RFID Roundup: New tag technology developments reap operational benefits for some; see a national security-based boost for others

In the latest RFID news, tags from Alien Technology are allowing dairy products leader Daisy Brand to move beyond supplier mandates and reap benefits in its own operations and customer service, while tag vendor MIKOH is boosting tag security in partnership with the U.S. National Security Agency, and Impinj is mastering directional movement on tagged items.

03/12/2008


Daisy Brand reaps RFID mandate benefits
Dallas-based dairy products processor Daisy Brand launched its RFID implementation to comply with the Wal-Mart RFID mandate, but has since leveraged the solution to improve its own internal operations and customer service.
Daisy Brand uses Alien Technology RFID readers and Gen 2 tags to ensure proper order loading, and to coordinate product expiration dates with shipments to ensure all products arrive at retailers with sufficient shelf life to support quality customer service.
“Daisy Brand is stepping it up a notch by implementing RFID in additional distribution centers in Texas and Arizona at the same time that Sam’s Club has sent out a reminder letter to supply chain partners that they need to tag shipments or pay fines,” says Ronny Karaldsvik, VP of market and industry relations, Alien Technology. “So they’re ahead of the game.”
Alien Technology also reports an expanded RFID reseller and systems integration agreement with SATO America , a pioneer in the auto-ID industry and a key supplier of bar-code printing, labeling, and EPC/RFID solutions.
“SATO America’s understanding of customer requirements enables them to offer timely RFID solutions to a fast-growing market segment,“ says Terry Pruett, director of North America channel sales for Alien Technology. “With tags and readers, printers, integration services, and software in their portfolio, SATO is well positioned to help the supply chain meet current and future compliance requirements for RFID implementation.”
MIKOH boosts RFID tag security
MIKOH , a specialist in physical security of RFID tags, has licensed a reusable closure mechanism design from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA hinge mechanism consists of overlapping tabs that affix to existing containers to create the seal to which MIKOH Smart & Secure tamper-resistant RFID tags are applied.
Due to the Smart&Secure tag construction, if tampered with, tags won’t function.
“With the NSA product, you don’t have to design the mechanism for the container. It can be applied to any container or surface by whatever means—welding, screw, bolt—that makes the most sense,” says Andrew Strauch, MIKOH VP of product marketing and management. In addition to securing shipping containers, the tag can be used to secure a warehouse or storerooms.
Impinj masters RFID directional movement
Efficiently determining which direction a tagged item is moving when being read is a technological challenge, but delivers significant contextual business value, according to RFID technology vendor Impinj .
“Typically, a tag read tells you only the object has been seen. But context is as important as the data you get,” says Mendy Ouzillou, Impinj RFID product line director. By knowing which direction an object is moving, you’ve added considerable context. You know whether items are moving into or out of the warehouse; whether tools are leaving or being returned to the tool crib; whether goods are being moved out of the storeroom onto the display floor, or being returned. “For some of our customers, the value of that information is so high it’s all they want to know,” he says.
The firmware is available only on Impinj Octane readers, and will be shipped with all new orders, as well as being available to download to upgrade existing Octane readers.





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