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RFID News Roundup

Dayton recycles with RFID; Mammoth Mountain plans mammoth RFID installation; NephSystem Technologies unveils active RFID ultra-long-range tag; SCM Microsystems intros UHF desktop reader; NFC Forum publishes new application-level specification.
Oct 06, 2011The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Dayton Recycles With RFID
RFID manufacturer and services provider Alien Technology has announced that it and systems integrator CDO Technologies have provided an RFID-enabled trash-tracking system to the city of Dayton, Ohio. The project's goal is to lower the city's recycling costs and increase participation in its existing recycling efforts. Dayton, which has a population of more than 200,000, has been challenged with the increasing costs associated with sending refuse to landfills, according to Alien Technology—costs equaling more than $30 per ton from the city's 67,000 homes. The solution, deployed by CDO, consists of EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags attached to the recycling bins, as well as CDO's High Value Asset Tracking (HVAT) platform and Alien's ALR-9900+ readers installed on trucks used for collecting recyclable trash. The HVAT platform integrates with the Alien hardware and parses the data culled by the RFID technology, in order to generate reports and provide Dayton's officials with better visibility into its recycling efforts; that information can then be used to help the city plan its routes, schedules, budgets and usage rates. According to Robert Zielinski, CDO Technologies' director of commercial marketing, the solution also leverages a global positioning satellite (GPS) unit attached to each recycling truck's tip arm. That allows for the capture of both the bins' tag numbers and the GPS coordinates of the location where the bin was emptied. The information is then stored on an on-board CPU, Zielinski explains, and is automatically uploaded to the city's server when a wireless connection is established on the city's network. Dayton's officials claim that the RFID-based program has resulted in a 40 percent increase in recycling participation, Alien reports, as well as an increase in recycled material from 200 to 535 tons, during just the first few months of operation. The program has also allowed the city to restructure routes, renegotiate recycling rates and balance staffing, the company adds, leading to a projected return on investment in less than 12 months, and an annual savings of more than $100,000.

Mammoth Mountain Plans Mammoth RFID Installation
Mammoth Mountain, a ski resort in California, has kicked off a five-year enhancement plan this winter season that includes what it claims is the largest RFID gate system for ski resorts in North America. The resort installed a total of 68 RFID gates across 19 lifts throughout the summer of 2011, and expects to be ready for the opening day of the 2011/12 season, scheduled for Nov.10, 2011. Mammoth Mountain's RFID technology was provided by Axess North America, the North American division of Axess AG, an Austrian provider of secure and customized solutions in ticketing and admission management. The firm is using Axess North America's AX500 SmartGate with a gantry mount, a double antenna and a flap gate; the system supports the ISO 15693 standard. The gantry posts, mounted on both sides of each lane, are equipped with antennas on both sides. Two AX500 Flap modules, mounted at the left and right posts, open automatically when presented with a valid lift pass containing an embedded 13.56 passive RFID inlay, and the opening of the flap arms serves as a clear signal to the skiers or snowboarders to proceed. The ski resort is implementing the new RFID-enabled system to reduce wait times at lift and ticket-window lines. Using the RFID-enabled MyMammoth passes, which can be reloaded with lift-access credits online or over the phone, guests can bypass ticket windows altogether and head straight to the lifts. The RFID gates being installed are on a more flexible gantry system capable of rising and lowering 8 vertical feet, in order to accommodate the rising and falling snowpack experienced throughout the winter season. Previously, the resort reports, RFID gantry systems were only capable of 6 feet of vertical movement, but due to the large amounts of snow that Mammoth Mountain receives—as evidenced by the 660 inches that fell during the 2010/11 winter season—additional vertical movement was required. Other improvements that skiers can expect to see include a new Doppelmayr high-speed quad chairlift to replace Chair 5; a fixed-grip, 3-seat lift; new products, programs and guest-service initiatives; and new dining options for children at all food venues.

NephSystem Technologies Unveils Active RFID Ultra-Long-Range Tag
NephSystem Technologies, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, has announced the completion of its 2.45 GHz IP67-rated heavy-duty active RFID tag, which the company says is designed to endure exposure to extreme environmental and physical conditions. The NSAT-704 tag can be placed on any type of surface, NephSystem reports, including large metal objects, without significant performance degradation. When used with the firm's infrastructure products, such as its NSAR-800 reader, a customer can create a system for tracking, locating and securing inventory and other assets placed in areas exposed to extreme weather conditions and physical stress. When utilized with the NSAR-800 interrogator, the new tag supports a read distance up to 1,500 meters (4,921 feet), according to the company. The NSAT-704 tag employs industrial PVC housing, and has an IP67 protection rating, making it impervious to water and dust. It contains a 0.13um CMOS integrated circuit (IC), offers ultra-low power consumption and has a battery life of up to six years. The NSAT-704 tag's anti-collision feature allows for a simultaneous read of up to 200 tags. The tag has an internal 1,600-mAh lithium battery; measures 12 centimeters (4.7 inches) long, 5 centimeters (2 inches) wide and 1.5 centimeters (0.6 inch) in height; weighs 82 grams (2.9 ounces); and can operate in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to +158 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees to +70 degrees Celsius).

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