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Cold Chain Firm Joins EPC Effort

Sensitech, a company offering systems for monitoring the condition of perishable goods, is the center's newest sponsor.
Sep 20, 2002Sept. 20, 2002 -- Sensitech, a Beverly, Mass., company that offers hardware for monitoring the condition of perishable goods and software systems for analyzing information from its devices, has become the latest technology company to become an Auto-ID Center sponsor.

The company, founded 10 years ago, has a line of temperature, humidity, and dry-ice monitors. None of its existing products use radio frequency identification, but the company is considering moving in that direction.

"We have some things that we are working on that we are not ready to talk about at this point," says Becky DeWitt, marketing communications manager for Sensitech. "That is partly our interest in the Auto-ID Center. We are looking at the whole RFID area."

The movement of boxes through the supply chain has gotten almost all the attention in stories about the Auto-ID Center. Perishables that must be kept at certain temperatures and humidity levels as they travel through the so-called cold chain have seldom been written about.

But companies that move a great deal of perishables are probably more concerned about speed and efficiency than companies moving nonperishables. In May, Marks & Spencer announced plans to tag more than 3 million reusable trays, dollies and roll cages used to move food, in one of the largest projects of its kind ever undertaken.

Alien Technology has developed a long-range, high performance battery-powered tag and reader that operates at 2.45 GHz. It can be configuration to monitor and record temperatures at preset intervals, so companies can track the temperature of goods in storage or transit. But Sensitech is the first company focused solely on the cold chain to join the Auto-ID Center.

"RFID is obviously an area we are very interested in," says DeWitt. "We're an innovative company, and we're always looking for ways to bring what we are already doing well to other areas."
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