Ben Franklin

INVESTING IN PENNSYLVANIA’S FUTURE

RCD Technology: Finding Profitable New Ways to Put RFID Tags to Work

Jeff White knows for a fact that the grass really is greener on the other side. “After 20 years working at Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies, I jumped to the other side of the table,” says White, whose primary focus at Agilent was the acquisition of smaller companies. “I realized one day that it looked like they were having a lot more fun-especially when we were handing them really big checks!”

RCD Technology

RCD Technology, headed by entrepreneur Jeff White, specializes in custom RFID tags for “a virtually unlimited range of applications.”

White is now CEO of RCD Technology-his third startup venture-which produces antennae and chip attachments for radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. RFID tags are used for a variety of applications, from warehouse tracking to anti-counterfeiting efforts for public transit cards.

The Benefits of Custom Manufacturing

“Most RFID tag vendors use traditional manufacturing processes that limit their offerings to a few standard configurations,” White says. “Our patented fabrication process can produce a virtually unlimited range of tags optimized for specific applications.” The result, says White, is consistently superior performance, durability, size and quality.

RCD’s technology also enables the company to produce shorter custom runs profitably. “Customers come to us because they can’t find anything off the shelf that suits their specific needs,” says White. Now in full production mode, RCD is producing several hundred thousand tags per month.

For example, RCD devices can be inserted into surgical sponges, which, while it may not happen very often, can be left inside a patient, with serious repercussions. “For around a dollar a piece, we can add a device to the sponge without affecting its usefulness that enables surgical teams to easily account for all the sponges used during surgery. Compared to the downside risk, it’s well worth it,” says White.

Touched by an Angel

White’s transition from corporate player to serial entrepreneur was a success by any measure. After Agilent, he took the helm of Napro, Inc., a small biotech company in Delaware. After leading the company to a lucrative buyout, he entered the world of angel investing. Early in 2004, he invested in FingerWorks, an early-stage company developing a new touch pad technology for laptops, then joined the team as CEO. In less than a year, he engineered a complete corporate buyout from Apple Computer, which put the company’s technology to use in the iPod scroll wheel.

White was introduced to RCD through the Pennsylvania Angel Network. At the time, the company was located in the Ben Franklin Business Incubator in Bethlehem. “I knew that if Ben Franklin Technology Partners [BFTP] was backing the company, it must have a good technology and a solid understanding of the market,” White says. Soon after making an investment and joining the RCD board, White was asked to run the company.

BFTP invested $434,000 over four years in the company, providing much-needed capital to refine processes and manufacturing capabilities. In addition, White says BFTP provided valuable business and networking assistance and helped steer RCD down the ISO certification path. Thanks to rapidly growing market acceptance and customer demand, RCD outgrew its incubator space in May and set up shop in a new manufacturing facility.

New Applications for Hot Technology

While the current buzz in RFID is on supply chain applications, RCD sees big potential in tracking product within a single organization. “The potential applications for saving money, reducing risk and improving efficiency within organizations through RFID is almost limitless, and our technology helps companies realize the return on investment they need to make it worthwhile,” he says.

The flexible and durable nature of RCD’s technology also makes it ideal for lowering costs and reducing counterfeit cards in mass transit systems. “Magnetic stripes on transit cards slow down the process and require readers, which are prone to break down,” White says. Magnetic stripes are also relatively easy to copy, and counterfeiters are cranking out tens of thousands of fake cards a day. “You can’t do that with RFID, and if you lose your pass, it can be shut off.”

Data backup warehouses, where huge libraries of tapes are being stored for large financial institutions, represent another opportunity for RCD. “Bar coding sounds good in theory, but you need to physically scan what you’re looking for,” White says. “With RFID, you can find out exactly where the tape you want is located almost instantly.”

Now settled into its new location, RCD is bringing on staff and increasing manufacturing capacity. In the next 24 months White expects RCD’s employment will quadruple to 30, and manufacturing capabilities will increase to tens of millions per month. “Every week, we get a new application opportunity we haven’t thought of before.”

Tags: , filed under News, Northeastern PA
This article was featured in
Keynotes December, 2006
Click here to read the full issue

