The RFID market is expected to expand drastically. Here, the DPP technology is a true game changer.

Our partner on the RFID market is Mühlbauer GmbH, the world-leading, one-stop-shop technology partner for the smart card, ePassport, RFID, and solar back-end industries. The company is also a major supplier in micro-chip die sorting, carrier tape equipment, automation, marking, and traceability systems.

As the dominating supplier of SMT (pick and place) machines for the RFID market, Mühlbauer sets the highest design requirements for the equipment. Since 2015 our solutions have contributed to the successful business development – one example is our FE 100 system that is now the core part of Mühlbauer’s ASC 100 product series.

Customer Scenario

Market characteristics

The booming RFID market is growing. RFID technology will soon be implemented in other domains than retail and logistic enterprises, which represent the main market volume today. Manufacturing, consumer goods and governmental enterprises are the next markets where RFID technology will be used. The RFID market is both extremely cost driven and can generate accelerating volumes. Manufacturing capacity and delivery capability are the most crucial factors to be successful, beside the ever-expected lower cost.

The major sourcing of inlays and RFID tags has been from the Asia Pacific region. Due to the Covid experience and global political trading conflicts, European and North American companies are looking at sourcing from regional vendors. Even India is looking for more local suppliers to assure the sourcing. However, to set up a new facility for chemical etched operation is both expensive and environmentally demanding. There are only a few alternatives for mass production of RFID tags, which makes the customer dependent on the existing supplier in the Asia Pacific region.

Customer problem

The dominating industry in China of RFID inlays and tags result in an unwanted dependency when virus infection, political trading conflict or climate disaster events disrupt the delivery capability from the suppliers. The uncertainty of supporting the end-customers with products in the future is a risk that needs to be mitigated. The alternative — to set up one’s own factory for chemical etched PCB — is not an option due to the strict regulations and monetary impact.

DP Patterning solution

DP Patterning offers the application and system supplier a strategic change of sourcing of RFID circuits, including antennas, by implementing in-house production of the component. The change implies integrating the DPP process to the existing assembly and converting production line of the RFID products. The manufacturing shift is about reducing costs and streamlining production to secure sourcing.

The solution is clean, compact and efficient, especially when the DPP process allows integration to the electronic assembly operation (SMT) without added facility investment.

DP Patterning supports the installation and provides extensive training, so the customer can be up and running in three months. High-speed process automation and rapid tool change secure efficiency even for small batches or prototyping. The “one material-in and one product-out”-operation also eases the logistic planning and assure the delivery capacity.

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