Mühlbauer and NovaCentrix have announced the establishment of a formal collaboration to bring to market new RFID antenna manufacturing technology. Under the agreement, Mühlbauer will develop, produce and market scalable antenna production systems “APS” for RFID inlay/label manufacturers incorporating NovaCentrix’s PulseForge photonic curing tools and optimized for use of NovaCentrix’s Metalon ICI copper oxide reduction inks.
With this step, Mühlbauer is finally completing what it calls its "long-term strategy to provide a complete turn-key solution for realizing the most flexible, fully integrated and cost efficient RFID factory including antenna production, inlay assembly, label converting and personalization."
“We are committed to providing our customers the most suitable technologies for all production steps to be successful in RFID inlay and label manufacturing,” says Thomas Betz, member of the management board for Mühlbauer. “Based on our careful evaluation of the PulseForge tools and Metalon ICI inks, we believe partnering with the NovaCentrix team is in the long-term best interests of Mühlbauer and our customers for realizing the most efficient RFID antenna manufacturing – directly before attaching the chip.“
“Working with Mühlbauer as the world leader in RFID manufacturing systems is a tremendous honor,” says Charles Munson, CEO of NovaCentrix. “Mühlbauer’s engineering expertise, global position, and shared core values make them the ideal partners for bringing our new technologies to the RFID marketplace.”
The first version of the reel-to-reel antenna manufacturing line, “APS 20000”, will be designed to provide a capacity of 100 million antennas per year. Bigger versions will be available upon market request. The system consists of modules for printing, drying, photonic curing, and quality control.
Other processes can be integrated on request. According to the companies, the goal of this highly flexible and scalable concept is to further increase the competitive advantages of the RFID inlay and label manufacturers by enabling them to produce their antennas in-house with very short reaction times and to achieve further cost reduction by a significantly improved cost of ownership, especially for antennas on paper substrates.