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RFID News Roundup
Checkpoint Systems launches end-to-end tracking solution; new U.S. contactless vendor establishes production facility; Reva gets new funding, hires new CEO, launches RTLS; TransCore drives RFID implementation for Florida DOT; Savi adds I-GUIDES application to asset-management suite; The Kennedy Group unveils RFID middleware.
Apr 16, 2009—The following are news announcements made during the past week.
Checkpoint Systems Launches End-to-End Tracking Solution
Checkpoint Systems, a provider of RF- and RFID-based solutions for merchandise identification, tracking and security, has announced its Merchandise Visibility Solution, designed to help apparel and other retailers leverage radio frequency identification to track goods at the item-, case- and pallet-level across their entire supply chain. The solution is built on the OAT Foundation suite, acquired by Checkpoint Systems when it purchased OATSystems in June 2008 (see Checkpoint Systems Acquires RFID Software Company OATSystems). The OAT Foundation Suite is designed to help retailers make sense of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) data they collect, and to enable them to set up and enact business rules based on that information. The Merchandise Visibility Solution also leverages Checkpoint Systems' capabilities in shrink management, including hardware and tags, and its Check-Net global ticketing service (which produces and delivers retailer-ordered bar-coded tags and RFID tags to item manufacturing sites worldwide), as well as installation and maintenance services. "We've brought together all the required tags, software, hardware and services to give customers a one-stop shop for a comprehensive solution," says Paul Cataldo, Checkpoint Systems' VP of global marketing. According to Cataldo, businesses often need to work with multiple vendors to implement an end-to-end RFID-enabled system to track goods from the point of manufacture to the retail store. The companies must then hire a systems integrator to "bring everything in and stitch it together," he says, noting, "We've packaged it as a complete solution, with all the necessary labels, software, services. We can really be a business partner with them." At RFID Journal LIVE! 2009, being held on Apr. 27-29 in Orlando, Fla., Checkpoint Systems expects to announce that a European apparel retailer is using its new Merchandise Visibility Solution across the company's supply chain. Checkpoint plans to share its implementation story with attendees at the conference, where it will demonstrate the new solution and other products at Booth 420.
New U.S. Contactless Vendor Establishes Production Facility
ASK-intTag LLC, a joint venture between ASK, a French manufacturer of contactless microprocessor smart cards, contactless cards, paper tickets, and RFID smart paper labels, and label maker WS Packaging Group, has announced it has signed an agreement to lease space at an IBM facility in Essex Junction, Vt. At this location, the company will produce contactless inlays for a range of markets involving secure identification, including mass transit, bank cards, food, health care, gaming and event ticketing, The company will occupy approximately 15,000 square feet of a separate and secured space at the IBM site. "The importance of having a secure U.S.-based manufacturing operation for contactless cards and tickets is imperative if the full promise of RFID technology and its deployment is to be realized," said Terry Fulwiler, WS Packaging's CEO, in a prepared statement. "This is especially vital for such applications as secure identification and financial bank cards." According to ASK and WS Packaging, ASK-intTAG will be highly resistant to forgery, and will be the first U.S. contactless inlay manufacturer to print silver-based antennas on a paper substrate. ASK-intTAG was created in December 2008 (see RFID News Roundup: ASK, WS Packaging Form U.S. Venture to Produce Contactless Cards, Tickets).
Reva Gets New Funding, Hires New CEO, Launches RTLS
Reva Systems, a provider of RFID infrastructure, has announced it has closed a $5 million round of new venture funding, led by North Bridge Venture Partners and Charles River Ventures, the original backers since Reva's founding in 2004. The funds will be primarily used to expand Reva's global network of resellers and solution partners, the firm reports, and to drive new product offerings based upon Reva's Tag Acquisition Processor (TAP) technology. Reva has also named Bruce Berger as its new CEO. Previously, Berger served as president and CEO of Verrillon, a specialty fiber-optic company focused on applications in the oil and gas, military and avionics, and industrial markets. The company also recently unveiled a new product—the Reva-4-Healthcare system, a real-time location system (RTLS) that uses passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags to track assets, consumables and people. According to Reva Systems, the passive RTLS, co-developed with RTLS provider AeroScout, is intended to complement active, Wi-Fi-based real-time locating systems such as AeroScout's. The two companies began working together more than a year ago on a new version of AeroScout's RTLS that organizations can utilize with multiple RFID technologies (see AeroScout Unveils New Asset-Tracking Platform). To enable the tracking of passive UHF RFID tags, AeroScout worked with Reva to integrate its TAP appliance, which manages passive UHF RFID interrogators, including those complying with the EPC Gen 2 or ISO 18000-6C standard. The TAP appliance feeds data directly into MobileView 4.0. The new Reva-4-Healthcare system features Reva's EPC Gen 2 readers and TAPs, which are configured to work with AeroScout's MobileView RTLS platform software, included in the package.
TransCore Drives RFID Implementation for Florida DOT
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is employing RFID technology and software used for electronic toll collection from TransCore on Interstate 95, in Florida's Miami-Dade County. The implementation is part of a project known as 95 Express. Designed to create "non-stop, express" toll lanes for both high-occupancy vehicles and single drivers, 95 Express will leverage variable pricing, used during peak travel times to manage capacity and help maintain traffic flow at speeds greater than 45 miles per hour. The project received $62.9 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation, as part of the Urban Partnership Agreement to fight gridlock. I-95, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, carries more than 290,000 vehicles per day, with daily traffic volumes expected to exceed 360,000 vehicles by 2030. For the project, TransCore installed interrogators, antennas, violation enforcement systems and violation detection systems that allowed the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) to identify high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane violators. TransCore is providing around-the-clock maintenance and monitoring of the system.
Savi Adds I-GUIDES Application to Asset-Management Suite
Savi Technology has announced the extension of its SmartChain asset-management software with the integration of I-GUIDES (Integrated Global UID Enterprise Solution), a Web-based data management application designed to help the U.S. Department of Defense and its suppliers comply with the DOD's Item Unique Identification (IUID) and RFID requirements. I-GUIDES has been commercially available from Savi's parent company, Lockheed Martin, since 2004, and was recently transferred to Savi Technology. When incorporated with Savi's SmartChain solution, the company reports, I-GUIDES can help users go beyond DOD policy requirements to gain better control over the end-to-end visibility and management of their supply chain assets and inventory. Savi SmartChain I-GUIDES, a Web-based software solution that can be purchased through a license or a subscription, supports a range of data input approaches and printers to generate 2-D bar codes. The system can integrate data with passive and active RFID tags and other automatic-identification technologies, to associate items with the cases, pallets or containers transporting them, as well as monitor asset conditions, history and maintenance, or repair requirements.
The Kennedy Group Unveils RFID Middleware
The Kennedy Group, a Cleveland-based producer of labels, packaging and identification systems, and a provider of RFID equipment and services, has introduced eP360, a Web-based materials-control software package designed to track RFID-tagged assets and inventory in work-in-process (WIP) and other production, warehouse and distribution applications. The middleware is designed to collect tag data read by RFID interrogators, then assemble that information into usable formats that can be viewed in a browser-based application or fed into other systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The middleware extends The Kennedy Group's current lineup of RFID products, the company indicates. "By coupling the information to an intelligent software tracking tool," said Patrick Kennedy, the firm's VP of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement, "companies are finally able to access the data that allows them to effectively manage their capital expenses."
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