FineLine expands RFID capabilities with USD 2.5m equipment investment

Additional capacity will accommodate RFID orders for non-apparel products, including electronics, automotive, toys, healthcare, food and home goods.

FineLine Technologies has strengthened its position in the barcode and RFID market in the US with a USD 2.5 million equipment acquisition and an expansion of its Data2 division’s O’Fallon, Missouri, production facility.

The investment includes an array of RFID converting equipment and an enlargement of the existing plant’s manufacturing footprint to 50,000 sqft. Together with facilities in Atlanta, St. Louis and Costa Mesa, California, Fineline’s manufacturing space now exceeds130,000 sqft.

George Hoffman, Fineline chairman and CEO, said: ‘The investment supports the increasing demand for RFID item labeling on non-apparel products and brands’ needs to comply with recent mandates from several major retailers.

‘RFID has been embraced for decades by apparel retailers as a way to correct historically poor inventory accuracy and improve on-shelf availability. During the pandemic, retailers across the board responded to crowd-avoidance by adopting omnichannel strategies which are heavily dependent upon having accurate inventories, which are obtainable only with RFID item tagging.

‘Consequently, the use cases for RFID item tagging are increasing, and the breadth of products covered is rapidly expanding to include non-apparel items such as home goods, automotive and industrial components, toys, electronics and crafts.’

According to Hoffman, a successful RFID compliance by brands involves reliable RFID label supply that can be customized to the unique needs of each brand, along with knowledge of how to meet retailer specifications for inlay type, encoding schema, form factors and application processes.

‘By expanding our RFID manufacturing capacity and capabilities, we can assist customers in meeting these challenges on an even larger scale,’ added Hoffman. ‘Besides our knowledge of retailers’ unique RFID labeling requirements and each step of the Auburn qualification process, we provide a broad selection of RFID sensors, adhesives technology, high-quality graphics printing with RFID integration and 100 percent-inspected rolls required for automatic label application.’

New equipment installed at Fineline’s Data2 division O’Fallon plant includes rotary digital printers, high-capacity RFID label inserters, RFID printer/encoders, a 10-station rotary die-cutter and roll-to-roll RFID verification equipment.

The new equipment has enabled the company to offer high-speed digital and flexo, four-color process, rotary printing; RFID inlay integration of dry inlays, for customized label designs; high-speed RFID encoding and verification; engineered, multi-layered label constructions and high-capacity and quick-turn RFID label finishing.

In addition, the FineLine O’Fallon facility includes on-premise RFID and materials testing labs to ensure customers’ RFID labels meet the latest retailer performance requirements.