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Electronics Production | May 10, 2006

Tyco teams with Graphic Solutions

Tyco Electronics' Global Application Tooling Division (GATD) announced today that it has designed a customized assembly system for Graphic Solutions International, LLC to provide them with a unique RFID Inlay assembly system.
This piece of equipment will assemble semiconductor chips, surface mount devices and printed batteries onto a continuous web of printed antennas, adding radio frequency identification (RFID) capability to tags and labels.

Working closely with Graphic Solutions (GSI) to customize a system to meet their exacting specifications, Tyco Electronics has provided a reel to reel system that allows GSI to mount flip chips, surface mount devices (SMDs), and printed batteries on a continuous web of printed antennas and conductive traces. The system is capable of the high-speed mounting of electronic components on a 6,000'+ (1,800+ m) roll of 20" (500 mm) wide material. After conductive printing, the roll is fed into the machine where components are added along with one or two printed batteries. Upon completion, the roll can be slit into individual streams and rolled, or supplied in production web width rolls for delivery. A typical circuit is inlaid with batteries, an RFID chip, and a printed antenna. The speed of this machine allows for production levels up to 26 million inlays per year.

“Tyco Electronics had the experience and flexibility to work with Graphic Solutions to cooperatively design and deliver a state-of-the-art line that was able to meet both our speed and reliability requirements. Currently, there is no other machine like this available in the marketplace,” said Jim Parker, Director of Engineering for GSI.

The continuous web assembly system produces inlays that offer numerous performance improvements over conventional printed circuit boards. The system allows mounting flip chips for almost any purpose, as well as the ability to mount most standard SMDs along with GSI's printed batteries. The line has the ability to mount on paper, PET, or other flexible substrates, and features a variable width capability up to 20" (500 mm) wide. It can accommodate printed substrates from 0.002" (50 ?m) to 0.005" (125 ?m) thick, mount on continuous rolls with a repeat pitch of 0.8" (20 mm), and position chips to micron accuracy. Benefits of this assembly line include high speed, high accuracy, and reliability of mounting.

“GSI's market positioning and interest in battery assisted RFID tags, and Tyco Electronics' flexible modular approach coupled with IP specifically developed for RFID and other flex film applications, has been a perfect match,” said George Szekely, General Manager of the Automation Technology Center, which is part of the Global Application Tooling Division of Tyco Electronics.

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