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ODIN Tracks Its Own Assets, and Those of Its Clients

At its new lab, the RFID services provider and systems integrator is using an EPC Gen 2 UHF system to protect the security of equipment, streamline the taking of inventory and demonstrate the technology's benefits.
By Claire Swedberg
With the new solution, each employee is provided with an RFID-enabled ID badge encoded and printed on a Zebra Technologies printer. The passive UHF EPC Gen 2 chip in the card stores a unique ID number linked to the employee's name and picture in ODIN's back-end system using InSync software. To date, Odin has attached RFID tags to approximately 100 assets, including IP phones and laptops. Like the badges, each asset tag contains an EPC Gen 2 tag encoded with a unique ID number that is linked, in the database, not only to such data as the item's description and serial number, but also with the picture and name of the worker assigned access to that particular asset.

When an employee carries a tagged asset through one of the facility's two doors (each of which is equipped with an IF61 Intermec reader), the asset's ID number, as well as the worker's badge data, is captured and transmitted to the InSync software system via a cabled connection. If someone attempts to remove that item from the building without authorization, the software detects an unexpected action, and it records the incident, along with the time and date it occurred, to be reviewed by the staff. According to Sweeney, in the next phase (currently in development), the system will alert security personnel via e-mail, as well as sound an audible alarm.

For inventory purposes, an employee can use an Intermec or Motorola handheld reader to sweep through the facility, locating each item and capturing its ID number to confirm that it is on the premises.

If clients bring their own assets to the lab for RFID testing, they can request that ODIN fit those items with RFID tags, which would trigger an alert if one of the assets were to leave the site. However, Sweeney says, because the items are being put through tests of RFID technology in the laboratory, the tags are designed to be easily removed in the lab so that they will not interfere with testing.

ODIN intends to install a similar system at its Dublin and Budapest locations sometime this year, Sweeney says. In addition, for the second phase of the Ashburn RFID installation, the company is testing RTLS solutions from Mojix and RF Control that would include an array of reader antennas that would send RF beams throughout the laboratory and other work areas, in order to capture ID numbers on the tags and use triangulation to pinpoint the items' locations.

In the past month, ODIN has conducted "a ton of tours and briefings," Sweeney says. "We find people are highly receptive to seeing the technology as soon as they walk in," he explains, indicating many visitors liked seeing RFID technology in use at the building. By employing the technology itself, he adds, ODIN can demonstrate to its customers that RFID works, and that the company is benefiting from its use. "Any client looking to buy RFID technology should ask the vendor, do you use this solution?"

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