Digital Magazine

2006 RFID What's News, Part 2

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2006 RFID What's News | 2005 RFID What's News | 2004 RFID What's News | 2003 RFID What's News

Jan.-June | July-Dec.

ODIN Ranked #1 RFID Service Provider
DULLES, VA—In a survey conducted by RFID Update, ODIN Technologies is the top ranked RFID-specific company in several categories. ODIN ranked overall second to IBM as the leading RFID service provider. The 2006 RFID Marketing Strategies Report indicated that IBM and ODIN technologies ranked first and second respectively in several categories. According to the report, ODIN ranked as the second most recognized RFID software and services provider and as the second "most desired RFID services provider to be associated with" in a category that included IBM and Sun Microsystems and SAP. The ranking also placed ODIN in the top 2 for RFID thought leadership among services providers. ODIN was in the top ten in all categories that also included RFID hardware manufacturers. The survey was distributed to 10,000 end-users and RFID industry participants.

See odintechnologies.com.

Sirit Introduces Parking and Vehicle Access Control System
LAS VEGAS, NV—Sirit has introduced its next generation IDentity MaX UHF RFID reader for use in parking and vehicle access control deployments at the Intl. Parking Institute's (IPI) Growth 2006 Expo. The new integrated reader and antenna design delivers automatic vehicle identification (AVI) performance in single-lane read applications.

It measures 10 x 12 inches and can deliver read ranges of up to 12 ft., depending on the choice of Sirit IDentity transponder used. The system is offered with transferable and non-transferable windshield mount tags, license plate mount tags, and a new badge design to allow customers the choice of tag form factor best suited for their environment.

Visit sirit.com.

TAGSYS Raises $35 Million to Fuel Growth
CAMBRIDGE, MA—TAGSYS has completed a $35 million round of financing to advance the company's global growth, expand R&D efforts, and accelerate its ability to bring end-to-end item-level RFID infrastructure solutions to markets that are increasingly embracing RFID. The round was led by JPMorgan Partners, and included Cazenove Private Equity, Elliott Assoc., and Endeavour. The capital also will allow TAGSYS to capitalize on commercial momentum by expanding global production capacity, strengthening development efforts, and augmenting its sales and services.

The company also relocated its global headquarters to Cambridge, MA.

See tagsysrfid.com.

Avery Dennison Announces Qualified Converters
FLOWERY BRANCH, GA—Eight more RFID label converters have met Avery Dennison RFID's standards to become Avery Dennison "Qualified Converters," including Brady Corp., Intermec, Technologies Corp., Marnlen Management Ltd., Metalcraft, Nosco, Plitek, Repacorp Label Products, and Starport. The first wave of 17 qualified converters was announced in December 2005.

The companies worked with Avery Dennison technical staff to comprehensively evaluate the converters' manufacturing and testing capabilities and to improve the "converter-friendliness" of Avery Dennison's RFID inlays. Alignment of these capabilities reportedly is critical to ensure a high-quality, high-yield finished RFID label for end users.

For more information, visit averydennison.com.

Active RFID Systems Offers Asset Tracking Tag
EVERGREEN, CO—Active RFID Systems (ARS) has released its EZT-WiFi asset tracking tag, designed to provide a globally operable RFID tag interoperable with existing WiFi networks. The tags incorporate ARS' dual infrared communication mode and provide bi-directional infrared communications for configuration settings, command and control, and data transfer. The tags have a battery life of up to 10 years, are available with temperature-sensing capabilities, extended memory capacity, and can be supplied with various mounting flanges, including screw mount, tie wrap, or a combination.

To learn more, visit active-rfid.com.

SATO America Appoints New Sales Manager
CHARLOTTE, NC—SATO America, a leader in barcode printing, labeling, and EPC/RFID solutions, has appointed Ron Brown as the new Southern Regional Sales Manager. Reporting to Robert Linse, president, Brown will be responsible for the continued development and growth of channel business within the southern territory. He will focus on securing new reseller agreements and working with existing SATO Business Partneris to offer new DCS (data collection systems) and labeling solutions.

See satoamerica.com.

How to Make Money Out of RFID
There is a great need for profit and careful product positioning and repositioning in the RFID market, reportedly increasing ten times to become $26 billion business in 2016. IDTechEx has analyzed profit, cash generation, fund raising, and acquisition strategy in RFIF for a new report, "How to make money out of RFID."

To learn more, visit idtechex.com/profit.

Texas Instruments Supports Smart Card Alliance Position on WHTI PASS Card
As a member of the Smart Card Alliance, Texas Instruments is supporting the organization's recommendation that secure contactless technology (ISO/IEC 14443) best meets the objectives of the Department of Homeland Security for high throughput and the protection of individual privacy at the nation's border crossings for its People Access Security Service (PASS) card program. PASS cards would be required by 2008 for all United States citizens without a passport who cross the Northern and Southern borders of the United States. The Smart Card Alliance makes its case for the DHS using secure contactless chip technology in a new white paper from its Identity Council, "Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative Pass Card: Recommendations for Using Secure Contactless Technology vs. RFID."

