Printable RFID Metal Tags from Omni-ID

November 19, 2012 Impinj

Printable RFID metal tags

Omni-ID supplies passive, low profile UHF RFID tags for the IT asset, tool tracking, energy, manufacturing and logistics industries. In September, Omni-ID released two new ultrathin RFID labels designed specifically for tagging metal and liquid-based objects. The new IQ 400 and IQ 600 RFID labels are powered by the Impinj Monza® 4QT® tag chip. George Daddis Jr., Omni-ID’s CEO and President joined Impinj for a Q&A on the benefits of these new tags.

The IQ 400 and 600 tags are part of our UltraThin range of flexible on-metal RFID tags and inlays.

The key characteristics of these tags are that they provide all of the on-metal and on-liquid functionality of a traditional hard tag, within a low profile, easy to deploy label.

Because they are supplied in roll form as either finished labels or as an inlay for conversion, they are optimized for thermal barcode printers, enabling low cost and hassle-free RFID deployment on-site for our customers.

There are an almost endless variety of applications for these labels since they’ve been designed to provide the utmost flexibility – ideally they are suited for RFID applications involving metals and liquids such as:

  1. What applications are the Omni-ID IQ 400 & 600 labels addressing?
  • Logistics involving metal, produce or packaging (racks, carts, RTIs)
  • IT, office and hospital asset tracking (laptops, phones, carts, chairs, desks, blood bags)
  • WIP, automotive manufacturing and supply chain (RTIs, bins, carts, racks)
  • Gas cylinders and other curved, metal containers (beer kegs, milk canisters, etc.)
  • Light duty labeling of pipes, sleeves, and other similar assets found in the energy industry
  • What makes the Omni-ID IQ 400 & 600 unique from your other tags and competitor offerings?

There is really no other label out there like it. It is really a first of its kind. There aren’t any labels available today that can work on-metal and on-liquids that are available in high volume, mass production quantities – right now.

Additionally, we’ve gone out to the thermal barcode printer community and are formally validating the compatibility of the labels broadly on their hardware. We’ve tested them internally during development on all of the leading equipment for internal validation (see them running on a Zebra printer) but we think it’s critically important to have that 3rd party validation as well.

What makes this and all of Omni-ID’s products so unique is that we typically go to market after we have customers using the products to ensure their effectiveness in real world applications. At launch we had several beta customers up and running and today we have customers all over the globe using them.

We’ve created an easy to use, cost effective product consistent with the high quality that our customers expect from Omni-ID – print, peel, stick – it’s that simple.

  • What are the end-user benefits of deploying an RFID metal tag like the IQ 400 & 600?

The biggest challenge when deploying RFID on-metal is that you historically have had only one choice – a traditional hard tag.

With a peel and stick solution like the IQ 400 & 600 you simply order rolls of the labels and deploy/encode on-site, on-demand – the customer can decide how and when to encode the tags based on the need at the time.

The biggest benefit however has to be the total cost of deploying passive RFID on-metal. Not only are the labels much more cost effective from an actual purchase price perspective but, to encode and label hard tags and then rivet to equipment equals additional labor.

For example, on a tag that cost you $2 to buy, you have also to consider the additional cost of labor to encode and mechanically fix to the equipment – potentially another $3 – 5 on top of the tag cost. If there is no encoding and just attachment then the cost is probably and additional $2 – 4 on top of the tag purchase price. These figures could be higher.

With our IQ labels, you simply encode and barcode with your printer on-site then peel and stick – probably around 20 to 40 cents for labor. The Omni-ID on-metal, label approach reduces the cost of deployment by around 50 to 80%!

We’ve created a solution that not only simplifies and streamlines the ordering and commissioning process for on-metal RFID tagging, but we’ve also dramatically reduced the cost structure to deploy.

  • Why was the Monza 4QT chip a good fit for your tags?

The innovative Impinj Monza 4 chip combined with Omni-ID’s engineering expertise has led to the development of a high performance RFID product in an efficient label form factor.

Omni-ID’s products are known for their innovation, high quality and performance – we needed a chip that would be able to overcome the on-metal challenge, possess the form factor required for our label products, and will run through a thermal barcode printer and survive the challenge – no small order.

The Monza 4 chip does all of that. Add in the ability to provide consistent read performance from any angle, and it was clear that Monza 4 was the perfect fit for our design.

  • What is the size of these markets?

Because these are really the first of their kind, an on-metal, on-liquid, on-site deployable label – the on-metal tag market alone is estimated to be in the $80M range in 2012 – growing at about 48% (CAGR, VDC Research).

Add to that the advantages of a label product vs. a traditional on-metal tag for many of the applications referenced prior as well as any customizations that may be required for specialty verticals from an inlay perspective and the market grows exponentially.

  • What are the most important things to consider when choosing a tag?

So many important considerations when selecting an overall RFID solution — and tags are just one component. Here is a quick list to help guide a selection process:

For some applications, hard tags can be too large, too expensive or can’t be commissioned on site.

Make sure you’re looking at the right kind of RFID labels for your application — for example dipole labels don’t work on metal, near metal or liquids.

Select a label that is commissionable on site with standard thermal barcode printers (your printer companies typically can help with which products will work).

The IQ 400 & 600 create a whole new category of on-metal tag functionality at a much lower cost point – but also make sure to balance that with the durability needs for your particular application.

  1. Know your application
  2. Do your research
  3. Keep it simple
  4. Affordability

To learn more about these news tags, view the webinar, New RFID Labels Advance On-Metal and On-Liquid Asset Tracking Capabilities, hosted by Impinj and Omni-ID.


George E. Daddis, Jr. PhD is President & CEO at Omni-ID. George is an experienced CEO & entrepreneur, having founded two successful technology companies. He has extensive experience in building companies, raising capital, and establishing markets for digital and IT technologies. George received his B.S., M.S., and PhD. Degrees from Cornell University in Computer Engineering and Applied Mathematics. Prior to joining Omni-ID in 2011, George served as CEO at WorldGate Communications, a publicly-held video telephony firm in Philadelphia.

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