Smart thinking: Industry-specific RFID hits packaging, chemicals markets

A new line of "smart boxes" for packaging manufacturers and a value-model tool targeted at chemical processors that want to assess RFID adoption are the latest vertical RFID technology offerings to hit the marketplace.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff December 6, 2007

A new line of “smart boxes” promises to simplify RFID deployments and reduce costs by embedding RFID inlays directly into the packaging material furnished to manufacturers. The technology, codeveloped by Domino Integrated Solutions Group and HIDE-Pack , offers as much as a 35-percent cost savings over smart labels, according to company sources, due to the elimination of printers, encoders, and individual labels.
The HIDE-Pack product is licensed to Domino Integrated Systems, which has worldwide distribution rights.
“RFID packaging is the next generation in the supply chain process,” says Dwain Farley, CEO of Domino Integrated Solutions. “Corrugated box manufacturers will be able to make smart boxes at high speed, spreading the costs over more customers and more boxes.”
Paul de Boise, VP and general manager of HIDE-Pack, maker of the “smart box” material, concurs: “The key to making RFID affordable is moving RFID back in the value chain, into the manufacturing process of the packaging medium.”
The Chemical Industry Data Exchange (CIDX), a global trade and standards organization, has developed a value-model tool for members assessing RFID adoption in the chemical processing world. The initiative grew out of collaborative discussions with EPCglobal, and collaborative research and development with Stanford University and Eindhoven University of Technology , The Netherlands.
“The model is a high-level spreadsheet that calculates the value of RFID based on company input regarding sales, cost of capital, cost of materials, profit margins, and other factors. It considers the impact of globalization and how RFID can help reduce costs for a member company,” says Gene Sumption, manufacturing systems manager for Midland, Mich.-based Dow Corning .
Dow Corning is a member of CIDX, and Sumption was the lead for the RFID value model project. The goal is to foster greater adoption in an industry slow to embrace the technology.