Toppan’s RFID tag with electronic paper display drives digital transformation

Near cross D 2.9 battery-free display enhances product traceability

The Near cross D 2.9 RFID tag is equipped with a battery-free display and can be easily attached to containers. Photo - Toppan Printing

Tokyo-headquartered Toppan Printing, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has launched sales of Near cross D 2.9, an RFID tag with a battery-free display that can enhance traceability, enable labor-saving, and drive paperless processes in manufacturing, distribution, and retail.

Near cross D 2.9 uses HF band communication compliant with the widely-used ISO/IEC 15693 standard and is therefore compatible with the existing reader, writers, and RFID systems. According to Toppan, the information on the screen can be changed in approximately three seconds, and the E Ink (commercial leader in ePaper technology) electronic paper display can be refreshed more than 100,000 times using just the power for wireless RFID communication, with no power required to maintain the information displayed. The absence of a battery eliminates the need for charging, replacement, or other maintenance. It also enables Near cross D 2.9 to drive greater efficiency for product management by streamlining such processes as relabeling and instructions for logistics.

Electronic paper display offers good visibility

The electronic paper display needs no backlight and offers good visibility in ambient light conditions, therefore raising accuracy when scanning barcodes and QR codes with cameras or infrared light, Toppan said. Near cross D 2.9 also makes it possible to display information in multiple languages to optimize communication among diverse workforces without printing or affixing additional logistics labels or instructions.

“Near cross D 2.9 rationalizes processes in manufacturing and other settings and helps to address such issues as the decline in Japan’s working population and the need to enhance environmental performance by saving resources and energy,” said Toru Yoshino, general manager of Device Development in Toppan’s Security Business Center. “It can be adopted on a standalone basis, but can also be combined with NAVINECT, Toppan’s end-to-end service for driving digital transformation in manufacturing, to leverage diverse data and achieve greater productivity, efficiency, and quality.”

Sales of Near cross D 2.9 will be handled by Chronos, a division of Marubun launched in April 2016. Marubun is a Tokyo-based trading company offering, domestically and internationally, cutting-edge electronics products such as semiconductors and electronic application equipment. Since establishment, Marubun has focused on industry and the R & D field based on electronics technology and offered products, information, and services to create a competitive advantage and enhance customer satisfaction. Chronos handles a wide variety of products, such as domestic and foreign semiconductors, sensors, memory, and connectors.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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