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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for April

Baird has released its April report. The fourteen-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Apr 24, 2006This article was originally published by RFID Update.

April 24, 2006—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co., known to most simply as "Baird", has released its RFID Monthly for April. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete fourteen-page document is available free here. The report includes its usual matrix of primary RFID providers on page 11, and following are the Key Developments:
  • Baird RFID Survey Suggests RFID Moving Forward. We conducted a survey of 30 potential users of RFID technology regarding expectations for piloting and deployment of Generation 2. Our survey was consistent with comments from industry contacts that suggest widespread piloting, a significant technological improvement with Gen2 technology, an expectation of additional mandate pressure from Wal-Mart, and rollouts likely beginning in 2007 and 2008.
  • Wal-Mart Mandate Continues with Change in Leadership. Wal-Mart announced that Rollin Ford will replace Linda Dillman as executive vice president and chief information officer. Ford was previously Wal-Mart's executive vice president of logistics and supply chain and has been a member of the company's RFID executive steering committee for three years. At a recent Wal-Mart sponsored conference of CIOs, Ford indicated that Wal-Mart has no plans to slow down its RFID initiatives, and confirmed that acceptance of Gen1 shipments would cease on June 30. Our survey revealed that 71% of end users expect Wal-Mart to increase mandate pressure in the future. Wal-Mart is hosting an RFID industry meeting April 25-26 in Dallas.
  • More Pharma RFID piloting. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it will begin putting RFID tags on bottles of Trizivir, an HIV medicine. Working with IBM to develop this RFID system, GSK chose Trizivir for the pilot program because the FDA has identified it as one of 32 drugs most susceptible to counterfeiting and diversion. GSK expects the tagged product will begin to reach the market in mid-April.
  • HF/UHF Debate for Item-Level Tracking Underway. EPCglobal provided an opportunity for hardware vendors to demonstrate their passive LF, HF, and UHF solutions for tagging at the item level using seven different scenarios (e.g., DVDs, pharma). The goal was to allow end users to see how each technology performed, and to enable the industry to evaluate if changes to existing standards or new standards need to be addressed. EPCglobal is evaluating the data and expects to follow up through its Item-Level Tagging Joint Requirements Group. While many still have doubts about using UHF at the item level, the event seemed to fuel the ongoing debate over which technology to use.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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