Q&A

What’s RFID?

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification. It is a technology allowing devices to automatically identify information stored in a tag through radio waves. An RFID tag consists of an antenna and a microchip in order to transmit and receive.This technology is generally characterized by the use of three important and essential components: the chip, the antenna and the reader.

The Evolution of RFID

The use of RFID goes back to World War II, where it was used as a form of radar to locate Allied planes. Below is a quick history of the evolution of this technology.

How Does It Work?

The operating principle of RFID systems is based on the remote exchange of electromagnetic waves. Specifically, the reader transmits a signal at a given frequency to one or more radio tags located in its reading field and they also transmit a signal back. The electromagnetic field feeds the label and activates the chip.

To transmit the information recorded in the chip, the chip creates an amplitude or phase modulation on the carrier frequency. Once this information is received by the reader, it transforms it into binary code. The operation remains symmetrical in the opposite direction.

The scenario of a radio frequency identification is therefore as follows:




  1. The reader transmits energy by radio to activate the tag.
  2. It queries the tags nearby.
  3. It listens to the answers and eliminates duplicates or collisions between answers.
  4. Finally, it transmits the results obtained to the concerned applications.

RFID Labels/Tags

These little devices are commonly called labels, but they are found under other names (smart labels, smart tags, tags, transponders). They are equipment intended to receive a radio signal and to immediately return a different radio signal containing relevant information. Each tag consists of a microcircuit and an antenna.

Just like the barcode that’s read with an optical laser, the RFID tag is also scanned with a reader that retrieves radio frequency signals emitted by this tag.

There are three types of tags:

Passive tags: Devices that do not require any source of power, except that provided by readers at the time of the scan.

Active tags: Devices equipped with a battery, allowing them to communicate with the readers. Unlike passive tags, active tags can be read from long distances.

Semi-active tags: They act as a passive tag for communication and use their battery only to record the data.



The principal characteristics of a tag are:

Large storage capacity (one or more kilobytes)

Can be read by a scanner at a distance that can range from a few centimeters to about 200 meters

Can be read but not necessarily written. It is, however, possible to rewrite the tag and thus recycle it

Ease of use

Standards

The RFID system is based on a frequency system and has several tag devices, each adapted to the frequencies that suit it. The below protocols define the functionality provided by different types of tags.

The use of these standards allows RFID solution integrators to find systems suitable to the needs of their customers based on verified performance, and which can be a repository even if the tests are not performed on site. It will also allow users to choose from several solutions.

RFID Frequency Bands

A radio signal has a radius of a few hundred meters, depending on the power of the installation and the frequency used. A radio wave is classified according to its frequency expressed in Hertz (Hz) or cycles per second.

The set of frequencies used for RFID technology is described below.

Low Frequency

These are the frequencies ranging from 30 to 300KHz, with a wavelength of 1 to 10 km and a reading distance going up to 10cm.

In RFID, a tag using low frequency is represented by the acronym LF (Low Frequency). Following national or international regulations, LF uses frequencies 125KHz – 134.2 KHZ.

High Frequency

All frequencies from 3 to 30MHz, with a wavelength of 10 to 100m and a reading distance of 10cm to 1m.

In RFID, the tag that uses high frequency is represented by the acronym HF (High Frequency) and uses the frequency 13.56MHz to exchange data.

Ultra-High Frequency

These are all frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 GHz, with a wavelength of 10 cm to 1 m and a reading distance going up to 200m.

In RFID, the tag using ultra-high frequency is represented by the acronym UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and is based on the frequency band 860MHz – 960MHz.

Conclusion

In this article, we saw a bit of history about RFID and how RFID works theoretically. In the next articles, we will dig deeper into its functioning with concrete examples and the necessary tools to use it.


via : https://resources.infosecinstitute.com/topic/an-introduction-to-rfid/







Print Finishing Techniques

          

Foil Stamping -In this type of finishing, a malleable metallic material(foil) is applied to the print surface with the help of heat and 


pressure. Foils are not only limited to gold and silver but also you can use other varieties like pigmented, holographic and security foils. 


This type of finishing makes your printed products more decorative and adds a little bit of luxury to your project. Foil stamping is usually 


done in combination with embossing. In this method, pressure and heat are applied to the foil and the end products look much shinier 


and glossier than normal metallic inks. But this method is quite expensive as special tools are required to be made for the process.



