2006 RFID What's News

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Jan.-June | July-Dec.


MARCH
Process Provides Case- and Item-Level Packaging Options
DALLAS, TX—Texas Instruments (TI) and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. demonstrated the first Electronic Product Code (EPC) Generation 2 (Gen 2) RFID strap-on-box prototypes at RFID Wolrd 2006. Using TI's Tag-it EPC Gen 2 strap, Smurfit-Stone has developed a process for attaching Gen 2 straps to printed antennas directly on a corrugated box. The company is introducing its technology to consumer products goods (CPGs) manufacturers applying Gen 2 technology to cases for supply chain tracking applications.

Tag-it EPC Gen 2 straps consist of an integrated circuit and two conducting pads, which are connected to a conductive antenna printed on packaging materials or in the face of an adhesive label.

For more information on TI's RFID technology solutions, visit ti-rfid.com. See also smurfit-stone.com.


Jumpstart RFID Operations
DALLAS, TX—Savi Technology has made available its SmartStart Solution for businesses seeking a simple, quick, low-cost and low-risk way to implement RFID to validate a long-term investment in the technology. Announced at the opening of RFID 2006, the Savi SmartStart Solution promises more streamlined operations, improved efficiency, and reduced asset inventory costs. It provides:

  • Real-time visibility of local assets
  • RFID network management
  • Scalable RFID foundation
  • SmartStart asset and inventory reports
For more information, visit savi.com.

Brooks Introduces EPC-Capable RFID Reader

The German RFID manufacturer, Brooks Automation GmbH, introduces a new EEPC Reader for HF data entry. The new reader from the HF 60 Series was designed for use in rough environments. The resistance of its robust aluminum housing is particularly remarkable for applications in a chain of stores, goods logistic industry or industrial or industrial production.

The communication between transponder and reader takes place standardized through the International Standards EPC (Electronic Product Code) or ISO 15693. Acquired data can be transmitted via a serial RS232 interface as well as via an Ethernet interface. With it five antenna connections, the reader is said to be suitable for applications with many reading points and thus considerably reduces the costs for an RFID integration. The accessories include comprehensive Plug & Play antenna solutions, which ensure the required reading ranges. The device includes 4 DIP (dual inline package) switches for convenient interface or test mode setting.

Contact Brooks Auomation at +49-9279-991 551.


IDtechEx Reveals Research on Active RFID
Active RFID is little reported, but its use is growing rapidly. New IDTechEx research “Active RFID 2006-2016” has determined that the value of sales of active systems including the tags will grow from $0.55 billion 2006 to $6.78 billion by 2016. Dr. Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDtechEx, analyzes some of the findings on idtechex.com

MAY
RFID Forecast 2006 to 2016: The Latest Research from IDTechEx
IDTechEx has extensively researched the RFID industry provide the industry with trends for the years ahead. Below are their findings.

Cumulative sales of RFID tags for sixty years until the beginning of 2006 total 2.4 billion, with 600 million tags being sold in 2005 alone. In 2006, IDTechEx expects 1.3 billion tags to be sold. Of that about 500 million RFID smart labels will be used for pallet and case level tagging but the majority will be used for a range of diverse markets from baggage and passports to contactless payment cards and drugs, reports IDTechEx.

In the short term large “closed loop” markets requiring high value RFID reportedly will remain very profitable and companies will seek to position themselves as the leader in hardware and integration in different vertical market segments. Challenges with tag yield versus cost, frequency acceptance, specification creep and required performance levels are some of the key issues that reportedly are being resolved to grow the RFID market exponentially over coming years to be almost ten times the size in 2016 that it will be in 2006. In 2016, IDTechEx sees the value of the total market including systems and services to rocket to $26.23Bn from $2.71Bn in 2006 in value. The number of tags delivered in 2016 will be over 450 times the number delivered in 2006.

This includes many new markets that are being created, such as the market for Real Time Location Systems using active RFID. Indeed, the market for active RFID will itself be more than $6Bn in 2016, the company reports.

Growth in passive RFID will be driven by the tagging of high volume items - notably consumer goods, drugs and postal packages - at the request of retailers, military forces and postal authorities and for legal reasons. In these cases, the primary benefits sought will be broader and include cost, increased sales, improved safety, reduced crime and improved customer service.