To download a copy of the white paper, visit smartcardalliance.org/alliance_activities.

RFID4U and ODIN Partner on Training Program
SUNNYVALE, CA AND DULLES, VA—RFID4U and ODIN Technologies have joined forces to bring the RFID+ CompTIA certification training to the Washington, DC, area to allow easy commuting access for the Virginia, DC, and Maryland regions. The first class will be held August 22-25, 2006, at ODIN's Dulles, VA, headquarters.

RFID4U's RFID+ curriculum, as well as RFIDQ practice tests for RFID+, have been reviewed and approved by the Computing Technology Industry Assn., (CompTIA) as quality training materials through the CompTIA Authorized Quality Curriculum (CAQC) program. This recognition identifies these courses as meeting the strictest quality standards set by CompTIA to ensure it meets exacting requirements with regard to the complete coverage of exam content, as well as excellent content layout and instructional design material that helps certification candidates judge their learning or readiness for the next certification exam.

More information is available at rfid4u.com.

Sirit Awarded Transponder Contract
TORONTO, CANADA—Sirit has secured an order valued up to $5.9 million from the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) in California. As of July 2006, Sirit delivers a combination of its traditional sealed and new battery replaceable Title-21-based toll transponders, including packaged tags available at retail locations. The one-year contract is a follow-on to a deal announced in October 2005, which originally was expected to satisfy BATA's transponder requirements through November of this year.

See sirit.com.

RFID Reduces Out-Of-Stocks at Wal-Mart By 25%
RFID technology has turned out to be more effective at minimizing out-of-stocks than Wal-Mart initially thought. Last October, the retailer announced that an RFID pilot program in place at 12 stores had resulted in a 16% decrease in out-of-stocks. At the annual meeting of the Warehousing Research & Education Council, however, however, Kerry Pauling, Wal-Mart's vice president of information systems, told attendees that the 16% figure was too low. In fact, RFID technology has resulted in a 30% reduction in out-of-stocks on average. And with items that sell at a rate of six to 15 units a day, RFID has cut out-of-stocks by a full 62%.

"The preliminary results released late last year were conservative by design in that we did not want to overestimate RFID's impact," says Bill Hardgrave, director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas. Hardgrave notes that for extremely slow-moving items that sell one unit every 10 days, RFID made no difference. "Those items typically will not be out of stock," he says. "Similarly, RFID didn't make a difference for items selling greater than 15 units a day, since associates stay on top of those items" to make sure they're replenished.

The use of RFID technology at the retail level could help to solve a $69 billion headache for retailers, according to Pauling, who says that's the dollar value of sales lost annually by the nation's top 100 retailers due to out-of-stocks.

Smart Labels Europe Spotlights Passive and Active RFID Forecasts and Markets
LONDON, ENGLAND—According to IDTechEx, 1.3 billion RFID tags will be sold in 2006, with 500 million being applied to pallets and cases, over 200 million for contactless smart cards, and the rest in a diverse range of markets. Item level tagging is increasingly taking off with 200 million tags being sold for item level tagging this year. New technologies such as near field UHF tags which work much better around fluids than the typical far field UHF tags are helping the situation. In 2007, IDTechEx forecasts that over 2.2 billion tags will be sold—the start of a steep curve.

RFID Smart Labels Europe will focus on these market verticals covering RFID requirements by different industries, how RFID suppliers can make money from RFID by avoiding the crowd, international perspectives from Americas to East Asia, and cutting-edge technologies.

In parallel to the event, a one-day summit on Active RFID and Real Time Locating Systems will cover suitable applications, return on investment and all the technologies of this quickly growing segment. All conference delegates to RFID Smart Labels Europe can attend this summit free of charge.

IDTechEx analysts will provide overviews of the market, barriers, and successes in each RFID vertical segment prior to you hearing major users in those segments. It focuses on transport, healthcare, pharmaceutical, commerce, retail, and more. Speakers include General Electric, Procter & Gamble, Manchester Airports Group, San Francisco Airport, NHS, the Chinese Government, and more. In addition, all conference delegates receive access to the unique RFID Knowledgebase with 2,000 RFID case studies and over 2,200 company profiles.

Register at idtechex.com. For more information, visit smartlabelseurope.com.

TORONTO, ON—Sirit has issued an additional six million common shares pursuant to the exercise of the over-allotment option granted to the underwriters in connection with the public offering of 42,500,000 common shares of Sirit, which closed May 26, 2006. The additional common shares were purchased at $0.26 per common share for gross proceeds of $1,560,000. The syndicate of underwriters was co-led by GMP Securities and Wellington West Capital Markets, and included Dundee Securities Corp., Haywood Securities, and MGI Securities. Sirit expects to use the net proceeds primarily for strategic acquisitions and for general working capital.

