Walki’s new RAIN RFID paper antennas bring sustainability to tags.
The apparel market is the driving force behind the emerging RAIN RFID market as the leading retailers have long been requesting for more sustainable tags.
This means that inlay manufacturers can leave out the etched PET antenna on their label and tag structures. This is very relevant since the etching process is a dirty chemical process that is fighting an uphill battle in getting manufacturing licenses, while the Walki 4E antenna production process is clean with no hazardous chemicals at all.
Already several billions RAIN RFID tags have been sold to the retail market and RAIN RFID business is expected to grow 30 % per year. One of the global pioneers in providing RFID solutions to the apparel market is SML, one of the largest apparel branding and packaging companies in the world, with operations in 30 countries and as many as 21 production sites. SML is collaborating closely with Walki to usher in a completely new era.
Walki 4E antenna technology is the leading technology-of-choice for sustainable and eco-friendly RAIN RFID (UHF) fiber-based antennas, enabling both Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and true visibility in retail operations. As retail stores and businesses keep targeting omni-channel operations, these features are in high demand throughout the industry.
Philip Calderbank, RFID Consultant for SML, says that Walki 4E technology is giving SML the means to expand its business profitably in a very sustainable way. The recent cooperation with Walki has proven that Walki 4E paper antenna product has now matured to a point where it can become a real game changer on RAIN RFID markets.
“We started testing in late 2015 and those tests are ongoing. So far, we have been able to demonstrate that the technology works to customer’s satisfaction on a thin label, so we now want to see how the Walki RFID inlay will work on thicker Brand Identification labels as well as in a fabric label – what we have today is a strong eco-product with a very thin label."
Philip Calderbank points out that incorporating RFID into the garment itself opens up new and exciting opportunities for development.
“A more wearable RFID element certainly provides additional approaches," he says. Among key issues are loss prevention and brand authentication: as RFID is sewn into the garment, it becomes a part of actual item identification.