These findings are highlights from a new, detailed 190-page report from IDTechEx entitled RFID Forecasts, Players & Opportunities 2006-2016. For more inforation, visit IDTechEx at www.idtechex.com



Prisym Inc Demonstrates it’s Complete RFID Solution at Smart Labels 2006
Utilizing its advanced Prisym and Prisym Mecia software, Prisym ID Inc is now able to offer a complete RFID solution, providing everything from software and hardware to consumables, system integration and support. Developed with ongoing customer feeback, Prisym ID’s powerful software can manage RFID devices and printed labels, combining a bar coding system and an adanced RFID system on a single, user-friendly platform. The software allows the user to take variable data from databases, ERP and MRP systems and design, print and write to RFID labels or sim;y write to an FID tag.

As well as the software and system integration, the company also supplies a comprehensive range of hardware such as RFID readers, portals, portable data terminals and printers from leading manufacturers to give the user a total RFID solution. The team is also able to customize the solution to meet almost any customer specific requirement. Plus, the company is able to offer first class pre- and post-sale service support and training.

Visit www.prisymidinc.com

HP and Alien Technology Announce Partnership
Alien Technology Corp announces the launch of a radio frequency identification (RFID) solution with HP for retail, consumer packaged goods, automotive and aerospace, transportation, defense and pharmaceutical customers. The offering is designed to help manage inventory with greater efficiency and supply chain visibility.

Under terms of an agreement, the new Gen2 EPCglobal-compliant Alien ALR-9800 Enterprise Reader and Alien tag products will be implemented by HP Services worldwide. Alien and HP will also engage in joint marketing and sales activities.

“We believe customers will be able to recognize significant benefits from the synergy of Alien’s and HP’s respective RFID offerings,” says Susan Pearson, VP Alliances, Alien Technology Corp. “We look forward to working closely with HP to support RFID adoption and improve customers’ returns on their RFID investments.”

Alien Technology provides high-performance RFID readers, RFID tags, and professional services, which include RFID training and services to help support deployment of RFID. HP adds HP OpenView management software, HP Services and infrastructure technology—including industry-standard HP ProLiant servers, high-end HP Integrity Superdome servers, HP StorageWorks technology and printing devices.

A new reseller agreement between the two companies covers all Alien RFID readers and tags, including the new Gen2 EPCglobal-compliant Alien ALR-9800 Enterprise Reader and Alien’s battery-assisted passive (BAP) hardware for cold chain management and environmental monitoring. The agreement also includes the educational services of the Alien RFID Academy.

“HP and Alien Technology are offering customers comprehensive and cost-effective solutions that address a broad range of business applications,” says Frank Lanza, worldwide director, RFID Services, HP. “As an RFID solutions provider, HP is already familiar with the challenges, trials, compliance and full-scale RFID implementations in our own supply chain, and with Alien we have an expanded offering to bring to our customers.”

Visit Alien Technology at alientechnology.com


or HP at www.hp.com

AIM RFID Experts Refute RFID Virus Claims
AIM Global, the trade association for automatic identification and mobility, recently issued a statement in response to a technical paper delivered during a conference March 15, 2006 in Pisa, Italy, entitled "Is Your Cat Infected with a Computer Virus?" The paper claims that RFID tags can be used to corrupt databases and even potentially to spread computer viruses.

"Many of the basic assumptions in the paper overlook a number of fundamental design features necessary in automatic data collection systems and good database design," says AIM Global president, Dan Mullen. "In other words, the researchers built a system with a weakness and then proceeded to show how the weakness could be exploited. Not surprisingly, poor system design, whether capturing RFID tag information, bar code information or keyboard-entered data will create vulnerabilities."

AIM recognizes the efforts of the team from Vrije University and the academic community in general for bringing such issues forward, but AIM believes the methodology of this particular research is questionable.

RFID scientists and experts from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) met in Kyoto, Japan with the leadership of the AIM Global RFID Experts Group as part of its ongoing effort to provide standards and implementation guidance in fielding RFID systems.

In response to this paper, these experts emphasize that there are two broad types of RFID tags, ones that have pre-encoded, or fixed data, and ones that have data that can be changed. Systems with fixed data such as those used to identify pets cannot be changed and therefore are immune to infection by a virus.

Here are a few specific attributes in RFID systems that can protect the overall system:

Most applications of RFID, including EPC Gen2, look for specific kinds of data. Poor reader design might allow the reading of a “rogue” tag, but a good system will verify the data against pre-defined parameters, as do current bar code systems, and any code not in the database is typically ignored.

Being able to insert a virus into the system implies that a tag contains executable code that is recognized by the software. This is simply not possible with many applications of RFID since they look for specific kinds of data and will either flag or reject anything that doesn't fit the data template.

Protection is a common process today in data transfer between computer systems and writeable media. Global standards and commercial products are created to ensure that there is adequate data security, much the same way that running current virus software prevents virus attacks to your home computer. Data collection system designers are aware that they must install, and have already installed, methods to authenticate any data into their software.