To emboss, a printing company uses two main things: a die, which is a personalized metal plate that's cut into the image you want to 


emboss, and stock (paper). The die presses into the stock like a stamp and slightly raise images off the paper of your print piece. The 


die can be single-level or multi-level, where a single-level raises your image to one consistent height or depth, and a multi-level creates 


a more complex emboss or deboss. The result is a 3D effect that emphasizes a particular area of your design. People often emboss a 


company logo, a custom illustration, initials, or a pattern for a luxurious effect. Debossing is when an image is imprinted into your print 


piece, creating a depressed effect. Just like embossing, you can choose to leave the debossed area untouched or fill it in with ink or foil 


stamping. Unlike embossing, debossing doesn't interfere with the back of your print piece, giving you both sides to work with.




UV coating, or ultraviolet coating, is a very glossy, shiny liquid coating applied to a printed paper surface and cured on a printing press 


or special machine using ultraviolet light. The coating hardens, or cures when it is exposed to the ultra violet radiation. UV coating 


makes your printed piece eye catching, and is perfect for products such as postcards, hand-out sheets, presentation folders, business 


cards and catalogs, or any product that can benefit from a rich, glossy and dramatic look.



Lamination is the most common finish which has got huge appreciation due to its professional look and high-quality. Lamination adds 


protective coating layer to the printed surface and also improves sturdiness and water resistance. Lamination can be either glossy or 


matte, but it improves the tactile feel of the printed surface. A high gloss lamination improves the sharpness and appearance of the 


printed materials. Though matte laminated prints are quite subdued, still, they add an elegant and luxurious finish to the printed 


surface. Lamination is used when you need sturdiness of your products.

 



 

sourcing: https://cgsasp.com/print-finishing-techniques/

What is the difference between organic cotton and ordinary cotton? Organic cotton is only considered organic cotton if it meets the strict definition of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)

Cotton is the most widely used raw material in the world nowadays. It is used for manufacturing apparels, denims, home textiles, lingerie and even food and medical products. Nevertheless, it is a known fact that growing cotton has many challenges, since it requires large amount of water, chemicals and pesticides. The cost of production and purchasing conventional cotton is less, but for the well-being of the land and farm workers, organic cotton is the best choice. Organic cotton means cotton that is grown without using harmful pesticides, chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. The methods and materials used in organic cotton farming maintain soil fertility and reduce negative impacts on rivers and fresh water sources close to the cotton farms. Further, organic cotton production does not use genetically modified (GM) seeds.

        

Cotton grown organically reduces soil erosion and creates healthy soil. This type of soil has the power to withstand even draught conditions. Organic cultivation changes the soil into a carbon pit, which helps to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It helps the farmers to work within their limits, supporting the planet in a sustainable way. Besides, environmental benefits, there are other benefits of organic cotton production. It provides healthy working environment to the workers and small scale farmers. Farmers increase their savings by not spending money on pesticides. Organic cotton products are softer and safer for the skin. Also, child or forced labor is not allowed in organic cotton production. It ensures to reduce the environmental impacts at every step of cotton production, i.e. from not using GM seeds, to methods of cotton production and manufacturing practices used for finished products. Research has played an important role in achieving these targets of sustainability.


sourcing: 

https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/7251/organic-cotton-a-sustainable-choice

 



Q1: What is PCR? 

PCR stands for post-consumer recycled. Post-consumer recycled materials are reprocessed content from household or commercial waste, such as plastic bottles, aluminum, cardboard boxes and aluminum, etc., the majority of which were used for packaging. This means that plastic valuable resource more than just once.


Q2: How is PCR packaging different from recyclable and compostable packaging?

PCR, recyclable and compostable packaging are all sustainable options. PCR packaging is made from recycled materials, and it can NOT be recycled again. Recyclable means that the materials can be processed and used again. Lastly, compostable packaging breaks down completely in a compost site and leaves no toxic residue. It must break down into carbon dioxide, water.


Q3: What are the benefits of PCR packaging?

PCR packaging also matched the quality of regular packaging. The most obvious benefit is that using PCR packaging require no virgin petroleum to be sources, it can help your company reduce its carbon footprint, lessen its impact on landfills and meet its overall sustainability goals.



Q4: How was PCR material made?

Product made from paper and plastic are separated, different types of plastic are sorted, the plastics are washed to remove impurities like adhesive. Once clean, the plastic is run through different shredders, dependent on the recycling number associated with the plastic-type. Then, testing is done to confirm their quality and class. Finally, it is melted into pellets becoming post-consumer recycled , material.


Q5: How much PCR should be used in products?

Most manufacturers combine the PCR content with other materials, since pure PCR content may compromised the graphics due to occasional dark flecks. With higher quality recycled material, the PCR content can be higher and will minimize the dark flecks.



                                                                                                


1.What are the features of LDPE?

Low-density polyethylene is the flexible version of HDPE. It also has good chemical resistance and it is safe to contact food. Therefore, it is often used to make plastic bags. It is also used to make many medical equipment and medicine packaging bags. Because of the low density, the heat resistance is also low, about 70 to 90 degrees celsius.


