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Smartrac’s Midas FlagTag gets popular among automotive and industrial applications

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Smartrac’s (www.smartrac-group.com) Midas FlagTag design gets widely spread in various applications. Using the metallic surface as part of the antenna structure to ensure superior performance in demanding physical environments, it provides cost advantages over foam-based inlays and hard tags typically used in tougher industrial environments.

These superior features are now combined with the advantages offered by NXP’s UCODE 7xm IC, which comprise an extended user memory of up to 2 kbit to store data specific to customers or products, brand protection features using digital signature technology, long read/write ranges and reliable operation in signal-dense or noisy environments.

Until the introduction of Midas FlagTag, tagging metallic packaging and liquids had presented a challenge in many applications. The technically sophisticated yet simplified, innovative RFID tag solved this issue for the authentication of retail, pharma, healthcare or industrial items in high-performance and cost-effective ways.

Now, Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm expands the existing on-metal solution to automotive and industrial items within supply chain & asset management applications.

Smartrac's Midas FlagTag

Smartrac’s Midas FlagTag

Smartrac Midas FlagTag utilizes RAIN RFID technology, based on the UHF protocol standard developed by GS1 and ISO. Both tag and IC are fully compliant with VDA (German Association of the Automotive Industry) recommendations for RFID implementations used in the tracking of parts and components in the automotive industry.

Innovative design for high performance
Like its Impinj Monza R6 equipped sibling, Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm has a small form factor with a total size of 72 x 21 mm when used as a standard flat paper tag. As a special feature, a flag can be created at the end of tag with a final paper tag size of 50 x 21 mm after folding, and with an exposed area of 22 x 21 mm.

The folded part of the tag sticks out of the metal resembling a flag, and the attached antenna part uses the metal surface as part of the antenna structure to increase the performance of the tag. Read distances of up to 6 meters can be achieved, depending on the geometry and size of the metal object. The tags are compatible with RFID printers for easy printing and encoding.

Full traceability and quality assurance of Smartrac’s products
Like all applicable transponder products manufactured by Smartrac, Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm also benefits from the capabilities of Smart Cosmos®: Smartrac’s Internet of Things platform records and manages a complete set of unique transponder data (e.g. UID no., order no., batch no. or yield) at production level in a controlled and secure way.

As the backbone of Smartrac’s product digitization solutions, Smart Cosmos enables full traceability of delivered RFID products and provides a fully reliable quality assurance.

“Right from the start, Midas FlagTag provided a superior – and highly successful – solution for tagging consumer goods and industrial components with metallic, plastic and cardboard surfaces. With Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm, we are now taking that success story to the automotive industry and other industrial environments”, says Matti Tavilampi, Global Product Management Director at Smartrac.

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Advantech ranks among Taiwan’s Top 5 global brands

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Advantech has announced its recent ranking at No. 5 in the 2018 Best Taiwan Global Brands list, with an estimated brand value of 500 million USD. Research for the Best Taiwan Global Brands Award is conducted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy firm. Since its establishment, Advantech has promoted its brand globally and received several Best Taiwan Global Brand awards. However, this is the first time that Advantech has ranked among the top 5.

Linda Tsai, president of Advantech’s Industrial IoT group, highlighted how Advantech has endeavored to incorporate its brand vision into the company culture internally, while emphasizing the goal of “enabling an intelligent planet” externally in order to establish a consistent organizational strategy from the inside out. In recent years, Advantech has served as an enabler in the promotion of the IoT industry. The company has not only developed the WISE-PaaS industrial IoT cloud platform for software/hardware integration, but also shared resources with partners in order to co-create solution-ready packages for rapid deployment in the automation, energy, and smart city industries.

Advantech

Advantech

Beginning in 2019, in accordance with its goal of “enabling an intelligent planet,” Advantech will host 60+ industry-focused co-creation partner conferences around the world in an effort to build a complete IoT industry supply chain in collaboration with various industry partners. Advantech also aims to expand each vertical domain by using its “co-creation” model to achieve mutual benefits and stimulate innovation in order to jointly enhance the value of Taiwan’s global brands.

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TTTech continues to play leading role in OPC UA TSN initiative

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OPC Foundation recently announced its commitment to extending OPC UA TSN to industrial field level devices. TTTech is pleased to be represented with a seat on the Steering Committee that is tasked with directing the technical and marketing strategy of the initiative. TTTech’s participation ensures that it will continue to be a key player in the drive towards vendor independent end-to-end interoperability for industry automation use cases including performant real-time control.

TTTech was one of the first to publicly support OPC UA TSN in an announcement made alongside other major industrial automation companies at the SPS IPC Drives fair in 2016. TTTech has been active in the standardization of IEEE 802.1 TSN technologies since 2014 and has introduced a range of TSN products for the industrial market, which will now be developed further to comprehensively integrate OPC UA PubSub functionality.

