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Taiwan Customs Officials Adopt RFID-enabled Container Seals

Officials at Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan's busiest port, have introduced the seals with EPC Gen 2 chips to improve security and reduce the need for officers to escort cargo containers.
By Dave Friedlos
In early 2008, Yeon Technologies began testing Speedway interrogators in 20 lanes at Kaohsiung Harbor, in order to demonstrate their performance and durability in harsh environments. During trials, Tai says, the YTE-100 outperformed other e-seal designs and Kaohsiung Customs chose to test 4,200 of the e-seals during the pilot.

"The requirements were very simple," Tai explains. "Kaohsiung Customs wanted a secure bolt with a read rate accuracy of 95 percent or higher, and a read range of 7 meters [23 feet] even when trucks are traveling at 60 kilometers [37 miles] per hour or more. Furthermore, once destroyed or cut off, the e-seal must stop functioning to ensure cargo has not been tampered with. If an e-seal could be reused, then there is no guarantee that the container has not been opened at some point during transit."


To seal a container door, the Yeon YTE-100's bolt locks onto the device's body. If the bolt is cut or removed, its RFID chip ceases to function.
The YTE-100 seal's RFID chip complies with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards, and operates at a frequency between 860 and 960 MHz. The YTE-100 also complies with the ISO/PAS 17712 standard for mechanical seals used on freight containers.

To seal a container's door, the YTE-100's bolt is inserted into the device's body. This locks the bolt and body together, thereby establishing an electrical connection between the chip embedded in the bolt and an antenna within the body, which enables the chip's encoded ID number to be interrogated. The e-seal can endure a force of up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds), but if broken, it will cease to function.

Impinj's Speedway readers were chosen because they feature high receive sensitivity to increase the effective read range, patented AutoSet functionality to configure the interrogators to deliver the highest read reliability, and dynamic antenna switching to optimize each antenna's read time based on the number of RFID tags within the field of view.

"Customs trialed active e-seals, but cost was an issue," Tai states. "It wanted a low-cost system that still provided the same benefits—passive e-seals have no batteries, but are robust, have a unique ID code and provide security for the containers."

Yeon Technologies initially conducted field tests at a Taiwanese industrial park, where real container trucks traveled past the RFID readers at speeds of up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour. The result during testing was a read rate accuracy of 97 percent, Tai reports, with the read range extending as far as 18 meters (59 feet) in several cases.

USER COMMENTS

Ray KAO 2009-03-26 11:46:45 PM
This is a fictitious information The Kaohsiung Harbor (customs department) authorizes the Chung Shan Institue of Science & Technology (CSIST) to integrate the whole system. CSIST divides this bid into 4 sub-bids as follows: 1. Sub-Bid 1 “40 units of UHF RFID fixed readers”: The winner of this bid is “Northern Lights Semiconductor Corp (NLSC/Taiwan)” which is the Alien’s reseller in Global China. NLSC supplies 40 pcs. of Alien’s reader ”ALR-9900-TAI”. Thus, Yeon’s press release is not true. 2. Sub-Bid 2 “Antenna”: CSIST designs and make the antennas. 3. Sub-Bid 3 “E-Seal Tag”: CSIST designs and Alexan Inc. produces e-seal, Yeon just resells this products 4. Sub-Bid 4 “Software”: CSIST and III (Institute for Information Industry) cooperate to complete system integration This is the truth regarding the case of Kaohsiung Harbor (Taiwan Customs). Please revise the false report. Our lawyer will send the warning letter to Yeon soon. Ray Kao Northern Lights Semiconductor Corp./ Taiwan
Leo Tien 2009-04-03 09:29:57 PM
Matter of Fact 1) Since 2008, the first bid of 40 Alien readers has been gradually and mostly replaced by the subsequent bids won by Impinj Speedway Readers. 2) The Impinj readers used in Kouhsiung Harbor are provided by Yeon Technologies, Impinj’s distributor in the Greater China region. 3) The passive UHF eSeals used to track the transit containers in Kaohsiung Harbor were sold by Alexan Tech. Yeon Technologies and Alexan Tech formed an agreement that Yeon Technologies can market the eSeals under the Yeon brand. 4) CSIST contracted Yeon Technololgies in a 2009 government project to promote the eSeals and the successful use case of Kaohsiung Harbor. This global promotion project started in Feb, 2009 as the Kaohsiung Customs Office announced its launch of the RFID eSeal system. / Impinj, Alexan Tech and Yeon Technologies

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