Chinese packaging materials firm BSN intends to use flexible electronics firm PragmatIC’s RFID ICs in a new printing facility focused on anti-counterfeit solutions for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), online sales, and pharmaceutical drugs.

BSN is part of the Baoshen Group, one of China’s leading packaging material suppliers for footwear, apparel, bags, furniture, cosmetics and accessories, with an annual capacity of 7 billion print items and 1 billion RFID labels. PragmatIC’s ConnectIC products will be used in BSN’s new Eprint line of RFID products.

The ConnectIC family, released earlier this year, provides connectivity solutions using HF RFID proximity identification aimed at smart packaging, and targets markets such as food and beverage, personal and home care, pharmaceutical and healthcare.

PragmatIC FlexIC

PragmatIC's flexible ICs
for smart tags
to help address counterfeit
fast-moving consumer goods

(Image: PragmatIC)

The RFID elements are thin and flexible, making them suitable for embedding into a wide range of substrates, including plastic or paper. The company claims they are imperceptible when added to labels or packaging. With integrated energy harvesting and designed for use with single layer antennas, they are designed to minimize total system cost.

Headquartered in Cambridge UK, PragmatIC says the low cost of these flexible ICs means electronic connectivity is no longer limited to high-value luxury items. The company contends its technology now makes it economical to add "smart" features such as traceability and interactivity to high-volume FMCGs and other mass market applications.

The ConnectIC series facilitates rapid detection of objects when one or more low-cost custom readers are integrated into the system. Designed for proximity identification applications, the ICs can then enable applications such as hierarchical inventory management, item identification and tracking, supply chain assurance and brand authentication. Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC, said, “The ConnectIC family is set to bring connectivity to items we buy every day.”

BSN’s RFID consultant Philip Calderbank commented, “We see rapidly growing demand in Asian markets for solutions to protect brands and consumers from counterfeit products both in store and online. PragmatIC’s ultra-low-cost technology will enable us to roll out solutions to a much wider range of market segments than possible with conventional electronics.”