A story of innovation,
growth and portfolio expansion

2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of Datamars – now a world leader in the animal and textile data and management business. From humble beginnings in pioneering work in RFID textile, pet and herd identification to becoming the provider of a comprehensive range of services and products for textiles and all types of animal owners, the Datamars story has been characterized by a focus on innovation, quality and performance.

The pioneers who set up Datamars (as a joint venture between the technology companies Datalogic and Audemars) in 1988 would marvel at how their initial foray into RFID tags for textiles and companion animals has grown to the size of enterprise the company has now become. Organic growth has been accomplished through investment in infrastructure, personnel training, customer-base expansion, product development and innovation. Targeted acquisitions have allowed existing markets to expand and new ones to be penetrated. Acquisitions have also brought in a flood of innovation, new production know-how and enhanced infrastructure into the company.

In 1988, the LaundryChip™ became one of the first products launched by the fledgling Datamars company. These now-soft, flexible and thin tags can be applied to rental textiles quickly and easily in multiple ways – sewn, heat-sealed or pouched – to track the location and automate the handling of a textile anywhere in an industrial textile services process, thus improving efficiency, reducing losses and increasing profitability.
Members of the LaundryChip transponder family are now found in high-volume, high-pressure wash workflows around the world. With a read distance of up to 6 m, these ISO 18000-6C compliant, UHF tags make it easy to perform high-speed bulk reading in industrial laundry situations without a direct line-of-sight. And they can be customized.
After the launch of the LaundryChip, Datamars innovated further in the laundry field to develop a whole range of RFID tags, readers, antennae and reading systems.

Companion animals
Pet identification (PID) has always been a pillar of Datamars’ business. Early PID products included transponders and implanters. A landmark in animal ID came with the invention in 2006 of the Datamars T-IP – a revolutionary, polymer microchip as small as a grain of rice. Datamars Slim is suitable for any breed of companion animal at almost any stage of life, allowing for the easy microchipping of younger animals and smaller pets.
The acquisition of Vethica, a leading French PID player, in 2014, and Felixcan in Spain in 2016 enabled significant capacity expansion in PID and acted as a door opener to further European business. A similar move involving Germany’s PlanetID in 2016 saw Datamars gain strength in the German markets.
In tandem with transponders and implanters, Datamars developed an integrated companion animal reunification platform. The online Petlink™ database and Petmaxx search engine have millions of pets and owners and facilitate their rapid reunification.
Datamars’ strength in PID comes in large part from the fact that it is the only fully vertically integrated player that offers a complete solution – from the tag implanted into the animal right up to a reunification database service and a range of world leading companion animal readers for vets, shelters and authorities.

After having established a baseline of products for companion animal and textile identification, Datamars expanded into the livestock identification (LID) business in Europe, Latin America and the USA, assisted by the acquisition of the assets of Rumitag (Spain) in 2009, Temple Tag (USA) in 2012 and the UK-based QuickTag in 2013. The following year saw expansion in the antipodes with the acquisition of Z Tags in New Zealand and then in US.
The sheep and goat markets have peculiarities of their own and it was to strengthen the company’s presence here that Bentley (Romania) and Roxan (UK) were acquired in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Manufacturing capabilities was greatly helped by the acquisition in 2011 of Demaplast, a company with in-house injection molding expertise, a market presence in Europe and MENA, and an already-existing LID product portfolio.
Datamars readers – which read microchips of several different technologies – come with advanced and easy-to-use data management software, first introduced to the market in 2010, which simplifies food traceability, disease control, and farm and asset management. From the outset, Datamars tags were designed to be durable, non-fade and flexible (so as not to hurt the animal). They can be laser marked, locally, according to the customer’s needs and they comply with all regulations in all relevant countries.
In 2018, the acquisitions of Simcro Ltd., the market leader in delivery systems for the animal health industry, TraceCompany (danish company specialized in pig and swine identification) and Tru-Test Retail Solutions division and Milk Meters product line, fulfill Datamars’ vision for the livestock market – to deliver integrated, smart animal management tools that promote animal health, enhance overall livestock business management and ultimately improve precision protein production for its customers.

Setting high standards
As well as setting rigorous internal standards – the company implements ISO 14001 and has been ISO9001:2008-certified since October 2009 – Datamars has, from its very beginning, been aware of the importance of international standards. Ever since the inception of ISO 11784/5 and ISO 14223 over 20 years ago, Datamars has been a driving member of the body that defines these animal identification standards.  In 2012, the company became an Associated Member of ICAR, in which it is an active contributor for the Animal Identification group in the definition of ICAR test procedures. These activities give Datamars a unique insight into the animal ID products that customers need and how best to develop them.
Datamars is one of the few fully vertically integrated players in the market. This vertical integration has been built up over the years and means that every single step of the development process – from initial design concept all the way through to productization – is managed in-house, which ensures the highest standards of quality and performance in the Datamars products.

Ever more comprehensive
The acquisition in 2018 of Simcro significantly expanded Datamars’ horizons: Simcro is a world leader in animal health delivery systems like syringes and drenchers, and specialty packaging such as backpacks and caps. Also in 2018, Datamars concluded the acquisition of the farm resource management business of Tru-Test. Their electric fencing, animal weighing and identification as well as milk metering will complete the Datamars portfolio of products relating to individual animals and will facilitate data-driven precision protein production.
These recent acquisitions will bring Datamars to over 1800 employees. The company operates in more than 100 countries and manufactures in seven, geographically distributed plants.
Over the years, Datamars has built up a significant patent portfolio that includes ear-tag anti-fraud mechanisms; applicators that prevents torn ears; polymer, unbreakable microchips for pets; and the smallest LaundryChip for textile identification. The Datamars team of R&D experts is dedicated to maintaining this stream of inventions by researching, developing and productizing innovative ideas that to ensure Datamars remains the premier company in the animal and textile data and management business.