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Encrypta's GateSuite Provides On-Site Security
The company’s Crypta Data Tag allows trucking yards to monitor loaded trailers and tractors, enhancing security and facilitating scheduling.
Aug 08, 2005—Encrypta, the electronic seal specialist division of Swiss company Unisto, has extended its GateSuite RFID trucking asset management system to include on-site security. The company says that with changes to its Crypta Data Tag and a new software module, dubbed YardTrak, GateSuite now provides a way for companies to monitor unauthorized access to trailers in their trucking yards.
"RFID is a long way from being a panacea for everybody," says Mark Haywood, sales and marketing director at Encrypta's electronic seals division, "but there is a real return in using it to track tractors, trailers and assets in a distribution yard."
GateSuite already included two software modules—GateTrak for managing tractor and trailer assets in a yard, and GateHouse for ensuring that tractors and trailers leaving distribution yards are correctly combined. Both systems use the 134.2 kHz battery-powered Crypta Data Tag. The tag is used as a security seal for loaded trailers, in conjunction with the company’s interrogators, which are deployed at yard exits; the system automates the checking out of trucks and their loads, while the tag generates a random seal number that is transmitted to an interrogator at the gate.
Encypta's GateSuite system also uses passive RFID tags and interrogators from Texas Instruments. While trailers are sealed with active tags, passive tags operating in 134.2 kHz are mounted on tractors and trailers so both can be tracked as they leave the yard. The active tag interrogator is mounted at the exit gate of a distribution yard, with the passive tag interrogators buried in the road surface in the approach to the gate.
U.K. logistics company Bibby Distribution has been using the GateSuite system to track and manage tractors and trailers leaving its Scunthorpe distribution yard. But the company also expressed an interest in using the system for monitoring loaded trailers in its yard. In response, Encrypta has reconfigured its Crypta tag to signal when it has sealed a loaded trailer, and when that seal is broken.
To make sure the system picks up the signals, Encrypta interrogators will be deployed throughout the yard, not just at the gates (as they are at present). Each Crypta active tag has a read range of up to 100 meters (328 ft), says Encrypta; a single interrogator could cover up to six loading bays. The seal/unseal signals from the Cypta tags are collected and managed by the new YardTrak application.
Aside from adding security, the new system will also help yard managers with depot scheduling, because it will automatically let them know exactly when a trailer has been loaded. According to Encrypta, many trucking operations still use a white board and employees equipped with two-way radios to locate and monitor trailers within their depots. Active RFID tags provide an automated method to know where trucks and trailers are in the yard, as well as which trailers are loaded and which are available.
In addition to Biddy Distribution, Encrypta has also installed its trucking asset management system at the U.K. arm of parcel shipping company Geopost, while U.K. retailer Tesco is using GateSuite in an ongoing trial.
Encypta's Crypta Data Tags cost £450 ($800) each; the passive tags for trailers and tractors cost £28 ($50) apiece. Active interrogators each cost £1100 ($1,955), while a passive interrogator costs £1600 ($2,845). GateSuite software starts at £15,000 ($266,80).
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