulm, or at the production site in Vrchlabi, Czech Republic.

We can therefore adapt optimally to challenging situations or specific customer requirements. We have control over all production steps, from the chip, to the finished product. Our current product portfolio meets the requirements of a constantly evolving market.

Simon Arch: I would also like to add that it is not just us in the management team, but also the entire team that is on hand with expertise for any individual solution. This means that when a reader is sold, the engineer responsible knows that it was his project. He developed the hardware and software completely on his own responsibility.

This results in a high level of identification, satisfaction and a sense of responsibility at AEG ID. We see ourselves as a soccer team and always act together.

Simon Arch: 'Made-in-Germany' is not trivial in terms of energy and labor costs. Nevertheless, this strategy gives us an enormous competitive advantage. Since 2008, we have been producing entirely in Europe at two locations. In concrete terms, 60 percent of all products are manufactured in Germany and 40 percent in the Czech Republic.

This constellation has enabled us to cushion supply bottlenecks very well during the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to supply our customers with transponders and readers as agreed. That is why 'Made-in-Germany or Europe' primarily stands for high-quality products and a reliable supply chain. However, without our automation strategy in production, the transformation to 'Made-in-Germany' would not have been possible.

Knapich: More often than expected, RFID systems are installed that do not lead to success or may even cause complications. That's when we come into play. Our orders primarily include technological challenges that cannot be overcome with standard applications.

As we cover the entire frequency range, low, high and ultra-high frequency as well as NFC, we can offer flexible solutions. On-site test applications also build on trust with the customer.

Arch: Initial installation or simple implementations are of course also part of our projects. Our customers want to identify, automate, digitize, record, control, secure or even authenticate. The range is enormous.

Understanding the key data of the customer's existing processes and the desired goals for process optimization are the first steps in finding a solution. Only then can the appropriate transponders, antennas and readers be determined. Each installation must be adapted precisely to the customer's requirements and the existing infrastructure. We help our customers to make their processes operational and efficient.

Knapich: I'd also like to add that we primarily offer solutions in the areas of access control, time recording, animal identification, industrial processes, track and trace, container management as well as traceability, inventory, maintenance and testing. We have developed new readers and solutions for these areas that combine a wide variety of reading algorithms and that integrate the latest bus systems.

Glass transponder production at AEG ID

Glass transponder production at AEG ID.

Parent Group AEG AG Sets the Foundation at the End of the 1980s

AEG Identifikationssysteme has been part of the AEG AG Group since 1989. From the very beginning, the company focused on labeling and identification technologies. In 1996, AEG ID was spun off from the parent group. In 2003, AEG ID became independent and was established as a limited liability company with its headquarters in Ulm. This year, the company's history of technological development culminated in the stable company takeover by a new, experienced management team.

Since 2023, Norbert Knapich, who has been with AEG ID since 2004, has led the company as Managing Director. Simon Arch holds the position of Head of Sales (CSO) and Head of Marketing. He has been with AEG ID since 2007. Norbert Knapich and Simon Arch focus on consistency, sustainability and solution-oriented proximity to the customer.

RFID Solution for Coca Cola in the Early 2000s

With its corporate history, the high-tech company is one of the pioneers of RFID technology in Europe. The RFID solution for the Coca Cola Group in the early 2000s was a spectacular achievement. At the time, AEG ID developed an RFID-supported filling control and keg identification system for the beverage giant. This application is still in operation today. Almost simultaneously, the company launched glass transponders for the identification of animals. Further industry and sector solutions followed.

Today, AEG ID has flexible production capacities and handles both small quantities and large international orders. The company is represented worldwide by its long-standing partner network. The RFID systems are in use from Hawaii to Japan and from Norway to South Africa.

New Products

Arch: Yes, we produce the chips in a wide variety of designs, options and customer-specific printing technologies with a high level of vertical integration at our production facilities in Ulm and Vrchlabi. The only raw material we purchase is silicon.

Knapich: The focus of the applications is on transponders that record production data, for example in industrial production. In photovoltaics, for example, the panels must always be supplied with a certain wattage. However, the cells themselves always deliver different wattages.

Although the number per batch is very homogeneous, it varies considerably across all batches. This means that the producers must have batch-controlled production. Transponders that uniquely identify the panel and thus enable the exact recording of production data are therefore essential.

Knapich: Whenever a manufacturer wants to ensure that the original product is used and that this product cannot be plagiarized, encryption algorithms are used. Our transponders offer this feature.

Knapich: Yes. We also offer transponders for technologically more demanding projects. Transponders that have combinations of different frequency ranges in one product are required for secure access and time recording in particular. Some solutions also require two different transponders in the same frequency range.

Arch: The requirements for RFID transponders are currently increasing, as transponders in systems and machines must not be vulnerable to attack. This means that data communication must be encrypted. Our products deliver this performance.

Arch: We manufacture transponders in a wide variety of shapes, designs and frequencies. We already have a standard product portfolio, mainly for the sectors of animal identification, industry and logistics, security, testing and maintenance technology as well as kegs and containers. Customer-specific transponders represent another large sector.

Knapich: Our reader portfolio includes mobile and stationary devices for all frequencies. We offer the ARE H9 LF handheld reader with medium range for mobile data capture in the animal sector as well as in industry and logistics. It offers excellent performance in logistics. We manufacture stationary readers for harsh industrial environments and desktop applications.

The ARE i9x LF reader, for example, combines all common LF algorithms in one device, can be installed directly on metal and has a connection for an external antenna. Our new ARE i2.0x reader series is a very powerful further development of the existing devices for industrial applications.

