RFID Labels by Schreiner for All Life Situations


Schreiner Group

Schreiner Group, a globally active high-tech company, is regarded as an innovative developer and producer of specialized high-performance labels. Decades of research activities have made the Bavarian family-owned company an international solution specialist for challenging use cases. Schreiner Group's customers include companies in the healthcare, mobility and general industry sectors.

The expertise for RFID solutions is bundled internally in the Competence Center LogiData. This is where new antenna designs are developed, materials are qualified and customized solutions are developed. This article focuses on Schreiner Group's RFID expertise, with particular regard to traffic management, inventory and intralogistics.

Katharina Totev, Product Manager RFID and Electronic in Films and Johannes Becker, Senior Director Competence Center LogiData & PrinTronics explain in an interview with Anja Van Bocxlaer, Editor-in-Chief, Wireless IoT Global, what smart labels can achieve today.

Interview powered by: the Think WIOT Group and the Schreiner Group.

What Innovative Power Lies in the RFID Labels of Schreiner Group?

What Innovative Power Lies in the RFID Labels of Schreiner Group?

Traffic Management with RFID

Traffic Management with RFID

Anyone who frequently searches for a parking space in the city knows the challenges and the time involved. Once the parking space has been found, it is important to have change for the parking machine and the ticket for the exit barrier at hand. Failure to do so will result in unpleasant traffic jams and waiting times. The issue of small change also applies to exit barriers for toll roads.

However, a different approach is also possible. RFID windshield labels, which are attached to the inside of vehicle windshields, enable secure identification. The process of identification is contactless and automated, making it very convenient. Passage barriers open automatically as soon as the vehicle with the RFID windshield label approaches.

Traffic jams are avoided, traffic is more controlled and payment processes are simplified. If the windshield label is also printed individually, it generates "on top" marketing purposes and customer loyalty.

Katharina Totev: Windshield labels are used in parking management applications by private or public operators. These applications include "off-street" parking in parking garages, underground garages, or in lots where access is restricted. For "on-street" parking at the side of roadways, windshield labels can also facilitate parking management in cities and municipalities.

Toll roads and tunnels as well as bridges are also among the application scenarios. Here, payment processes can be conveniently handled via the smart labels. Access to gated industrial sites can also be controlled via a windshield label.

Totev: These labels enable controllable access or transit, electronic billing, reduce congestion, and reduce personnel expenditure at checkpoints. In addition, the use of these labels creates convenience for the user and thus strengthens customer loyalty. Resident parking permits in particular are very important in cities, as searching for parking spaces can consume a lot of time.

Nowadays, digital solutions that are automated are becoming increasingly popular and accepted. Digital payment processes, especially for fleet operators, are also part of this. The search for small change is gradually disappearing from our everyday lives. The durability of the label with a passive UHF chip is another plus point.

Becker: The necessary reader and software programs are widely available. Retrofitting a parking facility is manageable in terms of effort. This is especially true if closed parking areas already have barriers or similar passage restrictions. Only the RFID readers have to be installed on-site near the barriers and integrated into a backend software. The existing system is thus "only" supplemented by the product 'Windshield Label' and RFID readers.

The labels are linked to the respective vehicle data in the IT system. The Windshield Label is then attached to the inside of the windshield. All in all, this is a straightforward process that offers a long-term return on investment. Schreiner PrinTrust cooperates with the market's leading system providers in order to be able to optimize each parking and access situation individually for each customer.

Becker: This question is closely related to the placement of the antenna. Normal UHF antennas from the catalog work poorly or not at all when installed directly behind glass. Our antenna design is therefore specifically adapted to this application so that the necessary high reading range is achieved. As far as the passive UHF RFID chip is concerned, we can integrate different products. On the subject of "passive", I would also like to note that the label is very long-lasting because it works without a battery.

The use of RFID already offers a much better level of security than, for example, the camera recognition of a license plate, due to the uniqueness of the chip and individual programming. If there is a further increase in demand, additional security features are also available in the label, such as protection against tampering, which we achieve through a special product design. We implement this, among other things, with our own printed antennas. This prevents the label from being transferred undamaged from one vehicle to another.

Inventory with RFID

Interview with Katharina Totev

Universal and powerful – for a reliable inventory

Katharina Totev, Product Manager RFID and Electronic in Films

Katharina Totev: Reliable inventory is necessary in numerous industries. RFID labels by Schreiner ProTech and PrinTrust are used in industrial applications, the medical industry, retail, libraries, museums, archives or insurance companies as well as in public institutions, all of which are required to inventory assets.

Libraries and museums in particular, require labels which, due to their adhesive properties, will last for decades even on sensitive substrates without affecting the valuable documents. The adhesive base can be very old paper, wood or even leather. Especially antique or particularly valuable objects can be inventoried with our labels.

Totev: Bookstores or libraries with valuable collections are among our customers. In these institutions, RFID technology has now become the standard. The objective is to manage the stock of books, files or objects electronically. Libraries with historical collections have special requirements for our labels. Simple standard RFID labels would not meet these requirements.

For these customers, we offer customized solutions that have been tested and certified for archivability in accordance with DIN/ISO 9706 by the Fogra Research Institute for Media Technologies, or Fogra for short. In order to preserve the valuable asset, the labels must be removable without leaving any residue. No damage may occur during removal.

Totev: The requirements for an RFID-based inventory solution are primarily to ensure efficient and reliable operation of the business process. This means that the label must meet a certain level of robustness – i.e. resistance to wear and tear, moisture and the use of cleaning agents – in order to ensure long-term readability. In addition, the labels must adhere reliably to a wide variety of materials.

Our solution meets these requirements with a single RFID label that performs adequately on a variety of investment goods such as tables, chairs, monitors and other furniture. Our universal RFID label also eliminates the need for customers to plan the number of label types required for different investment goods, as well as the corresponding quantities.

