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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for February

Baird has released its February report. The 22-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Feb 14, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

February 14, 2008—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for February. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete 22-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 16, and following are the Key Developments:
  • Encouraging level of innovation. We are regularly seeing greater numbers of innovative market-specific RFID applications in a wide variety of areas, including: entertainment, event management, construction, chemicals, automotive, textiles, office management, mining, contactless payment, animal tracking, government and many others. While many of these pilots are in very early stages or are small, we believe the growing number confirms strong interest in RFID as a tool for improving business operations, and will provide the basis for increased growth potential as many of these pilots expand. We highlight several of these applications in the "Briefs" section.
  • Privacy remains an important issue. We continue to advocate that the industry address RFID related privacy issues before legislative action potentially impedes the technology. Many in the industry continue to believe that privacy is not a key issue, and are ignoring the increases in state legislative action that could hamper adoption. The latest is from the State Legislature in California, where the Senate voted to pass SB 31 by a 36 to 3 margin on January 30. Recall, SB31, originally proposed in December 2006, makes it a crime to skim personal information housed on RFID chips, tags or cards. We certainly agree with protecting privacy, and believe the industry needs to demonstrate how the technology addresses security. We look for the industry to promote increased education of state and federal legislators, their staffs and privacy advocates so that legislative actions are informed.
  • Metro update. Metro's pallet level deployment is showing good progress, and the retailer continues to expand the number of RFID pilots. In the Metro and Real Hyperstore deployment in Germany, we understand that Metro is seeing roughly 40% of pallets received with tags from roughly 180 suppliers. Recall, tagging began in October. Metro reports already seeing benefit, and believes early case level tests were "successful" in providing increased visibility. Further, in addition to the Galeria Kaufhof pilot, Metro is also planning to go live with a deep freeze (-100F/-240C) distribution center pilot.
  • Automotive increasingly in the news. This past month we have seen an unusually high level of information flow from the automotive industry, including Ford leveraging RFID for a smart truck application in the construction industry (see Ford Builds RFID into Pickups and Vans to Track Cargo), Land Rover using active RFID for part traceability and end product location (see Land Rover Embraces RTLS for Supply Chain and WIP), and Chrysler finally expanding use of RFID for production line maintenance applications. Given the high asset content in the automotive market, and the need for automakers to enhance productivity, we expect to see increased closed loop RFID usage.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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