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ARINC, Impeva Unveil Real-Time Supply Chain Tracking Solution

Designed to provide in-transit visibility of assets and goods, and currently being tested by the U.S. Army, the solution leverages a variety of RFID technologies including mesh networking and wireless sensors.
By Beth Bacheldor
Jan 02, 2009ARINC, a provider of communications and engineering solutions as well as systems integration to government, defense and commercial organizations, and Impeva Labs, a provider of global asset management and optimization systems and services, are unveiling a new real-time supply chain tracking solution designed to provide companies with in-transit visibility of their assets and goods.

The solution, called Asset Assure, leverages a variety of RFID technologies including mesh networking and wireless sensors that can measure a variety of conditions including temperature, humidity, movement, shocks and intrusions (such as a door opening on a container). ARINC says Asset Assure can be used in a variety of markets to monitor mobile assets, such as locomotives, railcars, trucks, trailers and sea vessels; intermodal containers; fixed assets such as pipelines and oil platforms; and high-value components such as jet engines.

The Global Sentinel Unit (GSU), which can be mounted directly onto a vehicle or container, serves as an RFID interrogator and communications gateway.

Asset Assure is commercially available now and can be customized to meet the customers' needs. The solution is derived from a solution ARINC and Impeva designed for the U.S. Army Logistics Innovation Agency (LIA), as part of a five-year, $20 million contract awarded in 2006 to deliver a next-generation wireless communications solution for the tracking, safeguarding and monitoring of containerized shipments containing arms, ammunition, and explosives.

Asset Assure is designed to do more than simply track assets, says Jim Potter, a senior manager with ARINC. It includes tracking, monitoring, security and tracing (by combining data from multiple entities that can provide information on location, environmental conditions and more).

"When you put something in a shipping container and lock it up, you want to know who handles it and when, and you'd like to know if the shipment is late and not going to be where it is supposed to be. But you'd also like to know if the container is opened at any point along the way, and perhaps you want to know what the temperature is inside and whether shocks occurred to the container. And you want to know all this in a very real-time sense," Potter says. "This is in-transit visibility, and that is what Asset Assure provides."

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