Rafsec Ltd., a part of UPM-Kymmene Corporation, is increasing its investment in the development of smart label technologies. Rafsec's goal is to strengthen its position as a global technological leader in the smart label business and contribute to the growth of the industry by investing heavily in technologies that will help lower the price of smart labels.
With this purpose in mind, Rafsec has formed a strategic alliance with the California-based Alien Technology Corp. UPM-Kymmene Corporation has simultaneously made an investment in Alien Technology. Alien Technology has developed technology that paves the way for a significant reduction in the size of smart label microchips as well as a cost-effective method of attaching them to the antenna.
UPM-Kymmene Corporation has also acquired a majority in TDAO Ltd., an English company which has been developing a new additive technology that enables, for example, an increasingly cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of producing smart label antennas. Based on existing partnership and joint efforts between Rafsec and TDAO Ltd., Rafsec will be the first company to utilize TDAO's new technology in high volume smart label production.
The investments and development deals made by Rafsec play a central role in developing smart label technologies so that they fulfil the requirements set by the most important end-users. Rafsec aims to bring the first smart labels based on these new technologies onto the market during 2002.
Rafsec has been developing smart labels that enable the wireless identification of products since 1998, and the first commercial deliveries took place in 1999. Smart labels are based on RFID technology.
Cooperation with the Auto-ID Center
Rafsec and Alien Technology are both members of the Auto-ID Center, founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and leading consumer goods and retail companies. This center has during the past year become a strong global promoter of wireless identification technologies. Other members of the Auto-ID Center include companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Gillette, the US Postal Service and Wal-Mart.
Rafsec and Alien Technology are actively involved in various working groups within the Auto-ID Center, contributing to the development of technologies used in smart labels. The goal of the Auto-ID Center is to develop network solutions and software for RFID technology and create the right conditions for the widespread use of smart labels, thus bringing about a notable reduction in smart label unit prices.
For further information, please contact:
Pentti Kallio, President, UPM Converting, tel. +358-204150015
Timo Lindström, President, Rafsec, tel. +358-204168133
18 December, 2001