The safety products division of a Fortune 100 multinational conglomerate produces a brand line of industrial safety harnesses, designed to secure users against falls from bridges, oil rigs, scaffolding, or other elevated work areas. In addition to real-time tracking of this essential equipment, such as assigned user and current location, US OSHA standards require such harnesses to be inspected and re-calibrated at regular intervals. This company pioneered the incorporation of RFID technology into these harness products, with embedded tags programmed with each unit’s serial number, enabling each unit to be scanned and monitored for adherence to these mandated maintenance timelines, as well as meeting requirements of local regulators, insurance companies, and often management of the workplace itself.
The client’s original product designs incorporated LF 134.2 kHz RFID tags, while offering strong near-metal performance, meant high-per-unit costs. Additionally, the client encountered supply chain difficulties from its original third-party tag supplier. These issues led their design and supply management teams to seek a new OEM manufacturing partner who could deliver reliable quantities. They also wanted redesign the harnesses’ RFID components, focusing on comparable read ranges, in addition to size, form factors, and stronger durability in the harshest industrial environments. This included prolonged exposure to oils and petroleum products, alkaline and acidic chemicals, and extreme temperatures. With continued regulatory attention focused upon industrial fall prevention, the technological refinement of harnesses and other protection equipment is an increasingly important responsibility of trusted safety brands, as well as a lucrative opportunity for their OEM electronics manufacturing partners.
Following a casual introductory discussion with client representatives on the floor of an industrial product tradeshow, our team recognized this would be a terrific opportunity to leverage our RFID design and manufacturing expertise into developing cost-competitive alternative RFID tags, per the client’s specifications for design, packaging, materials, and performance parameters. Our RFID engineers proceeded to facilitate a series of onsite meetings with the client’s harness product team to gather information for a formal contract bid.
From the outset of the initial discussions, the client was particularly impressed with our RFID team’s hands-on engagement, as well as expertise in materials and product design. We also offered competitive advance BOM pricing estimates, which were firmly adhered to throughout the development process. After thorough product design and materials evaluation phases, we presented the client with a series of prototype 13.56 MHz, ISO 15693-compliant HF tags, encased in durable, specially engineered plastic material embossed with the client logo, engineered to deliver reliable performance under virtually any operating conditions.
Today, we supply this client with 6 different SKUs of these RFID tags, having shipped extended quantities of product units to date. This latest success story further illustrates our unique expertise in development and high-volume manufacturing of leading-edge RFID applications.
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