RFID inlay

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RFID inlay

The RFID tag in a smart label. It comprises the chip and aluminum, copper or silver antenna bonded to a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) layer that is delivered to the label maker "dry" (without adhesive) or "wet" (attached to a pressure sensitive liner). The inlay is adhered to the back side of the label and printed and encoded in an RFID printer. See RFID tag, RFID reader, RFID printer and RFID.


A Roll of Inlays
Inlays are delivered to the label maker in a roll such as these dual dipole "Frog" inlays from UPM Raflatac. They are adhered to the back of the smart label, which is then printed and encoded in an RFID printer. (Image courtesy of UPM Raflatac, www.raflatac.com)
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Although price is mainly dependent on the quantity ordered, other factors such as the type of Integrated circuit (IC) used, antenna size and antenna composite materials, manufacturing method, amount of testing, and whether it is a wet or dry inlay also affects the overall price.
According to Davenport, "Most of the converters in the field will convert a dry inlay into a PS wet inlay to use in their label products.
Checkpoint's new Gen 2 UHF RFID labels and tags are offered in 2x4 inch, 4x4 inch, and 4x6 inch labels, as well as in wet and dry inlay formats, and are currently available to customers.
As Steinwasser explains, "Five years ago, when there was the early rush, the first converters bought heavy, expensive machinery starting with dry inlays," he says.
Both wet and dry inlays feature an antenna and chip on (typically) a PET layer.
The panel explained a lot of the basic mechanics of RFID, including the difference between wet inlays, dry inlays and straps (see box).