Smartrac launches Cattle Ear Tag


Smartrac (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is further extending its Animal ID portfolio by launching its new Cattle Ear Tag. The RAIN RFID product comprises a chip module that is inductively coupled to an advanced RFID antenna design, which ensures outstanding ruggedness in demanding applications. Its UHF-based technology allows reading of multiple tags simultaneously, at high speed and at distances of up to five metres.

For livestock tagging, LF has been the standard frequency for many years. However, that standard nowadays presents some limitations relevant to the livestock industry, such as restricted read range and signal collision that prevents multiple tag reading. Smartrac’s new Cattle Ear Tag effectively overcomes these limitations as its RAIN RFID technology enables multiple tags to be read simultaneously, more quickly and at much greater distances than existing LF RFID tags. The typical read distance under practical conditions (tag applied to cattle ear, outer antenna functional) is approximately five metres. This extended read range and speed significantly reduce operator risk and increase speed of handling and data collection throughout the entire supply chain.

Smartrac’s Cattle Ear Tag is a GS1 UHF Gen2-compliant transponder comprising a chip module that is inductively coupled to an embroidered RFID antenna. Compared to traditional etched antennas, Smartrac’s wire-made embroidered antenna offers more resistance against fractures or disruption in the antenna structure. The embroidered antenna wire is affixed to the carrier material – namely thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) foil – using the state-of-the-art “tailored wire placement” technique.

The antenna is not directly bonded but inductively coupled to the chip loop, which itself has a tiny inner antenna within its encapsulation. The absence of any intermetallic connection between chip loop and antenna also contributes to the tag’s ruggedness. If the outer antenna is damaged by brute force, the tag can still be read at short distances using the inner antenna’s basic transmission capabilities.

 “To develop our new Cattle Ear Tag, we have worked closely with livestock industry experts. Offering superior read range through RAIN RFID technology, and outstanding ruggedness through its advanced antenna design, the new tag is set to make its mark in the animal ID market and to further extend Smartrac’s strong position in this sector,” said Rasmus Forntheil, product manager Animal ID at Smartrac.

Like all applicable transponder products manufactured by Smartrac, Cattle Ear Tag also benefits from the company’s Internet of Things Platform Smart Cosmos, which records and manages a complete set of unique transponder data (e.g. UID no., order no., batch no. or yield) at production level in a controlled and secure way. As the backbone of its product digitisation solutions, Smart Cosmos enables full traceability of delivered RFID-enabled products and provides fully reliable quality assurance.

All electrical parts of the new Cattle Ear Tag are fully sealed by TPU material, which is widely recognised in the market for its convenient handling characteristics and ability to withstand harsh environmental impacts. Thanks to Smartrac’s manufacturing expertise, the TPU colour and the design of the embroidered antenna can be customized to specific needs, and laser engravings may be added on request. Equipped with high-performance Impinj Monza R6-P chips, the tags come in a compact size conforming to the shape of typical LF livestock ear tags and are priced competitively despite their technological advantages. Smartrac Cattle Ear Tag samples are available as of now.

Caption: The Cattle Ear Tag (photo: Smartrac)

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