Toppan Printing Co. will start mass production of its new radio frequency identification (RFID) tag housings for medical devices in the spring of 2012. Japan’s second-largest printing company, Toppan developed in August three versions of the reusable RFID tag for medical applications such as forceps, disposable gauze, operating room gowns, and cases and trays. The Tokyo-based company is now testing the product with local medical device manufacturers to verify its autoclavability and toughness and to refine efficiency.
The new RFID tag identification systems, which are fabricated from Radel polyphenylsulphone (PPSU) resins formulated by Solvay Specialty Polymers in the United States, withstand the high temperatures and elevated levels of pressure and humidity that constitute the autoclave process. The current product identification methods, which use bar codes or manual quantity management techniques, are often susceptible to read errors caused by surface contamination on the bar codes, says a Toppan Printing spokesman. “Our RFID tag management systems are readable through a noncontact method, and offer more-efficient management of hospital medical equipment that requires autoclave sterilisation,” he adds.
Toppan Printing aims to begin commercial production of the RFID tag identification systems in April 2012 and has projected annual sales of 1.5 billion yen (€14.75 million) for the fiscal year.