See sirit.com.

WARRENDALE, PA—AIM Global president Dan Mullen addressed the Dept. of Homeland Security Privacy Office's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. He was one of four technology experts selected to speak during the public comments segment of an all-day meeting addressing privacy concerns and issues surrounding the use of RFID technologies for national security protections. The advisory committee advises the Secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security and the DHS Chief Privacy Officer on programmatic, policy, operational, administrative, and technical issues within DHS that affect individual privacy, as well as data integrity and data interoperability and other privacy-related issues.

See aimglobal.org.

Omron Introduces EPC Gen 2 Global Loop Inlay
SCHAUMBURG, IL—Omron RFID has introduced the Gen 2 Global Loop inlay, optimized to ensure robust read performance when the tag is applied to items containing materials unfriendly to RFID, including electronics equipment and products with high moisture content. It can be used under North American, European, and Japanese radio frequency bands in a single tag design. The Loop tag also delivers reliable read ranges when the orientation on the product is not fixed or could change after application to improve pallet tag read rates. It can be used with all international UHF RFID frequencies from 860 to 960 MHz with little or no performance degradation. See omronrfid.com.

Sirit Announces Q2 Results
Sirit will host a conference call on Thursday, August 10, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. EST to discuss its fiscal 2006 second quarter financial results. Norbert Dawalibi, president and CEO, and Anastasia Chodarcewicz, VP finance and CFO, will review Sirit’s financial and operating results. A question and answer session will follow, at which time the operator will direct participants as to the correct procedure for submitting questions. Sirit will report its financial results via news release prior to market opening on Thursday, August 10, 2006. See sirit.com.

Omron Expands E-Commerce Channel
SCHAUMBURG, IL—Omron RFID has expanded its marketing channels to speed and improve customer access to high-quality RFID tags and readers through a new agreement with Web-based reseller RFIDSupplyChain.com. RFIDSupplyChain.com is a provider of RFID technology to manufacturing and other end-users within the supply chain, many of whom must comply with retail and United States Department of Deffense (DoD) mandates.

The agreement will improve availability by providing rapid, accurate shipping of Omron RFID products to customers. The new relationship will satisfy growing customer needs for online purchasing and rapid access to UHF Gen 2 labels, readers, and recently announced RoHS-compliant HF readers.

To learn more, visit omronrfid.com.

CMS Integrates RFID Solutions
CARENCO, LA—Composite Mat Solutions (CMS) are including a passive RFID chip with every mat produced for both its Bravo and DURABLE systems. The tags are embedded inside each of its mats and have been jointly developed by Parelec, Rocky Hill, NJ, and RFIDlogic, Marietta, GA. The RFID tags come equipped with individualized serial numbers specific to each mat and now are available in each mat made at CMS. The information is readable through a hand-held radio device.

See compositematsolutions.com, parelec.com, and rfidlogic.com.

Sato Introduces OEM Print Engine
CHARLOTTE, NC—Sato America has introduced its latest OEM print engine, the Lt408, designed to meet the needs of the entry-level print apply market, small to mid-sized manufacturers looking to automate the labeling process on low throughput, labor-intensive production lines. It boasts a unique plug-in interface that allows for a variety of host communication options, an LCD display and icon-driven user interface, bi-directional ribbon drive for greater ribbon compatibility, and SPL, Sato's programming language. The platen and feed rollers each are designed for easy removal from the front side of the print engine and replaced in under five minutes without removing the print engine from the applicator. Additionally, the One-Touch release printhead makes changing printheads simple and tool-free.

See satoamerica.com.

Stora Enso Joins Parelec's Certified Partner Program
STEVENS POINT, WI—The Global Speciality Papers Business Area of Stora Enso has signed an exclusive agreement with Parelec Inc. to join Parelec’s Certified RFID Partner Program as a strategic partner for RFID antennae paper substrates. The program permits customers, such as major retailers, governments, and transit systems worldwide, to acquire RFID antennae technology manufactured with Stora Enso’s speciality papers and Parelec’s Parmod conductive inks through Parelec’s Certified RFID Printers. Applications include inlays, labels, packaging and other projects requiring rapid turnaround and low cost.

The companies have also initiated joint development and demonstration programs to pursue new RFID applications that utilize conductive ink and paper technologies. See storaenso.com/specialtypapers and parelec.com.

Tom Kell Retires from Great Northern Corp.
APPLETON, WI—Tom Kell, executive VP of Great Northern Corp.'s packaging operations in Chippewa Falls, WI, has retired after a 32-year career in the industry. Kell and his brother, John, sold the family-owned Kell Container to Great Northern Corp. in 2004.

