World Champion-like UHF Transponder Technology by B-Id: Standard Is not Enough

Articles | By B-Id | 10 July 2014
UHF transponders resist heat and humidity UHF transponders resist heat and humidity

Especially in the automotive and laundry sector the requirements for UHF transponders are becoming more and more specific

The industrial requirements for the performance of UHF transponders are constantly growing: Especially in the field of automotive, users are looking for specific solutions. „In order to qualify for this environment, UHF transponders need to be stable, temperature-resistant, and readable on metal“, reports Yiwen Jin, Managing Director B-Id. The need for UHF tags that are cost-effective and reliable was also growing in laundry applications. This is why B-Id intensely drives the development of new inlays based on Polyimid and Copper.

Yiwen Jin, Managing Director B-Id, in an interview with Dunja Kandel, „RFID im Blick“

Mr. Jin, B-Id has significantly extended its portfolio of UHF transponders. What markets do you want to address most of all?

Yiwen JinYiwen JinOur focus is clearly on the German market. The German industry decided to use UHF and needs high performance transponders. Especially in the automotive sector, there is a need for further developments from the users' perspective with regard to stability, temperature resistance, and readability on metal. The requirements are very complex. Let's take the paint shop as an example: Construction parts made of plastic and also metal are to be marked with transponders that are mounted before this process. The transponder has to be reliably readable and resist high temperatures.

„The industry needs UHF transponders that are tailored to the application's needs very precisely in terms of stability, temperature resistance, and applicability on metal.“

For the long lasting function at high temperatures, the inlay is the crucial component. Standard inlays do not meet these requirements. This is why we exclusively produce UHF tags with PI Cu inlay. We now want to bring our marketable products into application. The inlays can be packed in different designs, for instance also into flexible tags for laundry applications. Here, we want to test further products for the user. The UHF market for laundry applications is still in an early stage, yet the potential is clearly visible. A new product is currently undergoing testing. We expect delivery volumes of more than one million inlays per year.

What concrete advantages do the new inlays provide?

Instead of PET, our inlay is based on a polyimide substrate that resists 260 to 300 degrees. We do not use any conductive adhesives to bond the chip to the antenna but we take advantage of SMDs (=Surface mounted Device) for our Chips, these are surface mounted construction elements. A soldered metal compound combines antenna and chip that is significantly more resistant against heat and humidity than glue. The chip is additionally protected by the packaging, which is why the inlay is much more resistant to temperature fluctuations. Thanks to this construction, the 200 cycles demanded by the laundry industry are met easily.

A neutral institute has tested and confirmed the inlays' reliable function. We have also thoroughly tested temperature stability at our own company: Samples with standard soldering material were checked in a three month long term tests at 200 degrees for 20 hours a day and passed these tests.

What innovative product developments do you expect in the future?

The industry demands transponders that are as small as possible whilst providing high read range at the same time. The new approach is to mount an antenna on a dielectric, such as porcelain. Dielectrics provide very good characteristics for antennas, which is why high read ranges can be achieved with a small transponder size. The combination of RFID and sensors provides has a lot of potential as well, for the tyre industry, for instance, where pressure sensors are integrated into the transponders. Both technologies are mature and there is only the need for an application, bringing them together. However, since the need is not high enough yet, there is also a lack of willingness to invest into this technology.

How can the introduction of new applications be accelerated? Is the price still an argument?

Of course the price is an argument. Still what is also missing are concrete requirements from the industry. We have the impression that especially automotive suppliers still know much too less about RFID technology. In the field of laundry, the industry demands UHF solutions. Yet price and reliability still remain a problem. High quality and special performance have their price. In order to enable users an easy changeover to UHF, we can already offer laundry tags for less than one euro. Thanks to fully automated chip packaging and connection, the costs are reduced when the corresponding amount of chips is ordered.

UHF inlays consist of a copper antenna and polyimid substrate. Bonding is done via SMD connection. The tags' antennas are adapted to the on Metal environment so they achieve optimal performance at a frequency of 868 MHz. UHF inlays consist of a copper antenna and polyimid substrate. Bonding is done via SMD connection. The tags' antennas are adapted to the on Metal environment so they achieve optimal performance at a frequency of 868 MHz.

Last modified on Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:30
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