RFID antennas laser cut from aluminium and paper laminate
The technology can be used for any production of flexible circuits boards, ranging from RFID antennas to boards for radiators and flexible displays. The first product to be launched using Walki-4E technology is Walki-Pantenna, a UHF RFID antenna.
The four E’s of Walki-4E stand for efficient, exact, economical and ecological. Compared with etching, the technology eliminates a whole step from the tag production process or from the converter’s process, thus combining efficiency and economy.
Computer to antenna production and laser cutting of the flexible board patterns allow for a speedy production process and extremely high accuracy. An example: the laser cuts with an accuracy of 20 microns while a human hair has the thickness of 100-120 microns.
“Since paper is used as a substrate, the RFID manufacturers can leave out the insertion of the PET inlay into paper, a necessary step when the antenna has been produced by etching. Moreover, the computer to antenna production method speeds up design and development, an advantage especially when it comes to producing short series, involving a fewer number of antennas,” Sami Liponkoski says.
Cost efficiency comes hand-in-hand with environmental benefits. The dry process does not involve any chemicals, thus resulting in process residue that is easily recyclable. The absence of liquid chemicals also leaves the RFID manufacturers with a product, the ready antenna, that is 100 % recyclable.
The laser cutting precision allows for smaller chips, greater repeatability in the production process and higher accuracy of the antenna. According to the manufacturer, the antenna production could become completely digital.
Walki-4E technology is a new way of producing flexible circuit boards using a dry process and paper as the substrate, the first real alternative to the wet, chemical based process of etching.
Visit the Walki Group at www.walki.com