Arch: The ARE i2.0x product series is the successor to the ARE i2 series, which is used in large numbers worldwide. These new devices master a wide range of reading technologies and algorithms in one device. In principle, they cover everything from the past to the future.

Knapich: We are somewhat unique at this point. Most providers always adapt their current portfolio to new devices and no longer keep older device generations in stock. It's different with us. We can also meet the device requirements for the older RFID applications previously installed. We therefore also supply customers who are using legacy systems.

For industrial automation, we supply RFID solutions that can work with both old systems and new technologies.

Transponders, handhelds and stationary readers

The AEG ID portfolio includes transponders, handhelds and stationary readers.

Sustainability Made-in-Europe

Arch: We have understood what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has conclusively demonstrated – avoiding emissions costs only 0.6 percent of annual value creation, whereas repairing the damage will cost many times more if we continue to act as before.

Knapich: No, the economic argument is of course just one of many. But for us as a private company, it is a very important one. A climate-neutral company like AEG ID has a competitive advantage in times where there is a shortage of qualified workers. According to a recent survey by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, 91 percent of respondents in Germany want an environmentally and climate-friendly economy. We offer this.

Qualified and motivated employees therefore respond positively to our certification. In addition, we actually have customers for whom a neutral carbon footprint represents a decisive criterion.

Arch: First and foremost, we manufacture our components ourselves and produce our products entirely in Europe. 40 percent of our transponders are manufactured in the Czech Republic and 60 percent in Germany. The readers and antennas are also manufactured in Germany. This fact alone means that our resource consumption and CO2 footprint are relatively small.

Knapich: On the other hand, we support climate protection projects in countries of the Global South, where they have the greatest impact on development. They simultaneously strengthen economic development, improve people's living conditions and protect our planet. This is linked to offsetting our greenhouse gas emissions.

By purchasing climate protection certificates in 2022 and 2023, we have completely offset our CO2 emissions. We are using these certificates to support a forest conservation project in Brazil and a hydropower plant in Uganda.

Arch: We have been a founding member of the Berlin-based Alliance for Development and Climate Foundation since 2018. We are also a member of the Climate Initiative of the Senate of Economy, which was founded in 2011. We also work together with Fokus Zukunft to promote both regional and global climate protection projects.

AEG ID has been certified as a climate-neutral company by Fokus Zukunft since 2019. The company received the climate-neutral status because unavoidable CO2 emissions were neutralized beyond the required level by investing in internationally recognized climate protection projects.

Once it's CO2 footprint had been calculated, AEG ID worked with Fokus Zukunft to introduce measures to reduce CO2 and offset unavoidable emissions with the help of high-quality climate protection certificates.

Simon Arch, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) & Head of Marketing at AEG ID

"At AEG ID, we understand that every identification requirement is unique. That's why we take the time to understand our customers' specific applications so that we can then make tailored recommendations. This customer-centric approach is reflected in our product range, which aims to make ID processes as simple as possible for our customers. Our guiding principle ‘We make ID easy’ illustrates our commitment to providing outstanding identification solutions that focus on customer satisfaction."

Simon Arch,
Chief Sales Officer (CSO) & Head of Marketing.

Application Areas

 

As a leading full-service provider, AEG ID develops, produces and distributes both transponders and readers that are optimally matched to the respective application.

Industry and Automation

RFID transponders and readers from AEG ID are a reliable component of Industry 4.0 solutions. Transponders and readers for delivery logistics and industrial automation solutions are constantly being further developed.

These systems are used, for example, in the automotive industry to control production logistics and generally to track merchandise carriers and containers. Other applications include immobilizers, NFC solutions and waste disposal.

Also worth mentioning are AEG ID's disc transponders, which can withstand the harshest industrial processes, humidity, chemical exposure and peak temperatures from -40 °C to +200 °C.

Industry and Automation

Security

AEG ID produces to the very highest quality standards and tests all products for 100% functionality before delivery. This standard is essential, especially in the field of access and security solutions. The portfolio includes ISO cards and key fobs, which are used for access applications in the building sector, time recording, billing, vending and in the event sector.

High-quality mediums with one or more transponders are available. Magnetic stripes, signature fields, thermal foils, contact chips, laser engraving and clip holes are available for cards.

Security

Animal Identification

In accordance with the European Union's identification requirements, cattle, solipeds, pigs, sheep and goats are electronically identified. This enables animals to be traced from slaughter to rearing. Domestic animals in particular have been identified for many decades.

AEG ID supports research with birds and fish with specially developed transponders. With ISO glass transponders, disposable implanters, pigeon rings and ear tag inlays, AEG ID offers a broad portfolio for all livestock and pet owners.

Animal Identification

Brewery Industry

In the brewing industry and logistics, there is an urgent need to track kegs from filling to sale. AEG ID has developed a high-quality transponder and reader solution for this purpose.

The transponder technology is optimized for direct mounting on metal and is therefore ideal for attaching to metal kegs. The drum transponder is qualified for micro-welding via a mounting ring. It is particularly suitable for tracking barrels.

Brewery Industry

Testing and Maintenance Technology

The clear identification and assignment of electrical and mechanical equipment to the respective test protocol often causes difficulties. Long serial numbers, subsequently affixed numbers or barcode labels become difficult to read, faded, worn, soiled or lost over time.

In cooperation with well-known measuring and testing companies, manufacturers and software providers, AEG ID has developed cross-divisional and easily integrated products and Animal Identification solutions for clear and permanent identification.

Testing and Maintenance Technology
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