Tests Show Feasibility of Printing RFID Antennas on Cases

Trials at Clemson University point to potential for applying radio frequency identification to packaging

Trials at Clemson University point to potential for applying radio frequency identification to packaging

Indianapolis, IN — May 17, 2006 — Print trials conducted at Clemson University have demonstrated the feasibility of direct printing of minute antennas onto corrugated cases, opening up the possibility of imprinting radio frequency identification (RFID) antenna on packaging, according to a solution provider involved in the trials.

PRPflexo has released the results of the print trials at Clemson in conjunction with Parelec of Rocky Hill, N.J., which supplied its Parmod silver ink for use in the tests. The results achieved demonstrated the feasibility of printing antennas onto corrugated cases with lines of 3/1000ths at an ink volume of 13.7bcm. Conductivity tests showed acceptable levels for antennas within a commercial environment, according to PRPflexo.

"The superfine details required of the antennas tests were the perfect match for the qualities of our patented ExSpect flexo plates," said Chris Green, general manager for PRPflexo. "We have seen tremendous results with our ExSpect plates in other print types, enabling us to print clear and legible 2 point type on rough corrugated board, and even on Tyvek."

Green said that the results show that the technology involved could contribute to new areas of development with RFID, particularly around direct printing on corrugated cases, which is one avenue that manufacturers and suppliers are contemplating for incorporating RFID into their products.

The print trials were conducted at the Clemson Printing and Converting Research Center (Print/Con) using the institution's corrugated flexo printer and overseen by Jay Sperry and Kern Cox of Clemson. Additional testing and research is planned over the next several months.

"We are extremely satisfied with the results," said Geva Barash, CEO of Parelec. "The unique ability to print directly on to the corrugated cases would reduce the cost to the customers of applying the labels to the cases."

Parelec uses nanotechnology and materials systems to develop conductive inks and related materials for the manufacture of electronic circuits. The company's core product lines are Parmod inks and pastes and Modflex films, which are used to provide low-cost RFID antenna, among other products.

Additional Articles of Interest

— Contemplating RFID? Here are three critical questions to answer before embarking on a radio frequency identification initiative. Read "Recognizing Real RFID Adoption Potential," in the February/March 2006 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— A recent independent study revealed that Wal-Mart customers are finding the items they wanted in stock more often due to the retailer's use of RFID technologies when compared to control stores. Read more in "Wal-Mart Achieving Improved On-shelf Availability with RFID, Study Finds" on SDCExec.com.