Omron Boosts RFID Inlay Manufacturing Capacity to 250 Million per Year

Japanese supplier supports U.S. and global growth initiatives with production line expansion for high-yield Gen2 RFID inlays

Japanese supplier supports U.S. and global growth initiatives with production line expansion for high-yield Gen2 RFID inlays

Schaumburg, IL — April 14, 2006 — Omron Corporation, the $5.5 billion Japanese manufacturer of automation and sensing products, has revealed plans to increase its radio frequency identification (RFID) inlay manufacturing capacity to support production of more than 250 million inlays per year at its Minakuchi factory in Shiga, Japan.

This latest announcement follows on Omron's November announcement of a $20 million worldwide investment in the RFID business over a two-year period.

Omrom said that it selected the Minakuchi factory for the expansion to take advantage of its more than 30 years of experience with semiconductors and class 10000 clean room standards. The inlays produced at Minakuchi are marketed and distributed globally by Omron's RFID division.

The plant expansion plans announced today "should give a clear indication that Omron RFID is stepping up its capabilities, responding to the increasing market demand and aggressively pursuing the global RFID market," said Bill Arnold, chief strategist for Omron RFID.

Omron RFID inlays are manufactured using a process called "Jomful." Instead of applying adhesives, "Jomful" utilizes an ultrasonic welding method to bond the chip and strap to the substrate. Inlays are produced up to 10 times faster than adhesive-based processes and contain a better electrical connection, resulting in higher survivability and reliability for label conversion and application for the supply chain, according to Omron.

Arnold added: "Armed with Jomful-quality RFID inlays now enhanced by production in class 10000 clean room standards, Omron is ready to supply the high volumes needed for the supply chain market and lower the total cost for RFID tags. "

Omron said it would continue to add inlay production capacity to further increase annual production above 350 million inlays within the next 12 months.

Omron in headquartered in Kyoto, Japan and has more than 26,000 employees in over 35 countries. The company's RFID Division has been in the business for over 20 years and is headquartered in Tokyo, with U.S. operations in Schaumburg, Ill.

Additional Articles of Interest

— RFID technology has the potential to change the way supply chains are managed, but in order to be effective businesses need to take a holistic look at the deployment. Read more in the article "Time for RFID: Applying RFID in the Supply Chain."

— For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.