DELO Industrial Adhesives, Mühlbauer and Impinj, Inc. (NASDAQ: PI), have announced a new milestone in the effort to achieve high-volume inlay manufacturing. The three RAIN RFID industry leaders have successfully teamed to deliver DELO MONOPOX AC6545, supporting the high-speed assembly of copper-bonded RFID chips such as the Impinj Monza 6 family on Mühlbauer high speed assembly lines.
The new, innovative adhesive is a key step forward on the “Path to 100k UPH”, manufacturing 100,000 RAIN RFID labels per hour on a single assembly line. Achieving this goal will empower inlay manufacturers to increase throughput and reduce operating costs, allowing RAIN RFID tagging to scale across high-volume industries such as apparel, retail, shipping, and airline baggage tracking.
Featuring an excellent adhesion to copper, DELO MONOPOX AC6545 enables the high-speed assembly of copper-plated chips such as the Impinj Monza 6 family. The solvent-free, anisotropic conductive adhesive (ACA) can be applied by innovative jetting technologies and also delivers improved performance with gold-bonded chips.
In addition to rapid dispensing, extremely quick curing is essential to support the fastest assembly speeds. This product allows for curing times as low as one second when using a thermode at 230 °C, making it one of the fastest products in DELO’s extensive portfolio of RAIN RFID adhesives. With higher temperatures, even shorter curing times can be achieved.
With these improved ACA curing times, Mühlbauer’s DDA (Direct Die Attach) can now produce over 40k UPH. For more than three years, customers have reliably operated DDA machines 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Going forward, the Mühlbauer roadmap includes increasing machine capacity to 100k UPH and full automation over the complete inlay production chain to improve the yield and reliability of the final assembly.
“The fact that our adhesives are in 80 percent of the billions of RAIN RFID labels produced annually is a result of our high commitment to advancing the industry,” said Karl Bitzer, Head of Product Management of DELO. “We have always taken the challenges of our customers very seriously and with this latest innovation, we continue to solve their problems.”
“With our activities, starting as the first equipment supplier for chip attach in RFID 23 years back, the close collaboration between all involved partners allows outstanding innovations and strategies to push acceptance and growth of RAIN RFID to the next level.” comments Gerald Niklas, Business Development at Mühlbauer. ”We shared our Concept 2020 with the RAIN RFID community in 2014, and today we have realized a big step to reach this future vision for extremely cost-sensitive, ultra-high volume applications.”
“Our close partnership with DELO and Mühlbauer has enabled this significant improvement in Monza IC inlay-manufacturing speeds with world-class quality,” said Carl Brasek, Vice President of Silicon Product Management at Impinj. “We are excited to deliver this innovation to our inlay partners, taking us and them one step closer to our vision of connecting every item in our everyday world.”
The new development is only the most recent example of a fruitful collaboration of Impinj, Mühlbauer and DELO. Other results of their partnership include the development of Impinj’s patented Enduro die-attach technology for Monza 6 tag chip family.