2.What is the difference between LDPE and HDPE?

High-Density Polyethylene(HDPE). Both materials derive from polyethylene (PE), which is the most popular plastic in the world. These polymers have different properties because of the structure of their molecules. HDPE’s structure is crystalline; the force of attraction between polymer molecules is strong.


People depend on forests to live. They filter the water we drink and the air we breathe. 1.6 billion people rely on forests for their livelihoods, including food, clothing, or shelter. Here are 10 reasons why you should look for the FSC logo.




1. You can buy wood products, from all types of forest, with a clear conscience when you see the FSC logo.


2.The FSC label ensures that the trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally.


3.Parts of the forest are protected entirely, in order to protect rare animals and plants.


4.FSC is the only wood certification scheme endorsed by the major environmental charities, including WWF, Greenpeace and The Woodland Trust.


5.FSC protects the rights of indigenous people to use the forest. If they have sacred sites in the forest these are exempt from felling.


6.FSC gives an assurance that future generations will be able to enjoy the benefits of the forest.


7.The forest owner must use local workers to run the forest, and provide training, safety equipment and a decent salary. The forest owner is often obliged to support the community in other ways, such as through the development of schools.


8.FSC is a market-based initiative which also ensures better conditions for the forest and the people whose livelihoods depend on it.


9.All the wood is tracked from the forest to the store. Every link between the forest and the consumer is certified to make it clearly identifiable which wood is FSC certified and which is not.


10The FSC label is found on wood and paper products as well as non-timber forest products such as latex. You can find the FSC logo on floors, decking, paper, printed matter, charcoal, kitchen utensils, venison and many more products!





via: https://us.fsc.org

sourcing:  https://us.fsc.org/en-us/what-we-do/why-forests-matter

 

 

 

 

Q1: What is GMI?

A : GMI which stands for Graphic Measures International is leading the standardized system in the world. GMI process is based off of ISO 12647, a family of standards for printing processes. GMI helps brands to pasc color management professional certification and create an efficient producing process, etc.

Q2: What is G7?

A :G7, also known as Gray 7, was released by International Digital Enterprise Alliance. It putt emphasis on matching grayscale colorimetric measurements between processes. There is also G7 Expert. They can ensure the printing process is stable.



Q3: What is Fogra?

A : Fogra is a not-for-profit organization. It consists of a massive and constantly expanding body of knowledge combined with a high degree of technological expertise and a detailed understanding of current developments.


                                                      

QA (answers are based on American standard BPI)


  1. What are biodegradable plastics?

Plastic which degrades under biological (mainly microbial) action. Some biodegradable plastics are compostable (but not all), which means they degrade under controlled conditions, such as those occurring at compost (or anaerobic digestion) sites.



  1. Are biodegradable plastics better for the environment?

Biodegradable plastics take three to six months to decompose fully. That's much quicker than synthetic counterparts that take several hundred years. Exactly how long a biodegradable bag takes to break down depends on various factors, such as temperature and the amount of moisture present.



  1. What is the value of BPI certification?

The BPI Certification Mark indicates third-party verification of compostability for manufacturers and brand owners to use on products and packaging and for consumers, end-users, and composters to use when determining whether or not a product or package is compostable.  BPI is the only third-party verification of ASTM standards for compostable products in North America.



  1. What are the advantages of bioplastic products?

Biobased plastics help reduce the dependency on limited fossil resources, which are expected to become significantly more expensive in the coming decades. Slowly depleted fossil resources are being gradually substituted with renewable resources (currently predominantly annual crops, such as corn and sugar beet, or perennial cultures, such as cassava and sugarcane).



  1. Are bioplastic products fully penetrating the plastics market?

Bioplastics are moving out of the niche and into the mass market. Although full market penetration is just beginning, bioplastic materials and products are multiplying continuously.

Why GMI Certification is Important for Packaged Products


GMI certification is one of the ways the printing industry standardizes and qualifies the various printing companies. Quality control in printing is a crucial element.

 

Understanding GMI Certification


Many printing professionals already know that GMI stands for Graphic Measure International, which developed industry-wide standards. So, in other words, GMI is a standardized system that brands use to evaluate and assess the quality of a printing job.

The GMI process was developed from the standards included in ISO 12647, which dictates industry best-standards for optimizing efficiency and other processes in printing businesses. As a derivative of the ISO standards, the GMI certification comes with respect and authority as ISO’s industry-accepted standards.

Scoring a printing job through GMI assigns point values to various levels of flaws found throughout the print job.

