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Baggage-Tagging Projects Gaining Altitude
Hong Kong and Las Vegas airports are upgrading and ramping up their RFID bag-tagging efforts.
Apr 18, 2008—In January, Hong Kong International Airport announced that it had retrofitted all baggage-tag printers at its check-in counters to accommodate RFID-enabled tags, and also installed RFID interrogators in all of its baggage-handling equipment. The airport has now contracted George Schmitt & Co. to be its provider of RFID-enabled baggage labels.
Mary Ann Allen, George Schmitt's director of business development, says that while she can not reveal the size of the contract, the label converter will employAlien Technology's EPC Gen 2 Squiggle inlay, using Alien's Higgs 2 integrated circuit in the baggage tag, exclusively. The contract is for one year, according to Mark Turner, assistant general manager of Hong Kong International Airport's terminal business office.
According to Allen, George Schmitt & Co. continually tests inlays from various tag manufacturers and is tag agnostic—it converts Motorola inlays into baggage labels used by Las Vegas' McCarran Airport, for instance. She adds, however, that based on her experience with the Alien Squiggle tag, she considered it the best candidate to satisfy the Hong Kong airport's requirement for performance and price. The airport, having performed its own tests of submitted Gen 2 labels, agreed.
Hong Kong International Airport, like many others, has been testing RFID baggage tracking for a number of years, using baggage labels containing RFID inlays made by Motorola, but Allen says it is the first airport to deploy an EPC Gen 2 system rollout beyond the pilot stage. The airport began using Gen 2 labels produced exclusively by George Schmitt roughly two weeks ago.
"Our read rates before were good," Turner says, "and have been improved by an average of 3 percent with the George Schmitt & Co. labels."
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