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Hong Kong Airport Says It Now Uses Only RFID Baggage Tags
By using baggage tags with embedded EPC Gen 2 tags, the airport has increased the number of bags it can process by 5 percent.
Matrics—an EPC RFID hardware developer and manufacturer later purchased by Symbol Technologies and, ultimately, by Motorola—was instrumental in helping plan the airport's original business case, says Pankaj Shukla, director of Motorola's business development for RFID. Specifically, Matrics supplied hardware and tags to HKIA's initial RFID pilot in 2005. Presently, HKIA employs more than 300 Motorola XR400 and AR400 fixed RFID readers installed at check-in locations and along conveyor belts throughout the airport.
Additionally, employees utilize Motorola MC9090-G RFID handheld interrogators to read a tag's RFID inlay in the event, for example, that a bag is misrouted and needs to be identified.
Since the introduction of integrated RFID tags, AAHK's communications office reports, the overall read-rate accuracy of the airport's baggage-handling system has increased from an average of 80 percent for bar-code-only tags to 97 percent for the integrated RFID tags. This efficiency gain enables the system to process approximately 5 percent more bags. As the number of bags being processed by automation increased, the average time required to process each piece of luggage has decreased, which is particularly important in easing baggage loads during peak hours.
"To maintain the position as one of the world's best airports, HKIA is committed to providing reliable and efficient services with world-class facilities to its passengers," AAHK's communications office writes. "The application of RFID technology is one of [the] good examples to showcase HKIA as a forward-looking airport."
Aviation has become a prominent market for RFID technology, notes Motorola's senior marketing manager, Chris Warner.
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