Understanding the potential for RFID to improve supply chain and inventory control, among many other benefits, Gary Burns and Peter Phaneuf launched RF IDentics, Inc., in 2004. They opened a vertically integrated manufacturing facility in Grand Rapids, MI, with the capability to design, test, and manufacture RFID inlays on-site. The company attacked problems of cost and quality simultaneously, and innovations in inlay design and antenna manufacturing processes earned them high value patents. By 2006, RF IDentics’ UHF tags obtained top honors in independent Generation 2 testing against established worldwide competitors.
These groundbreaking RFID inlays disrupted the marketplace status quo with respect to both cost and quality. The value of the intellectual property developed led to significant acquisition interest, and in late 2006, Avery Dennison, Inc. acquired RF IDentics. Following the acquisition, the design and engineering team continued to develop new RFID technology and were awarded additional patents for their work.
In 2009, Gary Burns and Peter Phaneuf, along with their design and engineering team, relaunched their business as eAgile Inc., an independent privately held company that remains one of the largest clients of Avery Dennison’s RFID Division. eAgile focused on solving the industry-wide problem of accuracy and reliability in the serialization of variable data. Using their proven model of on-site innovation, testing, and manufacturing, eAgile developed a propriety methodology that provides customers with unparalleled data validation capabilities. The process developed by eAgile ensures synchronization among data, serial numbers, bar codes, and Auto-ID technology and prevents duplication in data tracking systems.
This type of innovation impacts every market where error reduction is a goal or concern. In medical and pharmaceutical markets, innovation in error reduction can improve the standard of care and save lives. In 2011, eAgile acquired a healthcare labeling company. This acquisition allows eAgile to provide turn-key RFID solutions for healthcare and pharmaceutical markets, such as specimen and surgical kit tracking systems. At the same time, eAgile is working with companies around the world to personalize products that are compatible with hand-held readers and smart phones.
The eAgile team’s ability to innovate with purpose has led to the continual expansion of its facilities, capabilities, and products. Today, eAgile operates out of a 40,000 square foot facility complete with testing and demonstration centers, ships products to over 40 countries, and offers a broad range of RFID tags (UHF, HF, NFC, and LF) with customized hardware and software solutions. eAgile continues to innovate to propel market improvement and to ensure each product or system fulfills its purposes based on the needs of the client.