Soft Housing, Smart Tagging

RFID transponder manufacturer B-Id expands its portfolio with newly-developed cable tie transponders made out of a special material.

Cable tie transponders with housings made of soft material!

RFID transponder manufacturer B-Id expands its portfolio with newly-developed cable tie transponders made out of a special material. These transponders broaden the existing application fields in the areas of industrial production, maintenance, and the construction industry.

In an interview with RFID & Wireless IoT Global, B-Id' s Managing Director Yiwen Jin explains why functionality and design do not have to be mutually exclusive when using robust tags.

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New Tag Options

Hard Tag or Label? Soft Tag!

In every RFID application, transponders serve as the interface between the real world of tagged objects and the digital world of capturing systems. On the surface, transponders can be divided into two main groups: flexible labels and rigid hard tags. When selecting the appropriate transponder, numerous factors such as the surface finish, materials to be marked, robustness against influences such as temperatures, chemicals and much more, must be taken into account. In the operational use, the method of attachment is also decisive – glued, screwed, nailed, pressed in, or inmould-coated with plastic?

With a series of new, flexible tags, B-Id is taking a middle course. The transponder housings are made of a flexible material and standard cable ties are used to attach them to objects to be labeled. "As flexible as the tags with the soft housing are, we can implement customer requirements in terms of shape, size and RFID technology used," reports Yiwen Jin.


NFC for Inventory and Maintenance

For applications where objects with curved or uneven surfaces need to be labeled, but where the labeling is only to be applied temporarily, tags on cable ties are an effective solution. "With cable ties, cables, pipes or small tools are easily labeled. If the labeling is only required temporarily, a cable tie can be removed without leaving a trace - in contrast to glued or screwed tags.

The new B-Id cable tie tags offer a further decisive advantage in such applications," explains Yiwen Jin and elaborates: "Unlike other cable tie solutions where the tags are firmly attached to the cable ties, our tags have an eyelet. This allows the tags to be reused if they are to be transferred from one object to another.” In terms of size, B-Id follows the requirements of the customers according to their their applications. The standard version of the tags is available with dimensions of 18 times 18 millimeters. HF or LF inlays are used as builtin RFID technologies. If HF is selected as the frequency, NFC-enabled mobile devices can be used to capture the tags depending on the transponder IC.

“The NFC option is ideally suited for stocktaking and maintenance applications or in the construction industry to simply capture objects with a smartphone without additional hardware.”

Individual Tool Design for Individualized Tags

The soft PVC used is sufficiently robust and waterproof to be used permanently in outdoor areas. The soft housing material is shock absorbent and can withstand light mechanical stress.

“In addition to the shape and size of the housing, customers can also freely choose the color”, says Yiwen Jin and continues: "We take the trend of product individualization into account: On request, a logo or lettering can be applied to the transponders. In contrast to the widespread assumption, this individual design is not too high a cost factor." B-Id has gained know-how from numerous projects in tool manufacturing for injection molding tools designed for small, medium, and large batch sizes. The company produces up to 40 different tools.

“We manufacture quality tools for injection molding of various plastics such as ABS, Soft PVC, or combinations of nylon and glass fiber. The quality and the recognition factor of a product enhances the brand image and increases the success of a solution. The low tool costs that we are able to realize reduce the risk when introducing new products," says the B-Id Managing Director.

Practical Implementation of “Form Follows Function”

The standard size of the new, soft cable tie transponders provide a basis on which numerous applications in production, logistics, asset management or the construction industry can already be covered, as Yiwen Jin says: “With our development and manufacturing capacities, we are able to realize a suitable tag for almost any application.

If, for example, a larger design is possible, or UHF technology is needed, we produce cable tie transponders that consist of eyelets and are thus suitable for the use with larger UHF inlays. Material selection, coloring and individualization options are just as feasible as for the standard versions.”

Physical Tampering Protection

If an application requires a fixed connection of cable ties and transponders, a solution can also be found in the portfolio. “This variant is always required if the cable tie is used as as optical tamper protection. If the cable tie is severed, the transponder can no longer be used on this object. There is often demand for this feature in the fields of resource management, electrical testing, stocktaking, and rental/leasing services. Product security becomes possible and thus a serialization. This is an ideal prerequisite for tracking and identifying products as well as documentation to verify tests," reports Yiwen Jin.

Soft PVC is not used exclusively as a transponder housing for cable tie transponders at B-Id, according to the Managing Director: “Depending on the space requirements for the labeling, we also produce larger transponders made of soft, flexible materials. The larger the tags, the more choice there is for the inlays. As a mounting option, these can be attached to objects as hang tags, for example.

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Yiwen Jin
Yiwen Jin
Managing Director
Hannoversch Münden, Germany
Erhard König
Erhard König
Sales Manager
Hannoversch Münden, Germany
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