News by Region

News by Subject

Choose a Tag Choose a Tag
Acoustical technology (1) Alternative energy (1) Alternative technology (1) Anti-counterfeiting technology (1) Apparel technology (2) Audio technology (1) Automation technology (1) Automobile technology (1) BFTP alliances (1) BFTP awards (9) BFTP board announcements (4) Bftp contest (1) BFTP events (6) BFTP investment (22) Bftp networks (1) Bftp programs (2) Biofuel (1) Biosciences (1) Biotechnology (15) Building technology (2) Business assistance (4) Business boot camp (1) CAD (1) Cell towers (1) Chemical technology (1) Clean energy technology (8) Commercialization (5) Communications technology (4) Company award (1) Computing technology (2) Conferences (1) Data security (2) Diesel engine technology (1) Econ (1) Economic development (21) Education (1) Education technology (1) Energy efficiency (17) Energy technology (12) Entre (1) Entrepreneurship (119) Environmental technology (1) Federal grants (1) Fiber optics (1) Finance technology (5) Food & health (1) Funding (6) Gap funding (1) Green technology (3) HD technology (1) Healthcare (8) Healthcare technology (2) Historic preservation (1) Homeland security (1) HVAC technology (1) Incubators (5) Information technology (7) Infrastructure (2) Innovation (2) Interactive media (1) Internet security (1) Internet technology (10) Language technology (1) Life sciences (71) Manu (1) Manufacturing technology (16) Medical technology (34) Micronizing (1) Nanotechnology (5) Optotechnology (1) Pharmaceuticals (10) Protective technology (1) Recycling technology (1) Renewable energy (3) Retail equipment (1) RFID (3) Robotics (19) Safety technology (1) Security technology (2) Semiconductors (2) Small business development (1) Social media marketing (1) Software (19) Software as a service (2) Solar energy (3) Sustainable (1) Sustainable energy (4) Technology assistance (1) Tech transfer (1) Telecommunications (5) Venture capital (64) Video recording technology (1) Video technology (2) Warehouse technology (1) Wind power (1) Wireless technology (3)

News by Company

Choose a Company Choose a Company
ALung TechnologiesANGLE Technology VenturesAdvanced Fibers & PowdersAeris Water TechnologiesAethonAllFacilities Energy GroupAlphaLabAlturnaMatsAppalachian Lighting Systems, Inc.Applied Computational TechnologiesApplied Energy Research CenterAuthentixAzevanA‑Line AcousticsB. BraunBFTP Gap FundBFTP's Powder Metals InitiativeBPL GlobalBen Franklin Venture Investment ForumBiosynBitArmor SystemsBlue Tree Allied AngelsBossa Nova RoboticsCEWA TechnologiesCaracal Inc.Cardinal ResourcesCarnegie SpeechCenter for Food InnovationChaperone TechnologiesCherryhill ManufacturingChromBACiclon SemiconductorCinramClarion Research GroupClear AlignClearCountCognition TherapeuticsCoheraConcurrent EDAConsortium for Sustainable DesignCore SolutionsCustom Processing ServicesDG Power SystemsDesignAdvanceDiamondBack CoversDielectric SolutionsDigestive CareDiversified Information TechnologiesDreamIt VenturesDrucker/QBCDuraTite SystemsDynaleneEMV TechnologiesEastern Technology CouncilElectrikusElectrotechnology Applications CenterEllen ThompsonEnigma CKMEpiphany Solar Water SystemsFORE SystemsFactory Built Housing CenterFairchild SemiconductorFischione InstrumentsFlatPlate Inc.GarlandGentex CorporationGeoDecisionsGlucoLightGrid SentinelHanson TechnologiesHarry Miller CorporationHealth Market ScienceHenry ThorneHoward/McCrayINRange SystemsImmuniconImmunotopeInfineraInnovation Transfer NetworkInnovative Control SystemsInstaMedIntellifitItsi-BiosciencesKC Distance LearningKeystone NanoKnopp BiosciencesLehigh NanotechLightfootLinear AcousticLinear Acoustic Inc.Lucinda HoltMC Iron WorksMcKesson Automation, Inc.McKesson CorporationMicrosonic Inc.Mid-Atlantic Angel GroupMillennium Medical ProductsMission ResearchModClothMorphotekNKI technologyNanoBloxNanoLambdaNational Foundation for Teaching EntrepreneurshipNeapcoNittany Extraction TechnologiesNoble Fiber TechnologiesNovaThermal EnergyNovetas Solutions, LLCNuPatheOriginate VenturesOthera PharmaceuticalsPA Insulating GlassPChem AssociatesPRO BarrierPaperlessPracticePartnership for Broadband Wireless InnovationPayQuikPenn State Energy InstitutePenn Venture PartnersPennsylvania Biotechnology CenterPestPatrolPhenoTechPioneer Energy ProductsPlextronicsPreservation TechnologiesPrinceton Energy SystemsQR PharmaRCD TechnologyRFID Center of ExcellenceRajant CorporationRealWinWinReclamereRedPath Integrated PathologyRichardson CoolingSEEGRID CorporationSabeus Sensor SystemsSaladax BiomedicalSaladax Biomedical, Inc.SalimetricsSalvageDirectSaveSimplyShale Gas Innovation and Commercialization CenterShowClixSongwhaleSpinworksSurgical SpecialtiesSustainable SystemsT-NetworksTMG HealthTelkoreTexas Instruments Lehigh ValleyTicketLeapTobyhanna Army DepotTowerCare TechnologiesTrueCommerceVideon CentralViridity EnergyVivisimoVocollectWall Street WestWellspring WirelessY-CarbonY-Carbon, Inc.hField TechnologiesmedSage Technologies

News Archives