"When the Kell brothers joined us in 2004, they brought with them not only a highly successful and long-standing business operation but also their strong entrepreneurial skills, energy, and vision," says William Raaths, CEO of Great Northern Corp. "We wish Tom the very best in his retirement and are grateful to him and his brother for the valuable contributions they have made to our company."

Rick Gates has been promoted to from VP of manufacturing to fill the vacancy created by Kell's retirement.

See greatnortherncorp.com.

Omron Introduces Global Reader Platform
SCHAUMBURG, IL—Omron RFID has released the V750 reader platform, an expansion of its EPC UHF reader product line. The V750 platform, designed and manufactured by Omron, will support the global frequency bands for the United States, Europe, and Japan. It enables EPC Gen 2 reading/writing and features easy setup, advanced diagnostics, self execution, and RF environmental monitoring functions. The platform runs on a light real-time operating system and has an optimized implementation for tag density self adjustment that reportedly improves read times required for applications that have frequent changes to the number of tags being read.

To learn more, visit omronrfid.com.

RFID in the Air Industry and Land Transport
As the RFID business grows from $2.8 billion to $26 billion in 20016, transport will take a fair share. RFID in civil air transport alone will rise from $42 million in 2006 to $667 million in 2016, according to IDTechEx. A major component of this growth will be baggage tagging systems and tags at $20 million in 2006 rising to $100 million in 2006.

In transport in general, there is a boom in RFID tickets and cards to improve security and speed of transaction and some are increasingly usable for general purchases. Twenty million of the new e-passports are being issued this year, with RFID labels for security and automated recording of movements. That figure soon will reach 40 million yearly as over 50 countries adopt them.

To learn more, read "RFID in Airports and Airlines 2006-2016," available at idtechex.com.

Kennedy Group Demonstrates Technology at Alien Technology
CLEVELAND, OH—The Kennedy Group's RFID group has placed its SmartOne 1000 and 2500 RFID applicators in Alien Technology's RFID Solutions Center in Dayton, OH. The SmartOne 1000 RFID applicator combines its ability to identify and eject bad or quiet smart labels with high-speed (up to 90 Gen 2 Smart Therm labels) encoding and application technology to meet inline encoding and application production requirements of retail, defense, and consumer good suppliers. The SmartOne 2500 RFID printer applicator incorporates a print engine for variable speed printing. The applicator is capable of verifying, encoding, printing, and applying up to 80 Smart Therm labels per minute. It also features I/O connections that enable application and system management along with accurate reporting functions. Both applicators reportedly attain Smart Therm label yields greater than 98 percent consistently and are said to be ideal in heavy industrial conditions, because they can easily be integrated into manufacturing and distribution environments.

Visit kennedygrp.com to learn more.

Avery Dennison Introduces New Training Tool
FLOWERY BRANCH, GA—Avery Dennison RFID has produced RFID 101, a multimedia training tool. It combines a live narrator with animations, photos, and video to walk the viewer through the history of RFID, technology basics, applications and markets, system components, RFID label converting, and tag testing and quality. Each major topic is a separate module, allowing the viewer to watch the presentation from start to finish (about 55 minutes) or to customize the presentation by watching select modules based on their own experience or schedule. Content was developed by the technical team based at Avery Dennison RFID’s Atlanta Technical Center (ATC), much of which was inspired by Avery Dennison’s work with end-users and other RFID stakeholders who have visited ATC over the last couple of years for free product testing and other technical services and training. See rfid.averydennison.com.

UPM Raflatac Updates Raflink Business Line
FLETCHER, NC—UPM Raflatac is launching ordering and claim tracking self-service tools with the latest update of its eBusiness platform, the Raflink Business Line. North American customers will be able to use the Raflink Business Line to research UPM Raflatac’s standard and trimless labelstock products, order products online, track shipments door-to-door, access and analyze their purchasing history, monitor claims and credit adjustments, and manage their accounts. It is available online at upmraflatac.com.

RFID Labeling Tip from Avery Dennison
by Dan Williams, Avery Dennison Printer Systems
Consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and distribution centers should carefully balance application requirements and budget with the capabilities and costs of RFID technologies when planning in-house RFID labeling operations. Initial decisions typically involve selecting an RFID label inlay—the label part containing the RFID antenna and microchip—that best fits the application, determining the optimal label location on targeted items and selecting equipment to print and/or accurately apply the labels to cartons, pallets and packages. Speed and label placement accuracy are key criteria for RFID label print/apply equipment. Factors such as RFID signal power and distribution must also be weighed.

Consider partnering with an RFID technology supplier that offers research and testing services, and which can meet all of your label and label production requirements. A full service supplier can often simulate real-world RFID labeling environments to plot RFID label and label equipment performance at different pallet or container locations and at various distances from label readers.

Test results can confirm initial findings and identify possible problems before RFID implementation, simplifying your company’s decision-making process.

