New UHF Inlays By B-id For Robust Industrial Transponders

Articles | By B-Id | 27 August 2013
Soldering a UHF IC and an antenna instead of adhesive bonding enables to manufacture robust transponders for industrial applications. Soldering a UHF IC and an antenna instead of adhesive bonding enables to manufacture robust transponders for industrial applications.

No chance for moisture and heat

B-id counts on copper and polyimide for UHF inlays in industrial transponders

The company B-id brought a new series of UHF inlay products to the market not only based on polyimide (PI) and copper (Cu) as construction materials but which are also supposed to provide improved performance and higher stability in the face of external influences due to a special kind of manufacture, thus enabling the use of tags and labels in applications with high technological demands. „RFID im Blick“ talked to Erhard König, responsible for marketing at B-id, about the new product series.

Mr König, what is the reason for B-id not to use standard inlays made of PET and aluminium?

As pure RFID hardware manufacturer we're mainly concerned with encasing the respective technologies. So it was likely to develop an inlay which allows as simple further processing as possible while providing performance which is at least as good as the performance of products on the market so far or even better. In contrast to 'classic' PET aluminium inlays based on Flip Chip technology, the UHF IC and the antenna of PI-CU inlays aren't stuck together using an electrically conductive gel but both components are soldered using surface mount technology and additionally protectively coated with Epoxy. Thus a loss of adhesion at the connection spot between chip and antenna caused for example by moisture or high temperatures can be avoided. This is an ideal property to encase or mould the inlay for demanding applications.

Which industries could be particularly interested in the new inlay?

With the new inlays and the according opportunities we especially want to adress industrial companies working with UHF technology. The focus is on applications taking place in environments which are effected by moisture and variations in temperature. Standard inlays based on PET and aluminium can be stored at 50 degrees Celsius. PI-Cu inlays which are processed as adhesive labels already withstand a storage temperature of 120 degrees Celsius and labels without adhesive layer even withstand 150 degrees Celsius. The solder joint between chip and antenna itself resists temperatures of up to 200 degrees Celsius even over a longer period.

Do companies specifically ask for solutions enabled by PI-Cu inlays or does B-id only expand its product range?

Recently there's been a major increase in requests for robust UHF solutions. Especially industrial customers notice a high number of fatal crashes if they are using transponders with standard labels in humid environment or at high temperatures. That is even the case if the transponders have a good packaging, protecting them from heat and moisture. If this packaging is damaged during the process and cracks, then moisture can get in. In such a case a standard inlay will quickly lose performance because it is very likely that the conductive glue disintegrates. With regard to the new PI-Cu inlays the inlay itself is protected even if the packaging is damaged.

Higher stability, better performance – the inlays are probably very costly...

Despite the advantages for new applications provided by the inlays, the production process barely causes additional costs or an expenditure of time. For almost the same price customers get a label which is significantly more stable and which offers a better and more reliable performance over a longer period of time. That's why we're going to use exclusively PI-Cu inlays for UHF in the future. The robustness of the inlays is another cost advantage. They allow producing adhesive labels for example which can be used in humid or hot environment just like hard tags. The costs for complex packaging of standard inlays thus can be saved in some applications.

The interview was published in the July issue 2013 of the magazine „RFID im Blick“.

Last modified on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 08:29
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