Becker: The slogan could in fact be: "One label for all substrates". Especially when labelling a wide range of objects featuring the most diverse substrates, the labels must be high-performing, and the DistaFerr SL is suitable for use on plastics as well as metals.

This also applies to conductive substrates or adverse environments. The label is therefore universally suitable.

Becker: The labels are often applied by untrained employees. If a standard label is mistakenly and unknowingly placed on a substrate with electrically conductive properties, it will no longer work.

Our labels perform well on metal as well as on plastic, glass or paper. There is therefore no risk of incorrect application. Employees therefore do not need to be specially trained or monitored. This is a great advantage.

Totev: On the one hand, the labels are already smart due to their design, because they are extremely flat, passive RFID transponders that consist of a chip and an antenna.

There are two options for programming the chip: Either the customer does the programming himself or we do it for him. If we do the programming, the advantage is that we can provide our customers with targeted support in the fields of encryption, authentication or access control thanks to our broad experience in the security sector.

Basically, the more intelligent the label, the more efficient the solution that it is applied in.

Intralogistics with ESD Labels

Schreiner Group ESD Label

Schreiner Group's ESD labels can be used internationally and worldwide.

Schreiner Group has been producing RFID labels for more than 20 years. At the very beginning, the adhesive substrates were non-conductive materials. This included cardboard boxes, plastic boxes or paper packaging. Labeling with UHF RFID labels started 15 years ago. A few years later, the industry demanded a label for metallic substrates. Schreiner Group successfully developed an on-metal label and was thus an RFID industry pioneer.

This product development led directly to the 'DistaFerr SL'. The features of the DistaFerr SL were unique back then and made Schreiner Group a driver of innovation. At that time, ESD containers could not yet be labeled with RFID.

More than 10 years ago, Schreiner Group launched its first own ESD label, which has been continuously optimized and further developed. From that point on, it became possible for intralogistics to convert the container management of electronic components in ESD containers to labeling with RFID labels.

Interview with Johannes Becker

Schreiner Group's ESD labels are ETSI and FCC certified

Johannes Becker is Senior Director Competence Center LogiData & PrinTronics.

Johannes Becker: ESD stacking containers are made of electrically conductive plastic. They were developed for the storage and transport of electronic components. The adhesive substrate of an ESD container is extremely "unfriendly" to high-frequency signals due to its conductive material properties.

RFID labels therefore require a special product design to achieve the necessary performance. In an internal project, Schreiner LogiData has responded by developing an antenna which cannot be deflected to such an extent by the conductive plastic.

An absolute novelty. The adapted design of the label ensures that the antenna is decoupled from the conductive plastic.

Becker: The ESD label achieves industry-standard reading ranges of several meters. If the label is used on containers in industry, it is resistant to challenging environmental influences. The label survives washing processes with the typical cleaning agents without damage.

The adhesive and the surface material can withstand heavy strain. Wherever electrical parts or components are used in the production field, the Dista- Ferr ESD is the right choice.

Totev: As is so often the case, I unfortunately am not able to mention the name of the customer, but I am happy to describe the solution. A mechanical engineering company wanted to optimize its processes and thereby also reduce costs. The company was to be more strongly aligned with Industry 4.0.

The customer pursued the goal of optimizing the processes from incoming goods through the production area to outgoing goods. Overall, the customer wanted to map the entire loading cycle transparently. Requirements for our label were washing process resistance, powder reading capability and VDA conformity.

Our ESD label transparently mapped and optimized the entire RFID-based trackand- trace process.

Chip Protection

Schreiner Group gathers innovative strength at its five Competence Centers

Schreiner Group gathers innovative strength at its five Competence Centers

Offering customers off-the-shelf solutions and products is one of Schreiner Group's specialties and the field of expertise of the experts at the company's five Competence Centers. The company's in-house development and testing facilities are of great advantage in this respect. For example, the company's own facility for the production of RFID inlay prototypes enables a fast response time in development.

Becker: Every customer, of course, has their own unique needs. This means that the work not only requires a high level of expertise and experience, but it also requires you to think outside the box and use your creativity.

This was particularly the case with the order involving RFID chips that are exposed to extreme mechanical strain during industrial processing and were damaged as a result. We had the task of developing special protective structures to protect a wide range of RFID chips against these mechanical strains without reducing the flexibility of the label.

With the help of a newly implemented special production technology, we were finally able to solve this problem. This robust RFID label is now equipped in such a way that the protective structure cushions the mechanical strains and impacts while protecting the chip from damage and functional failure. This means that the label can be reliably read at any time – from production to the end application.

Becker: Absolutely. When we have a task, a new development or a further development, we always work on it across the board. Be it research and development, the Competence Center or the business unit – everyone contributes their expertise and ideas. And that is what makes the whole thing so successful.

Becker: Let's be honest: The basis for the development chain is first of all a brilliant idea. And then, taking into account factors such as size, shape and conditions of use, it's time for the design. This concerns in particular the specific design of the antenna and the selection of the chip. Our developers then use simulation software to simulate the environmental conditions, among other things.

And that is the unbeatable advantage of a simulation calculation, which is also shown here as an example. There's something about approaching the end product step by step and optimizing it further and further without having to create an elaborate real sample at this point.

If we go back to the previous example: It is always nice to see when a product has successfully made the transition from an idea to series production – and when we can adapt this development with minor modifications for the various business areas, what more could you ask for?

Totev: When it comes to thinking outside the box and developing something that is not yet available on the market, you've come to the right place. This search for the optimal, customized solution is what makes work at Schreiner so diverse and spurs us on to continuously develop new ideas, not only in the field of RFID.

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