Dan Williams is marketing manager for Avery Dennison Printer Systems. He can be reached at dan.l.williams.averydennison.com, 215/728-8054.

Secure ID Industry Promotes Privacy and Security Standards to State Legislators
NASHVILLE, TN—Members of the Secure ID Coalition, an affiliation of companies advocating for secure identification technology standards to protect the privacy of citizens, educated policymakers at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) August 16-18 at the NCSL's annual meeting and exhibit. The mission is to promote the understanding and appropriate use of smart card technology while maintaining user privacy, and the coalition includes secure card makers Gemalto and Oberthur Card Systems, as well as chip makers Infineon Technologies, Philips Semiconductors, and Texas Instruments. It met with legislators to share their principles of privacy and their call for best practices and standards in securing identity information management programs. For more information on the Secure ID Coalition, visit secureidcoalition.org.

Sensors and RFID Converge with Printed Electronics
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—According RFID analysts IDTechEx, RFID and sensing are merging, with location of items using RFID triangulation, more sophisticated techniques, and some RFID technologies where sensing is a property of the chip rather than an add-on. For instance, Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) tags inherently can sense temperature and strain but are used for RFID as well. With the new printed transistor circuits, printed sensors are just another layer in the printing of the device. However, almost all sensor systems, including those combined with RFID need power (active RFID), usually from batteries that are increasingly printed.

The subject has become so important that a new conference has been announced that is dedicated to active RFID, meaning RFID with power in the tag to manage sensors and/or give long range. The Active RFID Europe event in London, September 20, at the Guoman Tower Hotel has many major companies speaking that are not traditionally associated with the subject (in the public's mind at least), such as Cisco, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, and Philips, as well as smaller companies with new announcements.

See activerfideurope.com for details or activerfidsummit.com for details on IDTechEx's upcoming American Summit in November.

EPCGlobal Canada and RFID4U Partner to Provide Training
TORONTO, CANADA, AND SUNNYVALE, CA—EPCglobal Canada and RFID4U, an RFID training company, have entered into a strategic multi-year partnership to jointly offer RFID training, including CompTIA RFID+ certification courses. Under the scope of the agreement, EPCglobal and RFID4U will offer various RFID training and certification courses throughout Canada that will provide attendees with the tools to effectively integrate EPC/RFID into their organization to meet their business objectives. The complete schedule of courses will be available on both the organizations’ Web sites, epcglobalcanada.org and rfid4u.com.

Item Level RFID Market Outlook
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—According to IDTechEx, item level RFID is set for substantial growth over the next decade. A new study forecasts and explores key markets that will apply item-level tagging, advances in technology, and the mass adoption that will follow. The report spans two volumes: "Item Level RFID Volume One: Forecasts, Technology, Standards" and "Item Level RFID Volume Two: 100 Case Studies, Paybacks, Lessons Learnt."

Item level RFID is the tagging of the smallest taggable unit of things—a library book, apparel, jewelry, engineering parts, and laundry, for example. IDTechEx notes that tem level tags and systems will be the world's largest RFID market by value from 2007 onwards, increasing from $0.16 billion in 2006 to $13 billion in 2016 for systems including tags. In 2006, 0.2 billion items will be RFID-tagged in the world; in 2016, this will increase to 550 billion.

For more information, visit idtechex.com.

RFID Troubleshooter
BRUNSWICK, OH—Tharo Systems has created an RFID Troubleshooter to guide their EASYLABEL software users through the process of printing and encoding RFID smart labels, as well as resolve common RFID encoding problems. The troubleshooter can help solve RFID configuration problems with the following printer families: Avery Dennison, Datamax, Intermec, Printronix, Sato, and Zebra. You can view the troubleshooter online at tharo.com/rfid_webhelp/index.htm.

TI Releases Gen 2 Silicon
DALLAS, TX—Texas Instruments (TI) has announced the availability of its EPCglobal-certified Gen 2 ultra-high frequency (UHF) silicon. Offered in wafer and strap form factors, TI has developed its Gen 2 silicon on an analog process node at 130 nanometers with a built-in Schottky diode for more efficient conversion of radio frequency (RF) signal energy. The result is silicon chips with low power consumption and increased chip-to-reader sensitivity. Users also can write to TI's chips under the lowest RF power conditions in spite of background electromagnetic interference (EMI) common in typical supply chain factory floor and warehouse environments.

TI's Gen 2 silicon is available in three forms: bare wafers to support various assembly processes; processed wafers (bumped, sawn with back grind) that are suitable for immediate use with commercially available inlay equipment; and silicon chip on straps for label and packaging manufacturers who are printing their own antennas. TI also offers reference antenna designs enabling customers to develop labels and tags which optimize its Gen 2 silicon.

To learn more, visit ti.com/epcgen2.