"Critical advancements in information processing and logistics made possible by RFID technology cannot be underestimated," concludes Mullen. "Corporations, government agencies and consumers will enjoy greater confidence when they select standardized RFID technology because the associated security issues have been addressed and resolved by the world’s leading experts."

Contact Aim Global at www.aimglobal.org

Boeing Selects Intelleflex for RFID Labels on 787
Boeing has selected Intelleflex Corp. to provide silicon chips to enable radio frequency identification (RFID) "smart labels" on maintenance-significant parts of the 787 Dreamliner. Smart labels use radio frequency technology for enhanced data storage and collection, and offer significant advantages over bar coding - no line-of-sight requirement and a dynamic read/write capability. Smart labels contain part identification as well as maintenance and inspection data in accordance with Air Transport Association standards. Intelleflex reportedly will provide the largest memory available in the industry with a 64-kilobit ultra high frequency (UHF) silicon chip for use on the 787. Contact Intelleflex; www.intelleflex.com



RFID Smart Labels Reports Strong Attendance
The fifth - and largest - IDTechEx “RFID Smart Labels USA” event was attended by more than 500 delegates from 31 countries - over 20% more compared to 2005. The event covered how RFID is progressing in a wide variety of industries and the plethora of technology developments. This report highlights a few of the key lessons of the conference. For more, listen to the audio from the speakers themselves at www.smarlabelsusa.com


Technology Solution Delivers RFID, Bar Code Compliance and Product
Diagraph, an ITW Co., announces a dual technology product identification solution that allows customers to enjoy the benefits of RFID, verifiable bar codes, and/or product identification on their shipping cases, and cost savings compared to other common marking and coding methods, the company reports.

The dual technology solution uses existing Diagraph coding and labeling systems to address a common challenge for shippers—providing their customers with RFID tags on their products, and/or verifiable ANSI Grade C or better bar codes, while also reportedly economizing on the less demanding human-readable descriptions and codes that must appear on their cartons.

The dual technology solution combines printing technologies, designed to provide maximum performance at an economical price per carton. The IJ3000 controller is said to allow users the flexibility of driving multiple printing technologies including RFID, Integrated Valve Printheads, Impulse Jet High-Resolution Printheads and the PA/5000LT Label Printer/Applicator. Diagraph will recommend the best-fit solution depending on the user’s needs and application.

The fully featured, fully automated, PA/5000LT™ RFID adds the capability of RFID encoding. By simply retrofitting existing PA/5000LT units already out in field, or a new PA/5000LT right off of the manufacturing floor, customers are said to benefit from the combination of maximum performance, reliable RFID encoding, and a lower-cost of becoming RFID compliant. What makes this possible is the patent-pending TampTenna™ from Diagraph.

The TampTenna encodes any Gen 1 or 2 Class 1 RFID tag, regardless of antenna shape and package form factor. Typical encoding time to encode and apply the RFID tag is less than 300 milliseconds. With this speed, this system can print, encode, apply and validate up to 100 products per minute, the company reports. Combine this reportedly unparalleled speed with an encoding failure rate as low as 0.28%, and you have an RFID tag application system that’s not only fast, but extremely reliable.

The IJ/3000 Integrated Valve ink jet system combines Diagraph’s patented Integrated Valve printhead technology with smart features such as a touch screen graphical user interface, high-speed Ethernet connectivity, and 24/7 monitoring and diagnostics functions.

The IJ/3000 Impulse Jet offers the same “smart” features as the IJ3000 Integrated Valve with touch screen controls, worldwide networking connectivity, and around-the-clock monitoring and diagnostic functions, while also providing high-resolution printheads with an automatic cleaning system.

The PA/5000LT print-and-apply labeling system is guaranteed to deliver Grade A verifiable bar codes when used with Diagraph labels and ribbons, the company reports. System offers speeds up to 110 ppm and print resolution up to 600 dpi.

For more information, call Diagraph Marketing Services at 800-722-1125 or send info@diagraph.com

Public Review of AIM Global Guideline
WARRENDALE, PA—AIM Global announced that the second Public Review Draft of the AIM Global Direct Part Marking (DPM) Quality Guideline, developed by a joint ad hoc committee of members of ANSI MH10 SBC 8 and AIM Global's Technical Symbology Committee (TSC), is now available for a 60-day public review.

DPM is a technology where an item is altered physically by methods such as dot peening, laser etching, molding, and embossing to produce two different surface conditions. As a result, there is often very little or no contrast between the "marked" elements of a symbol and the background (substrate). Contrast can be achieved by using specific types of lighting and signal processing techniques.

