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University of Derby Researchers Seek New Ways to Use RFID
The school's RFID Advanced Research group has carried out dozens of projects, including several designed to prevent bicycle accidents, monitor door production or improve construction-worker safety.
Jun 05, 2013—
The RFID Advanced Research group, at the University of Derby's Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, has a variety of radio frequency identification-based projects underway with a common focus on identifying business opportunities for the use of RFID in the United Kingdom. The projects include software that simulates the technology's benefits for supply chain logistics, as well as RFID solutions for preventing collisions of trucks with bicyclists, or of excavators with construction-site personnel, tracking the production of doors, and reducing fuel consumption and, thus, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The work is being carried out in an effort to expand and ease the adoption of RFID in the business sector, according to the center's head, Ming K. Lim, who launched the RFID Advanced Research program at Aston University, in Birmingham. In 2012, he relocated to the University of Derby (where he currently serves as an associate professor in logistics), and brought the research program with him. The program now operates as part of the Centre for Supply Chain Improvement, which was opened at Derby that same year.
"In the U.K., we're a bit behind in [RFID] adoption," he says, compared with some other European countries and the United States. The center's work is intended to help businesses adopt the technology and quickly gain benefits.
With backing from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a British research funding agency, the center has created software that simulates the use of RFID, and allows a company to input information regarding its supply chain or operations, and then determine how the technology could resolve its problems. "It can be used to simulate the difference in performance between RFID and bar codes in reducing inefficiency caused by disruptions," Lim explains.
In developing the software, the researchers received assistance from Thai RFID company IdentifyRFID (to determine at what points RFID data could be captured), CartonEdge (a packaging company that provided consulting services about how tags could best be applied) and ATMS (a warehouse-management software developer and systems integrator).
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