Narrow Web & Label Reporter

Malaysia Expansion for Avery

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Avery Dennison Malaysia reports a “significant” expansion of manufacturing capabilities at its p-s materials business in Bangi, 35 km from Kuala Lumpur.

Included is a new coater that reportedly will produce high quality label material products at speeds twice as fast as the company's existing equipment in Malaysia. The investment has increased the size of the Bangi facility by almost 3,000 sq m to approximately 8,000 sq m.

Avery says the expansion plans are driven by increasing market demand for Fasson-brand p-s products.

Collaborating on RFID

HARRISBURG, PA — Tyco Electronics' Global Application Tooling Div. (GATD) has collaborated with Graphic Solutions Intl. (GSI) to provide GSI with an RFID Inlay assembly system to assemble semiconductor chips, surface-mount devices, and printed batteries onto a continuous web of printed antennas, and add RFID capability to tags and labels.

The system is said to be capable of the high-speed mounting of electronic components on a 6,000-ft+ roll of 20-in.-wide material.

After conductive printing, the roll is fed into the Tyco machine, where components are added along with one or two printed batteries. On completion, the roll can be slit into individual streams and rolled, or supplied in production web width rolls for delivery.

A typical circuit is inlaid with batteries, an RFID chip, and a printed antenna. The speed of this machine allows for production levels up to 26 million inlays/yr, according to Tyco.

Putting On Promo Pieces

WOOD DALE, IL — Deco Labels & Tags has installed new equipment for applying promotional pieces to p-s label stock. According to Deco, this capability allows advertising and promotional departments to create pieces that can go directly on products or in publications, i.e., wherever a traditional label can be stuck.

Smart Labels: Progress is Seen in Item-Level Tagging

CAMBRIDGE, UK — Item-level tagging, which refers to tagging the smallest taggable unit of things, is happening faster than most realize, says the independent research firm IDTechEx Ltd.

The firm reports 200 million tags will be used in 2006 for item-level tagging alone — mainly drugs (Pfizer is tagging Viagra sold in North America), apparel, and books, to name just a few applications.

According to IDTechEX, item-level tagging will be the world's largest RFID market by value in 2007, rising to $11 billion for tags and all systems in a $26 billion RFID market by 2016.

Not all tags used for item-level tagging today have to be the cheapest, IDTechEX says. The average tag price for item-level applications in 2006 is 40 cents compared to 18 cents for tags that are used on pallets and cases.

There are new near-field UHF tags, which are much more tolerant of fluids and metal compared to the far-field UHF tags used to tag pallets and cases today. However, with blotchy radio regulations at UHF around the world, HF is by far the most preferred frequency for item-level tagging.

Longer term, the technology to achieve item-level tagging most likely will not be chip-based, IDTechEX adds. To reach the critical low price points of the tag required for the item-level tagging of the highest volume items — such as documents and most products — technologies such as printed thin-film transistor circuits, printed electronics, and Surface Acoustic Wave Devices are all suitors.

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