The public review process ends June 7, 2006. Interested reviewers can download the document, free of charge, here or visit aimglobal.org. Reviewers should send comments to b.moore@aimglobal.org.



Wal-Mart Shuffles RFID Management Team
Wal-Mart isn't abandoning RFID technology, but Linda Dillmon, the force behind Wal-Mart's initial RFID mandates, is leaving her position as executive VP and chief information officer to oversee risk management and benefits administration for the retailer. Under Dillmon, Wal-Mart required its top 100 vendors to start shipping cases and pallets with RFID tags to its distribution centers in January 2005. That mandate later was extended to Wal-Mart's next 200 largest suppliers, many of which began shipping RFID-tagged products at the start of this year.

Miles Technologies Offers DoD RFID Label Printing Service
LAKE ZURICH, IL—Miles Technologies announces a DoD RFID label printing service available online at rfidlabeling.com. Customers doing business with DoD can order pre-programmed DoD RFID tags in any quantity to meet the DoD DFARS RFID mandate without investing thousands of dollars in software, hardware, and manpower. The service sets a new industry price point at 70 cents each without minimums or setup charges, and next-day service is available. Customers can choose an optional electronic file to aid in completing the Wide Area Workflow and/or DoD Advance Shipping Notice (ASN) requirements.



Experience OTA's E3 Learning System
DALLAS, TX—OTA Training's E3 learning system will help you understand RFID quickly. It includes OTA's Gold Key Methodology, a CAQC-approved, CompTIA-authorized curriculum, instructors with real-world RFID experience, and training material created by the authors of RFID+ Exam Cram.
Dates and locations are as follows:
  • London, England—May 16-19, 2006
  • Atlanta, GA—June 6-9, 2006
  • Detroit, MI—June 13-16, 2006
For a complete class schedule and registration information, visit otatraining.com/classschedule.asp.


SkyeTek Develops Disposable RFID Reader Module
WESTMINSTER, CO—SkyeTek's Advanced Universal Reader Architecture (AURA) allows companies to embed readers in product lines, en masse, to create new, RFID-enabled applications. Each of the following new AURA-based products can be purchased as a SkyeModule or ReaderWare liscense:
  • M0 is the world’s smallest HF reader module. With support for ISO 15693, it possesses a footprint smaller than a postage stamp. Designed for embedded applications such as consumables authentication, electronics configuration, and equipment configuration.
  • M2 is secure, embeddable HF module with protocol support for ISO 14443 A/B and 15693, and encryption support for Mifare, DES, 3DES, and AES. Based on the AURA HF/UHF Common Blade Family (Compact Flash Type II compliant), the M2 generates high returns on investment (ROI) for applications requiring encrypted reader authentication such as contactless payment, ePedigree, and kiosk/vending management.
  • M9 is the world’s smallest Gen 2/ETSI-compliant UHF reader module and designed for generating high ROI in applications such as handheld readers, label encoders, smart shelves, and smart carts/containers. As a member of the HF/UHF Common Blade Family, the M9 is architecturally capable of near-field, inductive UHF for item level inventory applications.
  • MXH and MXU are antenna multiplexers for HF and UHF, respectively, that both come in four- and eight-port models. Like its reader technology, SkyeTek designs its multiplexers specifically to achieve the cost and space efficiency required in embedded RFID applications.
See skyetek.com.

Printing RFID on Corrugated Board
INDIANAPOLIS, IN—PRPflexo has just released the results of the print trials at Clemson University in conjunction with Parelec of Rocky Hill, NJ, who supplied their Parmod silver ink. The results demonstrated the feasibility of direct printing of minute antennae onto corrugated cases with lines of 0.003 at an ink volume of 13.7 bcm. Conductivity tests showed acceptable levels for antennae within a commercial environment.

The print trials were conducted at Clemson University's PrintCon facility using their corrugated flexo printer and overseen by Jay Sperry and Kern Cox of Clemson University. Additional testing and research is planned over the next several months.

“We are extremely satisfied with the results,” says Geva Barash, CEO of Parelec “The unique ability to print directly on to the corrugated cases would reduce the cost to the customers of applying the labels to the cases."

Parelec applies nanotechnology and advanced materials systems to develop and market conductive inks and related materials for the manufacture of electronic circuits. The company's products are used to provide low cost RFID antenna, specialty and flexible circuits, intelligent packaging, heaters/defrosters for plastic windows, and in semiconductor packaging for a wide variety of electronics and consumer products. See parelec.com.

For more information on the tests, see prpflexo.com.

