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RFID News Roundup

SAP RFID-enables supply chain software; UPM Rafsec provides pharmaceutical tags; surveillance system links video to RFID tags; Secura Key debuts RFID-biometrics reader; ACNielsen opens RFID learning lab.
By Bob Violino
Apr 23, 2004The following are news announcements made during the week of Apr. 19.

SAP RFID-enables Supply Chain Software
SAP unveiled the latest version of its mySAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) software, which features new replenishment capabilities and the ability to manage RFID data to improve supply chain execution. The new responsive replenishment feature allows companies to automate the replenishment process on a daily or hourly level. The new SCM software's RFID capabilities leverage SAP's Auto-ID Infrastructure—an application and integration platform. Companies will be able to track pallets and cases with unique serial numbers and execute business processes within their warehouses and logistics operations. SAP says the software will help large and midsize manufacturers to meet RFID mandates from government agencies as well as from major retailers such as Wal-Mart, METRO and Target.

UPM Rafsec Provides Pharmaceutical Tags
UPM Rafsec, a Finnish company that designs and manufactures RFID tags and labels, has announced that it will supply 100,000 RFID label transponders this year to South Korean pharmaceutical manufacturer Unimed Pharm Co. The drugmaker will use RFID to identify individual packages of over-the-counter drugs and ensure they are not counterfeit. Incorporating a 13.56 MHz I-Code 1 chip, the tag is a round coil, 24 mm in diameter, that attaches to the inside of the cap of the container with a permanent adhesive. Once in place, the system will allow consumers to verify the authenticity of drugs they purchase at the pharmacy.

Surveillance System Links Video to RFID Tags
NTT Marketing Act, NTT Syscom, NTT West and Dai Nippon Printing of Japan have introduced a new video monitoring system that uses RFID tags. The ACTOS KIT has a Web camera equipped with an RFID reader. The camera is programmed to automatically track the movement of a person carrying an RFID tag and to transmit video pictures over a broadband Internet connection. The system can be used for remote monitoring in a warehouse or school. The ACTOS KIT includes a monitoring server, an RFID receiver and tags, a Web camera, a router, a network hub, application software and NTT West's B FLET'S broadband service in Japan. Prices for the system, which is available immediately, start at 2,850,000 yen (US$26,389).

; Secura Key Debuts RFID-Biometrics Reader
Secura Key, a Chadsworth, Calif.-based supplier of access control systems, has introduced a reader that combines 13.56 MHz RFID technology with fingerprint verification. Part of the company's e*Tag Quasar line, the new product is designed for security applications that require positive personnel identification. Fingerprint templates are encoded and encrypted in the memory of the RFID card, eliminating the need to store templates on a secure server. Verification of the fingerprint occurs in the e*Tag reader before the data is sent to the host system. The reader, which complies with the ISO 15693 and ISO 14443 standards, features both RS-485 and Wiegand communications formats.

ACNielsen Opens RFID Learning Lab
ACNielsen U.S., a Boca Raton, Fl.-based provider of marketing information, has opened an RFID "technology learning lab" at its Schaumburg, Ill., office. ACNielsen uses products’ bar codes to collect retail data, aggregates and analyzes that data and sells it to manufacturers and retailers. The primary focus of the lab is to make sure that ACNielsen can process Electronic Product Code (EPC) data, when its available at the item level, the same way it process bar code data today, according to ACNielsen's Ted Fichuk, senior vice president for global retail measurement services. Fichuk says his company is working with Intermec to understand the hardware and software requirements that will be needed to collect EPC data.

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