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Brazil Is Poised to Become a Major Player in RFID

The United States has been a leader in the radio frequency identification industry to date, but Brazil is emerging as a potential player as well, thanks to a number of deployments and innovations within that country.
By Mark Roberti
Oct 27, 2014

To date, the United States has been a leader in the radio frequency identification industry. The concept of the Electronic Product Code and the original air-interface protocol standard were developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Moreover, American technology companies, including Avery Dennison, Impinj and Motorola Solutions, are among the largest providers of RFID hardware.

There are several European and Asian RFID companies, most notably Smartrac, of the Netherlands. Now, Brazil is emerging as a potential player in the RFID industry. Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Eletrônica Avançada S.A. (National Center for Advanced Electronic Technology, CEITEC) is a government-backed company that has developed a passive ultrahigh-frequency chip based on the EPC standard. The company has ambitions to be a global player, and government incentives given to Brazilian companies to use the CEITEC chip in their RFID tags could give it an advantage locally that would translate into revenue to expand internationally.

Photo: RFID Journal
Hewlett-Packard Brasil has been a leader in employing RFID within its own operations. The company is using RFID on its printer manufacturing line to improve visibility and to manage the recycling of printers (HP Brasil has won two RFID Journal Awards; see Keeping Tabs on Printers and Extracting New Value From Old Printers). It plans to add RFID transponders to PCs and laptops made in Brazil, giving it more knowledge of RFID than most high-tech companies.

HP Brasil is also developing a cloud-computing platform designed specifically to enable RFID data to be stored in the cloud. The platform, which is currently in the prototype stage and was displayed at RFID Journal LIVE! 2014 (in the United States and Brazil), features drag-and-drop functionality that would allow users to configure applications based on their business processes. It also will have business intelligence tools that will provide analysis of RFID data.

Acura Global and other Brazilian RFID companies are producing readers and tags. The Brazilian government often provides incentives to help local companies. Retailers, for example, that are tagging and tracking apparel could receive tax breaks. This could give the use of RFID a boost in Brazil.

Brascol, a wholesaler of baby and children's apparel, needed no such incentive. It embraced RFID for the business benefits. The company tagged 35,000 stock-keeping units, and is currently using 70,000 tags per day, which it purchases from a local manufacturer. It has achieved significant benefits and will soon require its suppliers to buy the tags and put them on items. RFID was part of Memove's business plan when the Brazilian retail chain launched in 2011 with RFID-enabled stores.

The Brazilian military has been using RFID at logistics centers to increase the efficiency of distributing supplies to soldiers. Many other companies, such as Petrobras (the national oil company), Vale (a global mining company) and Veiling Holambra (a large horticultural cooperative), are using RFID in a big way. Expect to see Brazil continue to outpace many other areas of the world in adoptiing the technology.

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