Sirit Announces Strategic Relationship with Microsoft
TORONTO, CANADA—Sirit and Near Field Communication (NFC) have formed a strategic relationship with Microsoft, through which Microsoft's BizTalk RFID will offer automatic support for Sirit's readers for quick and easy "out of the box" integration and operation across multiple RFID and NFC applications. By tightly integrating support for Sirit's Plug-n-Play and INfinity readers with Microsoft BizTalk RFID, users are provided with a streamlined environment and a simplified platform with which to connect applications, processes, and device data, which helps speed deployment and realization of return on investments. See sirit.com.

ThingMagic Partners with SATO America
CHARLOTTE, NC, AND CAMPBRIDGE, MA—ThingMagic, a developer of RFID technology, has partnered with SATO America, a leader in barcode printing, labeling, and EPC/RFID solutions. SATO America has certified ThingMagic's Mercury4e for use in the United States with SATO's CL408e/CL412e RFID tabletop printers and M8485Se RFID OEM Print Engine. With the incorporation of ThingMagic's readers, SATO hopes to extend its position and as a principal innovator to the automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) industry. See thingmagic.com.

Sirit Sells Medsite
TORONTO, CANADA—Sirit will receive $1.9 million in cash upon completion of the sale of one of its minority interest investments, Medsite. According to Anastasia Chodarcewicz, CFO of Sirit, "The transaction will enhance shareholder value by converting this legacy investment into cash supporting the execution of Sirit's strategic plan to concentrate on its RFID business." See sirit.com.

Domino Welcome's FDA's Vote of Confidence in Hybrid Track-and-Trace Solutions
Domino's Integrated Solutions Group has welcomed the recent Compliance Policy Guide announcement by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a boost to the implementation of the hybrid product traceability solutions combining RFID with existing data-carrier technology to provide counterfeit-proof "e-pedigrees" throughout the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Simon King, director of Domino's Integrated Solutions Group, notes, "In our view, the FDA is spot on in its assessment of where track-and-trace technology is now—in particular, in its understanding that the electronic pedigrees need to prevent counterfeiting are achievable now by using existing data-carriers such as 2D and composite barcodes, especially Data Matrix with EPC.

Domino's IS Group recently implemented an fully-integrated EPC solution for the pharmaceutical industry involving 100% track-and-trace of drugs administered to Hemophilia patients of St. James' Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. The EPC technology embedded in a 2D Data Matrix code, assigns a unique number to every single item that rolls off a manufacturing line, allowing every company in the supply chain to track products at the individual item of use level from the point of manufacturer through to the individual patient in their home. The use of unique serialized numbering and barcoding on each vital box enabled automatic electronic data collection and processing which resulted in safer patient treatment and 100% traceability and accountability of ever drug and patient involved in the critical treatment process.

For more information, visit dominoamjet.com.

Dedicated RFID/EAS Converter for Nashua
AB Graphic Intl. has supplied an Omega 1600 RFID Converter for labels to Tennessee-based Nashua. The line comprises a complete system for converting rolls of printed labels with varnishing unit, UV and IR/hot air drying, two die cutting stations, including matrix stripping, and cross-perforating and slitting/rewinding. The de-lamination/re-lamination section with linear compensation includes two label applicators capable of applying RFID, EAS, and other inlays. The system includes lamination unit with carrier rewind configured for nuwinding rolls of RFID tags and rewinding of the static liner that can also be used as a standard lamination module.

Nashua provides direct thermal, thermal transfer, laser, and EDP labels to a range of industries, including supermarkets, retail, automatic data collection, data processing, and entertainment.

EFKON USA Partners with Sirit for New Toll Products
Sirit has entered into an OEM agreement with Dallas-based EFKON USA, a provider of intelligent transportation systems and advanced vehicle communications. Under the terms of the agreement, EFKON will integrate Sirit's Title 21-based toll tag technology into a range of new toll products that it unveiled at the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Turnpike Assn.'s 74th Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Dallas.

EFKON's newly announced products include Pront, a high-performance toll tag system used for open road tolling, and can also be used for parking access control; and HOTShot, a battery- and solar-powered system for high occupancy tolling (HOT) that uses smart cards and biometric identification for virtually failsafe authentication. Sirit's underlying 915 MHz toll technology, based exclusively on the open Title 21 standard, provides the platform for these solutions.

See sirit.com and efkonusa.com.

Metalcraft Debuts RFID Label Service
MASON CITY, IO—Features of Metalcraft's newly launched flexible, RFID converting service include:
  • Subsurface printing of logos, copy, barcodes, and other fixed or variable data.
  • Full encapsulation of HF or UHF inlays in polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene, or polycarbonate, die-cut to a custom size.
  • Customized attachment options, including "hang tags" and isolated constructions for mounting to metal surfaces.
  • Inlay programming for custom data, UPC, or EPC codes with synchronization of the item's printed image and post-programming data verification.
To learn more, visit idplate.com.
Seeing RFID in Action
CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—RFID analysts IDTechEx, supported by GS1 UK, the UK provider of the EPCglobal Network, has complied "RFID in Action 2006," covering global RFID implementations. IDTechEX has included cases studies using a variety of technologies in diverse industries, including the retail and consumer packaged goods, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, postal, manufacturing and logistics, air industry and travel, and animals and farming industries. Companies profiled include Boeing, Marks & Spencer, and the Las Vegas McCarran Intl. Airport. To learn more or to receive a copy of the report, visit idtechex.com.