·       0 – No flaws found

·       1-2 – Minor flaws found

·       3 – impactful flaw – automatic fail

 

Today, the GMI Certification has been integrated into a program with SGS. And the concept remains the same, but the certification is even better than before and provides a great service to both manufacturers and print service providers. The certification and process cover the entire journey from establishing a color standard to the printing process and on to the shelves.

The Certification Process

There is a distinct difference between scoring a printing job with GMI and achieving GMI certification as a printing vendor.

For the vendor, the GMI certification process is relatively simple and pain-free. There are three phases that a printing vendor must go through to become GMI certified.

Self Evaluation

The self-evaluation includes conducting an internal audit. Guided by an online GMI tool, a vendor can determine whether they meet the minimum equipment qualifications and other criteria. Vendors receive an invoice for certification once they’ve achieved the prerequisites. Therefore, after payment is received, GMI sends the vendor the test print test kit.

Print Test

The actual print test kit evaluates vendors on a spectrum of qualities. That includes the vendor’s ability to deliver print quality that is up to the established standard. The GMI test kit evaluates the vendor’s capacity and ability to deliver on exact specifications.

Maintaining GMI Certification

Once an organization achieves GMI certification, the journey isn’t over. There is a lot of work to be done in terms of maintaining standards and printing quality. It is also the responsibility of printing vendors to attend to the quality of their print jobs and ensure that they deliver premium work to every client.

Additionally, there are three levels of GMI certification. The tiers exist to acknowledge printers, which boast a flawless record and simultaneously identify where other printers need to be more attentive.

Platinum: Elite printers with a historic consistency score of no less than 90%.

Gold & Silver: Printers in good standing with a historic consistency score between 80%-89%.

Bronze: Printers with a performance history under review (under 79%).

Conclusion

With more and more vendors expected to print packaging and manufacture the product, GMI certifications are gaining popularity. The GMI certification, a derivative from the ISO standards related to the printing industry, brings with them a sense of authority and trust that business partners, and consumers alike, can trust.

However, not just any printer can apply for the GMI/SGS program. If a company wants to create a product to go into a certain retail store or stores, they need to determine the print service provider they want to use. If that printer is not certified, there needs to be a referral to GMI/SGS. The brand can usually accomplish this. The retailer may also be able to make the referral to begin the certification process.

 

via:https://mann-co.com

https://mann-co.com/why-gmi-certification-is-important-for-packaged-products/

Why G7 For Brands, Buyers & Creatives


If all print products have the same gray balance and neutral tonality defined by G7, they will look remarkably alike to the human eye, a key component in effective brand quality management.

Brands, Buyers & Creatives use qualified G7 suppliers because…

Consistency

  • Color is an important part of why people embrace (or reject) a brand
  • Color greatly contributes to perceived value of quality
  • Color and color quality enhance consumers’ experience with the product and add to its public reputation
  • Color is one of the most emotional attributes of a brand
  • Color consistency reinforces trust. Inconsistency with colors associated with a brand subconsciously diminishes it, and erodes brand loyalty

Efficiency

  • Reduced design times, faster turnaround as design occurs internally rather than on press
  • Reduced cost of proofing and shipping prior to print
  • Reduced need for on-site press checks, travel, and other tasks based on visual approval methods
  • Reduced waste and make ready time during press runs
  • Higher consistency in reprints

Communication

  • Data exchange for purchasing and print buyers to assess supply chain performance
  • Clear expectations for supply chain partners regarding acceptable work
  • Overall increase in consistency, efficiency and savings



via: https://connect.idealliance.org

sourcing : https://connect.idealliance.org/g7/about/whyg7brandsbuyerscreatives

 


  1. What does FSC stand for? What does it mean? 

Forest Stewardship Council is an independent, non-profit, and non-government organization. FSC's wood products (including paper) are "forest-friendly" products.

https://fsc.org/en



  1. Why does it vital?


The more you choose to use FSC wood products, the faster you can solve this problem (you use your purchasing power to encourage more wood product manufacturers to use FSC forest raw materials). For example, IKEA, B&Q, Home Depot, all use FSC wood. Another example is HSBC, Xerox and other users who choose to use FSC paper products.



  1. Why choose FSC paper?


Recycled paper is most suitable for use in cartons and newsprint. Other high-end products are difficult to manufacture, which may cause secondary pollution. If the source of recycled paper comes from the deforestation of tropical rainforests, it can only slow down the decline of forests, but FSC can ensure the sustainable management of forests. If the world’s paper is changed to recycled paper, recycled pulp will disappear in a short time, because paper can only be recycled 5 to 6 times. So there must always be new pulp added.



  1. How can I confirm the products I bought have FSC certification?


The FSC label on the product is as follows: