RFID and IoT pacesetter Smartrac has announced its Ratch tag product line, the first RFID-enabled cable ties with fully integrated RFID tags. Available for both HF and UHF frequency bands, Smartrac Ratch tags are ideal for the tagging and asset control of critical equipment in applications such as lifting, automotive wiring and supply chain, offshore operations or entertainment and stage rigging.
There have been RFID-enabled cable ties on the market before – but they use transponders that are somehow fixed to the cable tie. Instead, Smartrac has securely concealed the RFID component on the inside surface of the tag housing. This ensures that the transponder unit is bonded within the housing and mechanically retained within a Nylon material engineered for extreme durability and strength. This high-quality crystalline polyamide material supports the product’s use in some of the most demanding of industrial environments, while the single-use ratchet mechanism helps to prevent easy removal,
Fully integrated RFID is key to tamper detection and many challenging applications
The complete integration of the transponder units into the cable ties is the prerequisite for providing tamper evidence, hence fraud protection. By wrapping or threading Smartrac Ratch tag to wire harnesses or cable assemblies at defined stages of manufacturing, construction processes or during planned inspections, any subsequent manipulation is easily detectable. The robustness of Ratch tag makes this a go-to product for a multitude of application environments such as lifting operation safety, offshore construction work, automotive wiring and supply chain, or entertainment and stage rigging. Other application areas include high-value audit and safety-critical inspection work in many areas, like medical equipment and test-tube tracking, safety harness and lifejacket audit and control, or industrial subassembly tracking.
“By introducing the industry’s first RFID-enabled cable tie with a fully integrated RFID tag, Smartrac is proving its continuing ability to innovate and shape the RFID market. The new Ratch tag is ideal for tagging formerly hard-to-tag items in numerous safety-critical areas, and is set to conquer additional application areas in industrial subassembly tracking as the industrial Internet of Things evolves”, says Heath Parkin, Animal and Automotive Sales at Smartrac.
Smartrac technology packaged in a smart way
Equipped with ICs from leading manufacturers, Smartrac Ratch tags are available in high volumes for HF and UHF (RAIN RFID) frequency bands, ensuring best-in-class performance on different materials. In both bands, a focused and short read range ensures single-tag detection, and effectively eliminates multiple tag reads. An NFC-compatible version is being developed to broaden the number of use cases and provide greater compatibility with emerging reader technologies.
Currently available in discreet black or highly visible yellow, Ratch tag comes in a 195mm x 4.6mm format for the cable tie element, with a width of 8.5mm for the transponder part. These dimensions make it the most versatile RFID-enabled cable tie on the market.