WS Packaging Group, a large converter of labels and other products headquartered in Green Bay, WI, USA, has formed a joint venture with ASK, a French company that manufactures contactless cards and tickets. The venture will be called ASK-intTag LLC.
The new company will manufacture printed silver based RFID inlays on paper, the composition of which is highly resistant to forgery, the company says. ASK-intTag will initially produce a range of products for markets involving secure identification, mass transit, and bank cards. Secondary markets will involve food, healthcare, gaming, and event ticketing, among others.
“The importance of having a secure US based manufacturing operation for contactless cards and tickets is imperative if the full promise of RFID technology and its deployment is to be realized,” says Terry Fulwiler, WS Packaging’s chief executive officer. “This is especially vital for such applications as secure identification and financial bank cards.”
ASK is a global manufacturer of contactless microprocessor smart cards, contactless cards and paper tickets, and RFID smart paper labels, with over 120 million products in circulation worldwide. Contactless cards and tickets developed by ASK are being used in transportation networks in several large US cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, Minneapolis and Philadelphia. The company is headquartered in Sophia-Antipolis, France, and operates sales offices in Singapore and Culver City, CA, USA.
ASK-intTag will operate as a separate company. Potential US manufacturing locations are under review, but are expected to be finalized in early 2009.
ASK holds 54 patents, and utilizes an environmentally friendly technology for printing a silver antenna on paper substrate and die chip attach process. More than 120 million users on five continents have been served so far in transportation, banking, RFID and identity sectors.
“Combining ASK’s position as a world leader in contactless technology with our capabilities as one of the largest printing and label converting operations in North America enables our two companies to bring our respective experiences and expertise together to become a major factor in contactless technology and its application in North America,” Fulwiler says. “ASK has been dedicated to contactless technology since its creation in 1997 and we are very excited to be joining with such a prominent expert in RFID.”
WS Packaging Group has more than 40 years of experience and is one of the largest printing and label converting operations in North America. It operates 18 manufacturing facilities and produces packaging products for customers ranging in size from small businesses to large, high volume manufacturers.
“As a leading manufacturer of labels, WS Packaging Group was the perfect partner to boost our activity of RFID tags,” says Bruno Moreau, ASK chief executive officer. “ASK has already strong references in the US with clients involved in mass transit, banking and identity markets. But a joint venture with a US industrial leader will enhance our market presence and contactless technology in the Northern American continent. Furthermore, our clients who requested a domestic manufacturing site will be pleased to benefit from ASK technology and WS Packaging’s strong market presence.“