Active RFID Summit
ATLANTA, GA—Active RFID is expected to be up to be a $6.8 billion market in 10 years. Will Smart Active Labels (SAL), Smart Dust and the Korean Ubiquitous Sensor Network (USN) project lead to great things? Are the capabilities of the new parasitic WiFi RTLS being enhanced enough for it to take yet more market share? Is combining angle and time of arrival on conventional RTLS a good way forward and what about incorporating GPS or GSM to create a universal system? These and other questions will be answered at the world's only conference dedicated purely to active RFID, the Active RFID Summit from IDTechEx, taking place November 14-15, 2006, in Atlanta, GA. To learn more, visit idtechex.com.

ODIN Appoints Federal Practice Director
DULLES, VA—ODIN Technologies has hired Ted Milone as Federal Practice Director. Previously, Milone served in BearingPoint's Health Services as a United States Department of Defense Healthcare account leader, as well as six years as a U.S. Air Force Officer. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading government, aerospace, and defense client activities, establishing industry-specific RFID solutions, and positioning ODIN as a trusted RFID expert to the Federal Government

Patrick J. Sweeney II, president and CEO of ODIN commented, "We are extremely excited about Ted joining the ODIN team to focus on our rapidly expanding work for government, aerospace and defense clients. Ted's Air Force and business experience will be a true asset enabling an even higher level of service to our largest customers. He is already making an impact helping steer ODIN's deployment of RFID at 26 U.S. Department of Defense sites worldwide. Ted's program management, government and military background are a perfect fit for our client needs because he has been there before."

To learn more, see odintechnologies.com.

Symbol Launches RFID Reader
HOLTSVILLE, NY—Symbol Technologies has launched a new RFID reader designed for the manufacturing, warehouse, and back-end retail industries, and features wireless and Bluetooth connectivity with no external antennas or cabling. Beta customers have mounted the reader on forklifts, conveyor belts, shrink-wrap machines, trash compacters, and anywhere else a compact device can be attached. The reader boasts a power efficiency feature; whether or not in proximity to RFID tags, it automatically shuts off the reading function to conserve battery life. See symbol.com.

RFID Smart Labels Breaks New Ground in London
CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM— IDTechEx's RFID Smart Labels Europe Conference and Exhibition was held on September 19-20. Over 350 delegates from 30 countries rated speakers from San Francisco International Airport and Manchester Airport Group to be particularly interesting. They described RFID markets that have come from nowhere, including baggage tagging and people tagging for reducing queues and improving safety and accuracy. Drug tagging also was covered, primarily for anti-counterfeiting. The message of both the conference and the Masterclasses was that conventional supply chain optimisation is proving difficult with the chosen UHF frequency across the world because radio regulations, until they are eased, cause technical problems and most consumer goods suppliers see no payback in pallet and case tagging and drag their feet.

Marks and Spencer UK and Boekhandels Group Netherlands discussed exceptions to the UHF technical problems where the product is dry and non-metallic and reader density is low.

Paul Fox of Procter and Gamble/Gillette discussed the counterfeiting challenges. Opportunities with Near Field UHF in item level tagging were explained to packed rooms by Richard Fletcher of TagSense and Ian Forster of Avery Dennison.

Another trend is the interest in solution providers because more of these are profitable and they land the big orders. LogicaCMG, Vue Technology, Siemens and others emphasized the importance of solution selling. At the tag level, EM Microelectronics warned that “compromise equals complexity” as seen in the Gen 2 chips with so many “nice if” features being added.

Gold Sponsor Wavetrend headed up the Active RFID session. It is tackling a remarkable variety of opportunities in both Real Time Locating Systems and conventional active RFID worldwide. Speakers said that the market is booming with space for WiFi, ultra wide band, smart active labels and sensor systems.

To learn more, visit idtechex.com.

Markem to Launch Enterprise Coding and Traceability
Markem Corp. will launch its enterprise coding and traceability solutions at Pack Expo. These solutions reportedly will ensure accurate identification on product packaging while sharing information with SAP and other enterprise systems and allowing rapid reporting and production data analysis. They are offered as a single-source provider, including Markem CoLOS software, Markem and third-party hardware, and Markem Professional Services.

At the show, Markem also will release solution implementation case studies from Unilever, Campina, and other global manufacturers.

To learn more, visit markem.com/solutions.

