RFID tags store much more information than bar codes, though high costs so far have limited their growth.
But now it may be possible to cut costs drastically by printing RFID antenna circuitry directly on a corrugated shipping box, say engineers with PRPflexo, Indianapolis.
Trials using Parmod silver ink from Parelec, Rocky Hill, N.J., printed antennae with lines spaced just 0.003 in. apart. Tests show the antennas are sufficiently conductive to work in a commercial environment. PRPflexo's ExSpect flexo plates in other applications print clear and legible two-point type on rough corrugated board and Tyvek, says the company.
The print trials took place at Clemson University's PrintCon facility using a corrugated flexo printer. Additional tests are in the works.