RFID Compliance Top Ten List
VERNON HILLS, IL—Zebra Technologies, a manufacturer of bar code and RFID smart labeling solutions, worked with key partners and a large number of suppliers to help them launch RFID technology in their operations. To help Wal-Mart's “next 300” companies with their compliance mandates, Zebra offers an article outlining the top 10 best practices based on successful RFID implementations featuring Wal-Mart suppliers. Highlights include:

1. Start early.
It takes time to research the technology, select the right partners and align the organization.
2. Choose supplies carefully.
If your tags don’t work, you risk missing deadlines for compliance.

3. Determine the where and how of smart labeling.
Will you incorporate RFID tags into your current shipping labels or add new label formats? Where are labels best placed on the carton, pallet? There are many questions to answer.

4. Pick the right partners.
Choosing the right partners is critical for RFID success. Look for companies that are experienced and fit well with your existing applications and business processes.

5. Start small and simple, then expand.
Beaver Street Fisheries, Victory Land Group and Pacific Cycle started with basic RFID tagging on a limited number of products. All three companies agreed that starting small made the project a lot less intimidating and reduced costs by saving on mistakes that could disrupt operations.

6. Test, test, test.
Tags perform differently with different materials, at different locations and at different channels within the UHF spectrum, so it is important to thoroughly test early in the process to avoid creating more issues as implementations scale up in volume.

7. If you can, plan RFID from the ground up.
If your company will be involved in new construction, implementing new applications or upgrading IT infrastructure, gaining experience with RFID and factoring it in your plans is a very good idea.

8. Utilize the data.
It is important to transport and translate the RFID data flow to upstream business applications for true ROI from an RFID implementation.

9. Look beyond compliance for ROI.
Beaver Street Fisheries, Victory Land Group and Pacific Cycle agree that leveraging their compliance learning is only the first step—although extending the technology internally in an organization requires business process and software re-engineering. When RFID data can be used to improve business processes, companies experience significant payback.

10, Recognize that RFID is still a moving target and plan for change.
RFID certainly has arrived, and global standards are still being settled. Almost for certain, the RFID architecture that is implemented today will undergo changes in the next 18 months. Therefore, the initial vendor relationships you establish will be critical as your implementation matures. By choosing strong and knowledgeable partners today, end users can ensure they stay abreast of the many developments in RFID tomorrow.

To download the complete article, “Best Practices for RFID Compliance”, visit zebra.com/rfid_top_ten.

Sirit Announces New Board Appointments
TORONTO, CANADA—At the company's Annual General Meeting, Sirit elected seven directors the company's board, now comprised of Norbert Dawalibi, Cal Haverstock, Suresh Kumar, George C. McKinnis, Richard I. Segal, Art Mesher, and Howard Johnson. Subsequent to the meeting, Art Mesher was appointed chairman of the board of directors.

See sirit.com.
ODIN Opens Joint Venture in Budapest
DULLES, VA—ODIN technologies has announced the formation of ODIN Budapest, a joint venture between ODIN technologies, Swiss firm MTS, and the Hungarian government Agency. While ODIN technologies has been serving European clients from its U.S. offices for the past two years, the growth in the European RFID market now requires a local presence to meet demand.

See odintechnologies.com.

Avery Dennison Offers Military Compliant Solutions
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA—A new service bureau offering called the RFID Military Compliance Solution from Avery Dennison Retail Information Services (RIS) enables vendors to quickly and cost efficiently meet Department of Defense mandates for affixing RFID labels to cartons and pallets, and for issuing advance ship notices.

The mandates affect vendors shipping hardgoods, apparel, footwear, and other specified commodities to DoD distribution centers in Susquehanna, Pa, and San Joaquin, CA. The RFID label requirement is in addition to existing DoD requirements for identifying cartons and pallets with bar-coded Military Shipping Labels (MSL).

By way of the RFID Military Compliance Solution, Avery Dennison RIS supplies vendors with a supplemental RFID label that is encoded with a unique identification code to meet the DoD mandate. The code also is printed as a bar code and in readable characters. During the shipping process, the supplemental RFID label is affixed to cartons and/or pallets in proximity to the MSL label.

Minimum orders are as low as 500 labels. To order the labels, vendors need only supply their CAGE (Commercial and Government Entity) code, and the quantity and mix of carton and pallet labels they require. Vendors who are registered with Avery Dennison RIS typically receive shipment within 72 hours.

See averydennison.com.


