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Times-7 identifies its role in Industry 4.0

Become more used to the term Industry 4.0 and the role which Lower Hutt high tech manufacturer Times-7 will play in its expansion. 


The designers, manufacturers, and marketers of RAIN RFID antennas which identify, locate and authenticate UHF RFID tags is a globally significant supplier to the growing “Internet Of Everyday Things”. RAIN RFID is the fastest growing area of RFID because of its global standards and capabilities. 


Knowing exactly where something is and its condition - a vaccine for example - will become more commonplace. Times-7’s antennas are enabling companies to track their products from manufacture through distribution and consumption. 


RAIN RFID tags are being applied to everyday objects says Times-7 CEO Jos Kunnen. As a global RFID industry participant solely devoted to producing RAIN RFID fixed reader antennas (as opposed to other components of an RFID system), the Alicetown based company has a deep understanding of the physics, possibilities, and challenges of tracking different products with RFID tags. 


Jos says the ability of Times-7 antennas to read low cost battery-less electronic tags at a distance, thousands at a time if required, is one reason RAIN RFID will remain the identification and management system of choice over the coming decades for high volumes of items. 


Industry 4.0 has been described as the convergence of artificial intelligence (A.I.), robotics, automatic identification and other digital technologies we take for granted. 


Jos says Times-7 is following the late Sir Paul Callaghan’s dictum that New Zealand companies need to find globally significant niche parts of larger eco-systems. 


“It is not about being commodity producers, because we are not likely to succeed in that game, especially with tech products,” he says. 


“There’s an opportunity for New Zealand companies to implement and integrate different Industry 4.0 capabilities in novel ways, to collaborate with others and to move fast to be globally competitive.” 


Industry 4.0 will enable manufactures to know more about their supply chain and manufacturing performance, as well as enable customers to know more about the products. 


Even now for example, libraries use RAIN RFID tagged books to manage their inventories – which facilitates checkout, automated sorting and making it easier to find a book that has been placed into the wrong category. 


The company adds considerable value to locally manufactured componentry for its low profile, fixed antennas (that also incorporate overseas-made integrated circuits). It currently manufactures over 20,000 antennas a year, and its integrated design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing team take pride in providing both bespoke and off-the-shelf products to its global B2B customers. These RFID system integrators, in turn, provide complete RFID systems to their own customers.

(Picture - New Zealand needs to be more aware of the impact of Industry 4.0 says Times-7 CEO Jos Kuneen)