Stora Enso Launches Sustainable RFID Solution

Nov 07, 2018—

Stora Enso, a Finnish-Swedish forestry, pulp, packaging and renewable materials company, has launched its ECO RFID tag technology, along with software and services designed to create a complete, sustainable radio frequency identification solution for retailers and industrial manufacturers.

"We have created a truly sustainable RFID solution," says Dr. Juha Maijala, Stora Enso's director of intelligent packaging. "There is no plastic substrate anymore in our tag, and we have removed all carcinogenic materials, nickel particles and other toxins in the chip-attachment process. Our manufacturing process is very green, with a small carbon footprint, and the tags are completely recyclable."

The ECO RFID tag is printed on paper.

The tags are paper-based and have a metallic antenna, but they do not use silver ink. Maijala says the tags are completely recyclable and do not need to be removed before packaging is turned into pulp for reuse. "The performance of our ECO tags is excellent when compared with tags with printed antennas," he states. "It is fully comparable with etched metal antennas."

Stora Enso has developed proprietary technology that overcomes reliability issues associated with paper-based tags, such as passing industry tests on temperature and humidity cycling and bending. The company has the capacity to produce half a billion antennas per machine per year, and paper-based technology eliminates the need for expensive anisotropic conductive paste (ACP) for chip attachment, enabling a much faster and lower-cost chip-placement process. According to Maijala, the tag's price is on par with that of existing passive UHF RFID tags currently on the market.

The solution does not just involve tags, however. The company is offering a cloud-based track-and-trace solution, running on Microsoft's Azure platform, and also provides complete reader systems. "Our intelligent packaging solution runs via cloud services," Maijala says, "and with this, we provide our customers with auto-provisioning, remote diagnostics and analytics, to mention a few features. It is a full solution."

Juha Maijala

Stora Enso has also developed a tag integration solution, which manages tag encoding data management, tag testing and more. Retailers can use the solution to tag items at a distribution center, while manufacturers can utilize it to tag products at the source. The system can also be used by converters and service bureaus, and is compatible with Stora Enso's ECO tag.

ECO RFID tags are available for purchase now.