AIM Global Announces RFID Video
WARRENDALE, PA—AIM Global announces the Public Television-produced video entitled "Spotlight On: RFID Technology," is available for download in several formats at media.aimglobal.org. The six-minute video was produced with public television viewers in mind as a way to educate them about what RFID technology is and to illustrate some of the ways it's being used in day-to-day life. Footage from the member sponsors, American Express, and The Boeing Company, combined with interviews by Dr. Bill Hardgrave, Director, University of Arkansas RFID Research Center and Mr. Ken Porad, Associate Technical Fellow for Boeing, give a concise and interesting snapshot of what the technology is and how it is currently being used.

The video is the culmination of a year-long project sponsored by AIM Global members FEIG ELECTRONIC, Intermec Technologies, Markem Corp., PSC, and Symbol Technologies and produced by Public Television film entertainment company, Trivue Entertainment.

SATO Announces Appointments
CHARLOTTE, NC—SATO Corp. has appointed J. Michael Fowler as a director of SATO Intl. and president of SATO Holding Americas. Robert Linse is appointed president of SATO America.

See satoamerica.com.

RFID Forecasts for 2006 and Beyond
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM—According to IDTechEx research and forecasts, cumulative sales of RFID tags for 60 years until the beginning of 2006 totaled 2.4 billion, with 600 million tags being sold in 2005 alone. In 2006, IDTechEx expects 1.3 billion tags to be sold. Of that, about 500 million RFID smart labels will be used for pallet and case level tagging, but the majority will be used for a range of markets, from baggage and passports to contactless payment cards and drugs. In 2016, IDTechEx see the value of the total market including systems and services to rocket to $26.23 billion from $2.71 billion in 2006 in value. The number of tags delivered in 2016 will be over 450 times the number delivered in 2006. The market for active RFID is expected to be more than $6 billion in 2016.

For more information, including IDTechEx's published report on the subject, visit idtechex.com.



WiFi-Enabled RFID Asset-Tracking Tag
EVERGREEN, CO—Active RFID Systems (ARS) and Broadcom are collaborating to develop and sell a WiFi-enabled RFID tag that will be used to track assets directly in a WiFi Network Enterprise System. The new tag offers many years of battery life and is interoperable with existing WiFi networks.

Under the terms of the agreement, ARS will incorporate the Broadcom chipset into the tag and will manufacture and support the finished tag product. Broadcom will support the hardware, firmware, and software activities.

See active-rfid.com.

JUNE
MARKEM Partners with ThingMagic
KEENE, NH AND CAMBRIDGE, MA—MARKEM Corp. is partnering with ThingMagic to enhance the full suite of MARKEM's RFID solutions, including high-speed tagging in production environments, semi-automated tagging, and use of RFID portals for supply chain communication and stock control.

MARKEM Applied Intelligence? Solutions has certified ThingMagic's Mercury4 serial reader fourth generation fixed reader and is available for use with its 800 Series high-speed applicator, which applies up to 100 RFID tags per min. and automatically rejects bad tags. The Mercury4 reader also enables the 800 Series applicator to encode RFID tags at speeds of up to 100 tags per min.

See markem.com/rfid.



ADT Awarded Customer Honors
BOCA RATON, FL—ADT was ranked number one in customer experience for its RFID services by readers of Consumer Goods Technology magazine, the second year in a row ADT took home first place in this category. The magazine cited ADT's flexibility as key to their readers' decision. More than 150 consumer goods executives were polled to determine Best-in-Class technology vendors.

"ADT's solutions are based upon the premise that no single RFID technology is best suited for all the market requirements that exist," the magazine wrote. "This philosophy will bode will for the RFID services vendor community going into 2006."

ADT also was recognized in Spain with the 2006 Futureshop Award for Best Anti-theft Innovation for its XBR Loss Prevention and Sensormatic SmartEAS technologies, two security solutions that contribute to point-of-sale management. The awards recognize the best products, services, and projects in the retail trade and distribution sector.

For more information, visit adt.com.


Omron Introduces Wave Tag
SCHAUMBURG, IL—Omron RFID has introduced the V750 Series Gen 2 (C1G2) "Wave" tag, designed to deliver high-read performance in all UHF RFID frequency spectrums. According to Omron RFID chief strategist Bill Arnold, "Acceptable read/write performance has only been possible through the use the a different tag design optimized for each regional frequency band. Demand is growing for a single RFID tag that can perform in all UHF RFID frequencies. RFID-fueled global commerce will benefit because product manufacturers can choose just one tag design for use around the world."

To learn more, visit omronrfid.com.

