Judging by estimates of potential usage, RFID and printed electronics have a virtually limitless future. If, as it seems, these tags will eventually replace and surpass barcodes, it could mean billions of these tags being produced annually. Already, millions of these tags are in circulation, whether they are ID cards for the Chinese school system, transit cards for Rio de Janeiro, labels on pallets or equipment, or countlessother applications.
While there is tremendous potential, the question is how companies can become involved in the business. For Parelec Inc., a conductive ink specialist located in Rocky Hill, NJ, becoming an unbiased facilitator for customers and partners has become a springboard for success.
“Our commitment to RFID is far and beyond just manufacturing inks like many other ink companies,” said Parelec CEO Geva Barash. “We have evolved from just developing ink technology. We’re now seen as an unbiased consultant to the market. People are now calling us to facilitate RFID.”
To educate users about RFID, Parelec developed Certified Printer Program, an innovative and comprehensive program for customers in the RFID value chain. This exclusive program permits customers to acquire RFID antennas from Parelec’s proven Certified Printer Partners for inlays, labels, packaging and other applications with a rapid turnaround and at low cost.
“Our Certified Printer Program tells the different users how to achieve low cost RFID. From the printer to the end user we will educate the market on how to print RFID,” Mr. Barash said. “The program brings together printers, substrate manufacturers, chip suppliers, attachment technologies, label makers, custom integrators and end users to streamline project production. The idea is to take the guesswork out of RFID labels for all parties.
“We have lined up a number of strategic alliances with well established companies throughout the value chain,” Mr. Barash added. “Together, our goal is to bring a complete RFID inlay solution to the marketplace.”
Parelec was founded as a conductive ink manufacturer, and the company has a leading position in the market, driven by its Parmod VLT inks. Parmod VLT inks have significantly higher conductivity than polymer thick film (PTF) inks, and printers can achieve the same read distance and performance with less ink - and less ink translates to the lowest cost tags.
“Using our inks, antennas that are 4 microns thick can be successfully manufactured and will achieve the same or better performance, as opposed to using our competitor’s inks, which require 17 microns of thickness,” Mr. Barash said.
Parelec’s products are used to provide low cost RFID antenna, specialty, and flexible circuits, intelligent packaging, heaters/defrosters for plastic windows, and in semiconductor packaging for a wide variety of electronics and consumer products.
Future directions for Parelec include the development of products for large scale printing of thin film transistor arrays, oxide compositions for printing capacitors, and breakthrough applications to provide low cost devices and displays on flexible substrates.
Mr. Barash joined the company in April 2005, and has been involved in a number of successful start-up ventures, most recently as vice president of sales and marketing for Nur America and as CEO of i-Ray Technologies’ US subsidiary. He enjoys building up technology-driven companies, and he sees great possibilities for Parelec.
“I like to make things happen, and I thrive on start-ups,” Mr. Barash said. “RFID and printed electronics are going to explode, and we have the opportunity in the next 10 to 15 years to be the leaders in the RFID.”