innovation for industry
Primo1D miniaturizes RFID devices to integrate them into a textile thread, a true alternative to the detachable and cumbersome RFID tag.
An August 2013 spin-off of CEA-Leti, the startup is industrializing a radiofrequency identification (RFID) technology in thread form, baptized E-Thread. A format which enables it to be invisibly and durably integrated into textiles, cables, tires and industrial objects as soon as they are manufactured. The packaging is customized to each product by a network of subcontractors based in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. This technology offers many advantages: identification, authentication, theft-proofing and traceability throughout the product lifecycle.
Emmanuel Arène, one of Primo 1D's founders, points out:
We're offering the only durable RFID solution, which remains in the product. In textile, for example, it will be possible to use our technology to manage not only logistics and store inventories, but also customer returns, the second-hand market and the rental market and so on up to recycling. Its thread shape has the advantage of integrating into the product without altering its characteristics."
The start-up's know-how lies in connecting the memory chip to the antenna and assembling the package into a device sufficiently miniaturized to integrate into a textile thread. The E-Thread™ technology lends itself to bulk, long-range non line of sight reading with outstanding performance. Primo1D has provided itself with a production capacity of several million units per year. The startup is based upon an innovation originating at CEA-Leti which it has gone on improving, with the filing of 20 additional patents.
To date, Primo1D has twenty or so employees for an operating income of one million euros in 2020. Faithful to its roots, the start-up has settled in the Grenoble area, providing itself with its own assembly line for an investment of 3 million euros.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.