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RFID Weekly News Roundup May 21, 2009

This article highlights RFID news and developments from this past week. Other than a noteworthy plant closing in the US, international customer wins, product releases and partnership agreements produced most of the news.
May 22, 2009This article was originally published by RFID Update.

May 22, 2009—Other than a noteworthy plant closing in the US, international customer wins, product releases and partnership agreements produced most of the news in the RFID industry this week.
  • Hong Kong International Airport will use up to 70 million RFID baggage tags annually from a new contract awarded to Alien Technology, Avery Dennison, Motorola and Print-O-Tape. More than 70 airlines participate in the baggage tagging program at the airport, which has successful read rates of about 97 percent, according to the announcement.

    The increased tag volume the contract demands apparently isn't enough to keep an Alien plant open. The company is shutting down its inlay production plant in Fargo, North Dakota. The facility and the innovative production processes used there which were once considered among the company's key assets for competing in the RFID market. The Grand Forks Herald reports the facility will close in June but that Alien has not decided whether the shutdown will be permanent.
  • Altierre, which provides RFID-based digital signage for retailers, announced it will implement a solution for an unnamed retailer with more than 1,000 stores in the US.
  • French apparel retailer Serge Blanco deployed an item-level solution from TAGSYS to help track the more than one million apparel items that pass through its supply chain every year. The company expects a 10x reduction in the time to manage inbound and outbound items at its distribution center. See more coverage here.
  • Indian RTLS provider PervCom announced a 2.4 GHz mesh network solution for tracking industrial assets.
  • German manufacturer iDTRONIC introduced a ruggedized handheld UHF reader terminal that is IP54 rated for protection against particles and liquids. It includes Bluetooth, USB and WiFi interfaces and offers optional wide-area wireless connectivity to GSM, GPRS and EDGE networks.
  • NFC Forum, the industry association for near field communication technology, announced two new specifications it hopes will drive development of NFC devices.
  • WiFi-based RTLS solution provider Ekahau announced that Berlin's Protestant Kšnigin Elisabeth Herzeberge Hospital will equip personnel in its psychiatric ward with badge tags for real-time location and improved safety in emergency situations.
  • Innovision announced that it and semiconductor giant NXP signed a joint marketing and licensing agreement for NFC. The two companies will offer combined technology for other manufacturers in the NFC value chain to implement in their products.
  • Austria's RF-iT Solutions has introduced an RFID system for libraries that uses EPC Gen2 UHF tags, which is notable because library systems typically use HF technology.
  • Sky-Trax, a developer of optical tracking systems in Delaware, added LogTrek of Munich, Germany to its reseller network. LogTrek will market Sky-Trax systems to warehouse and material handling operations throughout Europe, according to the announcement.
  • Bartronics, an international technology integrator with offices in India, will distribute products from Mumbai-based Essen RFID, which produces software, antennas, readers and other products. Bartronics also recently won a contract to install an RFID system at a slaughterhouse in Delhi. See more details here and here.
  • Hong Kong-based RFID hardware manufacturer CSL announced it will resell the full line of tag products from Silicon Valley's Omni-ID. CSL makes the long-range CS101 Gen2 handheld reader, and Omni-ID manufactures tags designed for operation in RF-hostile environments. Both companies have been profiled by RFID Update (see CSL Has Long Range Plans for RFID Market and Omni-ID Getting Comfortable in RF-Hostile Environments). The new agreement will see CSL expand Omni-ID's penetration of the Asian market.
Previously this week, RFID covered:
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