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GuardRFID unveils proximity tag exciter for room- or bed-level location ••• Bluewater Health selects Awarepoint RTLS ••• Texas A&M picks Apptricity RFID solution to manage Corps of Cadets uniforms ••• Norway Post expands implementation of Nedap's multi-access RFID solution ••• Thinfilm, Ypsomed partner on NFC-enabled injection systems for self-medication ••• Fujitsu outfits work van with RFID, GPS, sensors and more.
By Beth Bacheldor

Texas A&M Selects Apptricity RFID Solution to Manage Corps of Cadets Uniforms

Apptricity, a provider of mobile enterprise solutions for supply chain management and spend management, has announced that Texas A&M University has selected Apptricity's RFID-based inventory-management solution. The university will use the solution to manage uniforms utilized by Texas A&M's Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. The system will be used at the Military Property Warehouse (MPW) located on the College Station campus, which stores and distributes uniforms for the Corps of Cadets. The full uniform cycle spans freshman through senior years, according to Apptricity.

The university will address possible tag replacement for current uniform expendable items using existing bar codes, as well as current uniform returnable and re-issuable items using existing RFID chips. In 2005, the university said it was using passive 13.56 MHz tags sewn into individual garments, including pants, skirts, shirts and jackets, that made up the three sets of uniforms assigned to each incoming freshman joining the Corps of Cadets (see Keeping Track of Cadets' Togs). Diane Mitchell, a spokesperson for Apptricity, says the exact makes and models of RFID tags currently in use at the university are not known, but that Apptricity will partner with Alien Technology for the new implementation. Alien will provide both mobile RFID readers (the ALH-901X) and fixed readers (the ALR-F800), Mitchell says, as well as a cart reader.

Apptricity will provide a cut-over plan for existing uniforms and install the hardware, including RFID tag installation, centralized software development and implementation provisions and updates, staff training and the handling of early-stage support calls.

According to Mitchell, Apptricity visited the MPW and devised a solution to meet the challenges that the university faced. The company evaluated the warehouse's size and physical layout to propose a combination of fixed and mobile RFID readers, reader antennas, and a mobile cart reader to handle inbound, in-stock inventory and outbound movement of uniform assets. The recommended software provides accurate data regarding inventory stock, tracks uniforms whether issued to cadets or in transit from the warehouse to uniform-cleaning facilities, and provides control and management of invoices created when assets are issued to cadets. The combination of asset-, inventory- and invoice-management capabilities allows the MPW to track uniforms and other expendable and non-expendable assets, provide inventory status reports, and manage invoice processing.

The solution will interface with the MPW inventory system, enabling management to immediately know the assets' supply status. The system also interfaces with the university's general ledger and accounts receivables, Mitchell adds, to generate invoices and update and track costs associated with MPW assets.

Implementation of the new asset and invoice system will be a phased process beginning next month, with full integration expected to take place by the second quarter of 2016.

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