The Package is the Tag
CAMBRIDGE, MA—TAGSYS has introduced it’s The-Package-Is-The-Tag program and its accompanying Gen 2 UHF tag offering, the Adaptive Kernel (AK) family of tags. The concept incorporates two parts: an ultra small, low cost and universal UHF "Kernel" tag and an adaptive antenna that is customized and intrinsically incorporated within the package of the item to be RFID-enabled. This approach to item-level RFID enables the integration of RFID technology into packaging strategies so that RFID becomes a component of the package. It is designed to increase the ability to authenticate and safeguard goods, enable real-time inventory and item visibility, and automate labor-intensive processes in industries such as package goods, fashion and apparel, and courier or luggage tracking.

The antenna allows the tag to become an integral part of the packaging and is fully customizable to customers' packaging shapes, materials and sizes, nature of goods in the packaging, industrial environment, processes organization, reading distances and conditions, privacy requirements, and region of use. Based on TAGSYS' P3: e-Xecute program, the approach has been tested successfully on items such as courier envelopes and boxes, luggage tags, item boxes of various shapes and sizes, and fashion price tags.

Unit prices can be as low as five to eight cents. The tags are currently available to select clients and partners for testing and deployment and will be available for large-volume orders during the second half of 2006. Testing kits also are available upon request.

See tagsysrfid.com.

Marnlen Adds Production Capacity
MARKHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA—Marnlen RFID's new high-speed RFID label converting equipment now is in production. The production line is capable of inserting any size RFID inlay to label facestock, producing a multitude of UHF and HF standard and custom radio frequency identification labels and tags. One hundred percent end-of-line inspection reportedly ensures quality, accuracy, and reliability.

For more information, visit marnlen.com.



Welcome to the RFID Hub
DALLAS/FORTH WORTH, TX—Metroplex Technology Business Council has re-branded the North Texas region as "The RFID Hub," intending to convey that North Texas is at the forefront of the RFID industry and that the Dallas/Forth Worth area offers all of the resources needed to assist companies at all levels with RFID needs. The council also has made a poster available at dallasrfidhub.org, developed to underscore the re-branding.


RFID Technology To Replace Supply Chain
DALLAS, TX— A new report sponsored by the North of England Inward Investment Agency (NEIIA) concludes that RFID technology could become a catalyst for deeper collaboration between companies and lead to the formation of "supplier networks" that could replace today's linear supply chains. Titled "RFID Comes of Age" and written by The Economis Magazine's Intelligence Unit, the report explores some problems for companies looking to exploit RFID technology for commercial advantage. It looks at where RFID is likely to have the greatest impact over the next few years, as well as some of the broader challenges confronting the industry.

The report identified product safety and healthcare as other areas where RFID could play an important role. The paper references items with a high cost of failure or confusion where embedded smart tags could help. It also suggests legislatures regulating the use of RFID tags should require them to be de-activated at point-of-sale to remove privacy concerns rather than require the permanent "killing" of stored data. This way, users could have the opportunity to opt-in to post-sales uses that benefit both them.com.

and the business using the technology.

For more information about North England, visit northengland.com. For a copy of "RFID Comes of Age," contact Alexsis Wilkes at 212/780-1900, awilkes@stantoncrenshaw Portable RFID for Factory Automation
SCOTTS VALLEY, CA—Escort Memory Systems has introduced SILVERJET RFID PDA, a handheld RFID solution for factory automation. The company's Jet Applicatons Software, included with every SILVERJET package, provides an intuitive interface for developing custom programs for reading and writing tag data. These programs then are transferred by Wi-Fi or USB to the Jet PDA where they are executed by JetRunner Software. Tag data is scanned from the tags and stored under a Windows file system on the PDA. Unique tag-specific data can be written to each tag through the interface.

See
ems-rfid.com.

High-Speed Testing and Coding System
NOKIA, FINLAND—Confidex launches MR01, a testing system for UHF and HF RFID inlays and labels. It is the first industrial testing and coding system in the market to offer quality control for the manufacture of Gen 2 labels. MR01 has a read testing speed of up to 200,000 tags per hour and a write testing speed of up to 18,000 tags per hour. The system provides two separate inline testing points. The system operates without a host PC or complex user interface. MR01 also can be connected to a computer, which enables data collection for statistical process control.

For more information, see confidex.net.



EPC-Capable RFID Reader
MISTELGAU, GERMANY—Brooks Automation has introduced an EPC reader for HF data entry from the HF 60 series, designed for use in rough environments. The communication between transponder and reader takes place standardized through the International Standards EPC or ISO 15693. Acquired data can be transmitted via a serial RS232 interface, as well as via an Ethernet interface. With its five antenna connections, the reader is suitable for applications with many reading points, and reduces the costs of RFID integration.

