As with the other developing conducive printing technologies, there are a myriad of uses for Metallograph®. A partial list includes RFID antennas, chipless RFID, blister packs with dosing records, low power printed circuits, radiant and conductive heaters, touch sensors, complex capacitive circuitry, environmental sensors and indicators, printed electroluminescent displays, and LED mounts. (Metallograph® contact us for referrals to producers.)
We help you create your RFID tags and labels.
RFID (Radio-Frequency IDentification) uses electromagnetic signals emitted by transponders close to receiving stations, to automatically identify and track tags. An antenna on the tag responds to the signal, powers an integrated circuit which emits a return signal containing a code, including for example, a serial number. The largest market is for UHF RFID, where many billions of tags are produced annually, by large very high-volume lines. But with all such technologies there are niches which smaller, versatile, lower capital cost systems satisfy, usually with higher margins. Metallograph® TT is at home here because it is simple, digital, can print direct to paper or label stock, and has the lowest capital cost for antenna production. Recent IC developments are enhancing its position, especially in the RAIN (UHF) sector.
Metallograph Technology is a member of the RAIN Alliance, the trade association for the development, utilization and standardization of UHF RFID. Its website is an excellent source for information. There are many case studies from successful implementation across the spectrum of users: health, medical, retail, inventory management, transportation and logistics, manufacturing and military.
No IC's on the tags
Integrated circuits on the tags add cost to production and complexity in-use to non-visual identification like NFC and UHF RFID. Metallograph® supports two technologies that do not require ICs on the tags.
Chip-less RFID: Fluorescence is a well known phenomenon with light – many compounds absorb ultraviolet light (black light) and emit visible light. Antennas can behave similarly absorbing radio frequency energy at one wavelength, and emitting at another. The emittance frequency varies with the antenna dimensions. Sets of slightly different antennas in turn produce distinct signals, which may be read by a receiver and analyzed. Digital printing is the only useful way to make the sets, and thermal transfer is the simplest. We are supporting multiple chip-less RFID developments.
Metallograph® enables TicTag to print serialized tags rapidly, at low cost.
But until TicTag met with Metallograph Tech, it had no economical way to produce its tags.
TicTag had developed a simple identification technology based on smartphone screen capacitive sensing. Through our specialized consulting we quickly demonstrated how using Metallograph could modify their production line to be cost effective.
TicTag’s greatest advantage over RFID is that there is no need for a separate emitter and reader, and cell phones are ubiquitous.
Metallograph aluminum thermal transfer, being highly conductive, is excellent for creating flexible heaters.
Our heaters are printed on paper and film substrates making them thin and bendable to fit into clothing and a variety of applications. They are digitally printed so they can be designed with a wide range of complex geometries, and curves to offer uniform heat distribution with endless product design possibilities.
Metallograph® Conductive TTR makes producing transparent conductor grids easy, fast and economical.
Meshes printed with pure continuous aluminum inherently have high conductivity, and transparency as voids pass all the light unfiltered. They have, therefore, the highest combination of conductance and transparency on flexible substrates of all printed technologies.
Conductance directionality is easily established by elongation of the design, and absolute conductance by line thickness and spacing. Examples include light switch covers based on capacitance sensing.
Metallograph® 's flexible printed circuits offer a wide range of physical and electrical solutions, not achieved with rigid printed circuit boards.
Flexible circuits are thin, light-weight electrical circuits that conform to small spaces and contoured shapes. Their advantages in use over rigid boards are well known in the industry. The extra value of digital printing is less appreciated, but the example of how it transformed publication and industrial printing is getting notice.
Metallograph aluminum and copper conductors on polymer films and papers, allow circuits to bend and flex. With careful lamination and connections, they can withstand moderately high temperatures. Resolution matches standard IC connector spacing. ICs, LEDs and other components can be mounted with standard adhesives on high volume pick n place machines. Chemical sensors have been printed on to Metallograph bases. Pressure sensors are also readily applied.
Multilayers can be printed with never-before achieved registration and productivity at very low capital cost.
We use industrial graphic printers to make multilayer circuits with Metallograph. They have the tight registration needed for complex circuits. An economical and simple method now available for electronics. Capital cost relative to ink jet is only 1 or 2 %.
The circuits are assembled by printing alternating metal and dielectric ribbons
For example: a dielectric patch is the insulator where conductors cross.
Along with the Metallograph electronic layers, a basic color ribbon can print cutlines, text, serial numbers, barcodes and logos at the same time.