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Fine tuning its market pays off for radio frequency ID maker

The Vizinex RFID warehouse in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, where radio frequency identification tags are made. /Contributed

You may not have heard of Vizinex RFID, but there’s a good chance you’ve come in contact with its products.

You may not have heard of Vizinex RFID, but there’s a good chance you’ve come in contact with its products.

Based in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, the company makes tiny radio tags that attach to just about every object imaginable, from computer hard drives to winter tires and passports.

The tags can tell business owners what’s in stock, where an item is located and how long it’s been there, without losing valuable work time having workers look for it for days or weeks.

Created 16 years ago through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania business incubator at Lehigh University, its founders, Sandra Garby and Bob Oberle, were trying to catch the multibillion dollar radio frequency identification wave, or RFI.

The nascent company, then based in Quakertown, developed about a half-dozen proprietary items and landed venture capital. The future seemed bright — until it was nearly swamped.

“The company grew strongly at first and sort of plateaued,” said Ken Horton, the company’s CEO.

Then the Great Recession of 2008 hit.

No more venture capital was coming in and the company was not making any money, Horton said.

“They were going to shut down,” Horton said. The company’s management felt it had good products but realized the financial cost structure was too high.

So the company went back to the drawing board and did a little redesigning on itself.

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