Avery Dennison, a multinational producer of labels and medical devices, has acquired Swiss RFID manufacturer TexTrace. The acquisition aims to develop RFID tags in garments that cannot be easily removed.
UHF RFID for logistics and against theft
Retailers are currently using ultra-high frequency radio waves (UHF RFID) to keep track of their inventory. On the one hand, this allows them to see what they still have in stock. On the other hand, it can also prevent items of clothing, for example, from being removed from the store by customers before they are paid for.
Until now, this has mainly been done using hard transmitters in paper labels that have to be removed again for each purchase. This always involves a great deal of time and effort. Moreover, they can be removed too easily and quickly by thieves, so people are looking for simpler and more durable alternatives.
Avery Dennison: integrated RFID technology
That’s why the Avery Dennison Smartrac TexTrace company has set itself the goal of developing RFID transmitters that can take a beating. According to the company’s developers, the mini-transmitters integrated into labels or even seams of clothing should function for at least as long as the clothing in question exists. This includes hundreds of washing cycles as well as further use in the recycling process.
Better recycling thanks to RFID
Until now, companies that want to reprocess worn clothing have faced a problem. It always takes a lot of time, manpower and resources to manually find out which materials are actually in the clothing. RFID can provide a remedy. The developers promise that in the future it will only take a simple reading of the RFID transmitter to obtain this information. TexTrace assumes that this faster and simpler method will enable more garments to be repurposed in the future than before.
Better data protection through intelligent RFID
Critics of the new, longer-lasting and more resistant RFID sensors are assured by Avery Dennison that this has also been taken into account in the development process. For example, the UHF RFID chips can map the entire supply chain from production to the end customer. But they can also be protected against data misuse. For example, a certain protection mechanism can be activated that only releases the functions for reading after a password has been named. That is, when the item in question arrives at the store or recycling center.