The accessories include comprehensive Plug & Play antenna solutions, and the device includes a 4 DIP (dual inline package) switches for convenient interface or test mode setting. As an option, Brooks also markets the reader with additional input/output ports parallel to the antenna connections. The reader functions independent of a separate power supply due to the power supply via the Enthernet interface.

To learn more, visit brooks.com.


Checkpoint Systems Supplies RFID Hangtags
THOROFARE, NJ—Lemmi Fashion, a German-based producer of children's apparel, has chosen Checkpoint Systems, manufactures and marketers of RF- and RFID-based solutions for security, identification, tracking, and merchandising applications, to provide the company and its strategic partners with RFID hangtags. The RFID consumables will be used as part of a strategic initiative to help improve Lemmi's speed to market, ineventory management, and order accuracy.

Checkpoint Systems is supplying Lemmi's manufacturing partners in Asia and Europe with Performa 13.56 MHz RFID-enabled hangtags. The hangtags, which include a visible version of the RFID tag and a traditional bar code, contain data such as article number, size, and color.

See checkpointsystems.com.

Omron Offers a One Day Compliance Package
SCHAUMBURG, IL—Omron RFID offers the "One Day" Compliance Package supporting both EPC Class 1 and Gen 2 standards. The package creates a one-day-and-done opportunity for suppliers to Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and other retail vendors to meet RFID tag mandates.

The package has the ability to expand from two devices to any type or number of EPC RFID devices across a Wal-Mart or DoD supplier's entire enterprise. It includes an Omron reader/writer, antenna, all cables, tags, an optional computer, an RFID printer, an indicator "stack" light, a mounting stand for the antenna with all hardware, and the software required for compliance. Also included are operator training, professional setup services, and system documentation.

See omronrfid.com.

Argent Partners with Vue
TROY, MI—Argent Group has signed an agreement with Vue Technologies that will enable Argent to further expand its asset tracking range of solutions. The partnership enables Vue Technology to increase its presence in the manufacturing and medical sectors where RFID plays an integral role in optimizing the supply chain, including warehouses, distribution centers, and civic facilities. Argent Group's customers will benefit from new scalable, cost effective solutions based on Vue's technology to increase savings throughout the enterprise by decreasing labor and inventory costs and downtime while increasing asset utilization.

For more information, visit argent-group.com or vuetechnology.com.



Print Server Increases Reader Functionality
YORK, ME—The new Loftware Print Server (LPS) 8.4 delivers new RFID reader functionality with the addition of software support for fixed mount RFID reader technology from companies like Alien, Symbol, ThingMagic, and AWID. As a result, companies implementing pilot programs can use multiple hardware devices with a single software solution. The platform encodes and reads both smart labels and RF tags to perform real-time use cases, including building, receiving, and verifying pallets. LPS 8.4 is a highly-scalable and fault tolerant system designed to handle thousands of requests with all the appropriate queuing, status, and recovery features expected in advanced enterprise systems.

See loftware.com.

CompTIA Presents BreakAway Conference
The Computer Technology Industry Assn. (CompTIA) will hold its annual BreakAway Conference August 2-4, 2006, at the Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Studios in Orlando, FL. An executive panel discussion will be a highlight at the conference. Executives from Cisco Systems, Xerox, 3Com, SYNNEX, Websense, and Ingram Micro will participate in the interactive discussion where media can hear the industry's take on current trends, products, and services. The conference will bring together 115 technology vendors.

For more information, visit comptia.org.




Domino Acquires EIS
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—Domino Printing Sciences has acquired Enterprise Information Systems (EIS), Dallas, TX, an automatic identification and data capture systems integration specialists. Specializing in the deployment of RFID technology integration to provide traceability solutions throughout the supply chain, EIS will be incorporated into Domino's Integrated Solution Group.

See dominoamjet.com.


Covalence Launched as Private Company
PRINCETON, NJ—Covalence Specialty Materials Corp., formerly the Plastics and Adhesives operation of Tyco Intl., has become one of the nation's independent, private companies. The occasion was marked by completion of the purchase of Covalence in a $975 million transaction by Apollo Management. Terry A. Sutter has been named president and CEO while Marvin O. Schlanger has been named chairman.

See covcorp.com.


Stratum Global and Omron RFID Form Alliance
LITTLETON, CO—Stratum Global and Omron RFID have formed a strategic relationship designed to help customers benefit from Stratum's application performance and Omron's high-yield RFID tags and high-performance readers. Omron manufactures RFID tags and reader products known for high functionality in hostile environments. Stratum Global develops and market TagNet. Coupling the two technologies will increase asset and object visibility and improve produce traceability while eliminating replacement costs that are incurred for failed or poorly working inlys.

For more information, visit stratumglobal.com or omronrfid.com.

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