The IATA (International Air Transport Association) Board of Governors, at the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in June 2018, mandated IATA to address passenger expectations for real time tracking of baggage. The first step is to develop a global development plan that will see IATA-standard RFID inlays in all baggage tags issued after January 1, 2020.
In direct response, Smartrac is now introducing a product that is tailored to airline baggage tracking requirements. Wings is one of the world’s smallest UHF tags for baggage tagging in the market and approved under Auburn University RFID Lab’s category U. This category relates to luggage tagging in aviation: Auburn University measures the tag performance on materials like cardboard, plastic or rubber and, as of now, lists only four inlays from three manufacturers as approved.
Smartrac’s Wings inlay is equipped with NXP’s UCODE 8 IC that comes with 128-bit EPC memory and features a 96-bit tag identifier (TID), a pre-serialized EPC and an auto-adjust function for automated tag performance optimization. With its RF performance for any given form factor, UCODE 8 enables long read distance and fast inventory of dense RFID tag populations. Wings has an aluminum antenna measuring 30 x 72 mm / 1.18 x 2.84 inches and operates in the UHF band (860 – 960 MHz). Perfectly tuned to one another, IC and antenna jointly enable a very high read sensitivity in two directions. In their entirety, the product features provide first-rate solutions not only for baggage tracking but also for a wide range of apparel and supply-chain management applications.
Like all applicable transponders manufactured by Smartrac, Wings also benefits from the capabilities of Smart Cosmos, Smartrac’s Internet of Things platform, which 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 fully reliable quality assurance.
“With our new Wings tag we are demonstrating our continued ability to respond to arising market opportunities in a very timely manner – and with a more convincing product than others. We expect Wings inlays to be well accepted by our system integrator partners and end customers, and to play a major role in the upcoming roll-out of RFID-based baggage tracking systems," says Matti Tavilampi, global product management director at Smartrac.