TTTech Industrial-Computer and Automation_KUKA Robots

TTTech Industrial-Computer and Automation_KUKA Robots

“TTTech is already delivering our Edge IP Solution product to multiple industrial automation companies to integrate TSN into their FPGA-based devices, and we are also in advanced discussions with chip makers to bring TTTech TSN IP into silicon”, explained Georg Kroiss, Business Development Manager at TTTech. “TTTech understands that the practical implementation of TSN requires a system level approach, that’s why we offer a complete solution comprising core IP, embedded software, development hardware and also the world’s first vendor independent TSN network configuration software.”

TTTech is also in the process of integrating OPC UA TSN as the key piece of a deterministic infrastructure for its Industrial IoT platform Nerve.

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Siemens offers industrialized 3D printing for complex challenges in various industries

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Opening of the new state-of-the-art 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions Ltd. in UK

With the opening of the new state-of-the-art 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions Ltd. in the U.K., Siemens is continuing to drive the industrialization of additive manufacturing (AM). The investment of €30 million in the new U.K. facility enables the growth of the business by doubling the capacity of 3D-printing machines to 50 and will also increase its post-processing capabilities. Siemens is taking AM out of the traditional research laboratory into an industrialized production factory. By employing industrial methods to scale up production, Siemens can bring down the costs of AM by manufacturing high-end complex metal parts in serial production in a robust industrial environment. With an entire digital end-to-end chain, Siemens is efficiently solving complex customer challenges by producing high-end serial parts for Siemens Power and Gas and customers in the aerospace, automotive, motorsport, and other industries.

The picture shows the state-of-the-art 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions Ltd.

The picture shows the state-of-the-art 3D printing facility at Materials Solutions Ltd.

The new factory has a footprint of 4,500 m2 and is adopting a true industrial approach, housing multiple machines across a shop floor. The parts move through a variety of processes, with engineers ensuring that they’re compliant. The digital approach embedded in the factory site creates a modern digital factory and provides end-to-end service to customers. The factory employs many of Siemens’ latest digital factory and AM technologies, including an end-to-end PLM chain, Siemens’ computer-aided design software NX, and MindSphere, the Siemens cloud-based, open IoT operating system that connects products, factories, systems, and machines with data analytics. Virtual production begins long before the actual printing. By leveraging Siemens’ design experience and expertise, Materials Solutions Ltd. is offering various design services for AM. Siemens provides engineering services and consulting to help create a digital twin of the 3D printed component. The company’s comprehensive experience is the ideal prerequisite for automating and thereby industrializing 3D printing, including post-processing, until qualification and certification – all under one roof.

“Siemens is the only company with such a comprehensive portfolio for driving the industrialization of AM. Built on the foundation of our global Siemens R&D and manufacturing footprint, the new facility is a huge step in pioneering the industrialization of high-end AM,” said Willi Meixner, CEO of the Siemens Power and Gas Division. “Combining the full power of Siemens with the strengths of Materials Solutions Ltd. offers unique and proven technologies for our in-house gas turbine business and for external markets and industries. We already have a significant number of core AM components in our portfolio.”

Siemens’ leading metal AM technology has been validated through its in-house application in the company’s Power and Gas and Power Generation Services businesses. It has been additively manufacturing hot rotating parts for use in its gas turbines, and the company has now gathered more than 110,000 hours of engine experience with 3D-printed gas turbine parts in fully operational power plants.

Materials Solutions Ltd. is also supporting Siemens’ latest HL-class gas turbines with AM components in serial production to drive emission reduction and increased performance in the gas turbines. Siemens will use AM technology to manufacture combustion components for the SGT5-9000HL gas turbine, and they will be used for the first time by the Scottish energy company SSE plc at the combined cycle power plant Keadby 2 in Lincolnshire, U.K.

“Whether it’s materials, machines, processes, or the digital value chain, we’re always pushing the boundaries of technology. Printing components for gas turbines means the highest material and technology requirements. If you can print a gas turbine blade, you can print pretty much anything,” said Markus Seibold, Vice President AM at Siemens Power & Gas. “The end-to-end software and automation solutions – combined with our comprehensive expertise and our large printer fleet – makes Siemens a world leader in industrializing additive manufacturing, driving productivity, and getting complex 3D-printed parts right the first time. We’re in the unique position of being able to leverage our advanced user expertise to bring these solutions to external customers via Materials Solutions Ltd.”

Siemens recently brought a 100-year-old Ruston Hornsby vintage car back to life using reverse engineering to recreate its steering box. With no original technical drawings available, Siemens digitally reassembled the parts of the broken steering box and created a working model that could be additively manufactured.

Materials Solutions Ltd. has extensive experience serving its customers in some of the most challenging industries, from power generation, aerospace, automotive, and motorsport to tooling and processing. The company has already additively manufactured thousands of functional parts and provided legacy parts through reverse engineering and tooling to over 80 customers worldwide. In 2016, Siemens acquired a majority stake (85 percent) in Materials Solutions Ltd., which was established in 2006.

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