Aluminum HF Inlay Expands Omron's RFID Solutions
SCHAUMBURG, IL—Omron RFID has announced the availability of a new aluminum HF inlay suited for security and asset tracking applications such as library and access control. The credit card-sized inlay, V730S-D13-PO1, is compliant with the ISO 15693 HF standard for 13.56 MHz frequency and achieves comparable performance with the copper version of the same inlay. For more information, visit omronrfid.com.

RFID Consortium Selects Via Licensing for Patent Program
CHICAGO, IL, AND SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Via Licensing Corp. will administer the ultra-high frequency RFID (UHF RFID) patented licensing program for the RFID Consortium, comprised of companies involved with RFID information technology. The RFID Consortium and Via Licensing have signed a non-binding term sheet that provides that Via Licensing will manage the RFID licensing program and work with essential patent holders. To learn more, see vialicensing.com.

Sirit Takes Action
TORONTO, CANADA—Sirit has undertaken action to align its organizational structure with expected revenue levels and market opportunities with the goal of being cash flow neutral in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. The company is taking a headcount reduction of over 25%, will close two locations, and will streamline its development efforts to focus on revenue generating opportunities. These actions will result in severance and related non-recurring costs of approximately $400,000, which will be expensed primarily in the fourth quarter of 2006. To learn more, visit sirit.com.

Apply RF Tags Automatically
Have you considered automation for applying RF tags to cases and pallets? The Kennedy Group offers the SmartOne 1000 (encode and apply) and the SmartOne 2500 (encode, print, and apply). The machines reach speeds of up to 90 ppm and feature a silent tag function. To learn more, visit kennedygrp.com.

Omron Offers Gen 2 Interrogator
LOS ANGELES, CA—Omron RFID announces the availability of its EPC Gen 2 V750 interrogator for the U.S. market as an expansion of the company's EPC UHF interrogator product line. The interrogator platform is designed to deliver a 600 ft. per min. conveyor read, and features a real-time operating system, easy user setup, advanced diagnostics, self execution mode, and a unique RF environmental monitoring function. The V750 is designed for easy file transfer upgrades to the firmware and for installation of additional functions, such as optional scanning antenna technology control. See omronrfid.com.

Dynamics of RFID Utilization
AB Graphics' range of Omega RFID converting products all are offline converting platforms designed for specific tasks, varying from simple wet inlay RFID integration through to finished label rolls with verification and removal of defective inlays and automated replacement of verified functional inlays for 100% reliability. This is particularity important when supplying labels and packaging for the pharma and food packaging markets. The company also is also seeing RFID attached products being applied on large-format converting presses with multiple lane insertion, relamination, re-register, and die cutting, as well as other available modules such as flexographic printing stations.

Smaller label manufactures will utilize integrating machines such as Omega Ti 150. This is a model requiring little space while offering high productivity and ease of use. It is not dependent on frequency and is capable of integrating RFID and EAS tags and other types of inserts or labels from pre-printed, die cut rolls. If much larger, faster and more sophisticated systems, capable of multiple processes, several lanes across in one pass are required we can supply standard format or customized unit from the Omega stable.

One of AB Graphic's client label manufacturers using Omega converting systems reported sales of RFID labels to be typically 500,000 per week. The same manufacturer stated that this was twice the amount produced twelve months earlier and volume is continuing to rise steadily. To learn more, visit abgintusa.com.

RFID Smart Labels Conference and Exhibition
IDTechEx's Smart Labels USA 2007 will take place February 21-22 in Boston, MA, and will provide market coverage of RFID successes, ROI, and state-of-the-art technologies. Smart Labels USA 2007 will be comprised of a conference featuring insight from RFID adopters and experts, and an exbition of technologies. Attendees will recieve access to 2,300 RFID case studies; access to interactive analyst Webinars (December 1, Cumulative RFID Sales; January 5, RFID Forecasts 2007-2010; and February 2, Lessons Learned from 2,500 RFID Case Studies); expert-led masterclasses on RFID technologies, how to manufacture RFID, implementing RFID, and printed electronics; an RFID investment summit; access to RFID Analyst research; free consulting, a free RFID in Action case study report; and a gala networking dinner. To register or for more information, visit smartlabelsusa.com.

Sirit Reports Q3 Results
TORONTO, OH—Sirit has reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2006. All amounts are in Canadian dollars.

Total revenue reached $5.1 million, a 64% increase from the $3.1 million reported in the same quarter of 2005. Automatic Vehicle Identification (AVI) related products comprised 73% or $3.7 million of total revenue, an increase of 42% over the third quarter of 2005. Radio frequency solutions (RFS) related revenue represents 27% or $1.4 million of total revenue, a 180% increase over prior year reported revenue of $0.5 million. Gross margin for the third quarter of 2006 remained consistent with both the second quarter of 2006 as well as the third quarter of 2005. For more details, as well as some other highlights of the third quarter, visit sirit.com.

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