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RFID News Roundup

EU study finds only 3 percent of European enterprises use RFID; RadarFind intros alarm capability for RTLS to halt asset loss, theft or damage; Rauland-Borg links nurse call system with RTLS; International Coding Technologies offers ruggedized EPC Gen 2 tag for less than $1; logistics provider Damco to use Savi Networks' wireless tracking service; Mexican Border Patrol, state governments to leverage RFID for vehicle registration, tracking.
By RFID Journal
Jan 21, 2010The following are news announcements made during the past week.

EU Study Finds Only 3 Percent of European Enterprises Use RFID
A report published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union (EU), finds that only 3 percent of European enterprises currently use RFID technology. The survey, entitled "ICT Usage in Enterprises 2009," queried organizations with at least 10 employees in a variety of markets. Of those using RFID, 56 percent of the enterprises indicated they utilize the technology for tracking and identifying personnel and controlling access, while 29 percent use it for supply chain and inventory tracking, 25 percent for payment and toll applications, 24 percent for product identification, 21 percent for monitoring industrial production and 15 percent for service and maintenance information management. In a breakdown of RFID usage by country, the nations with the highest percentage of enterprises using RFID were the Netherlands (9 percent), Finland (8 percent), and Germany, Spain, Austria and Slovakia (4 percent each), while Greece, Cyprus and Romania had the lowest (all at 1 percent). The nations with the highest usage of RFID for supply chain and inventory tracking were Spain (44 percent of RFID-using enterprises), Ireland (43 percent) and Lithuania (43 percent), while those with the highest usage of RFID for product identification were Greece (57 percent of RFID-using enterprises), France (49 percent) and Lithuania (43 percent).

RadarFind Intros Alarm Capability for RTLS to Halt Asset Loss, Theft or Damage
RadarFind, a provider of RFID-based real-time location systems (RTLS), is now offering Sentry AV, an alarm system that works in conjunction with RadarFind's RTLS. Sentry AV includes an alarm device mounted near a doorway, that listens for the signals of RadarFind RFID tags attached to hospital equipment. If the Sentry AV senses that a tagged asset is approaching a laundry facility, an exit or any other exclusion zone, it can alert staff members via e-mail, a pager or a RadarFind user computer screen, as well as by audible and visible alerts, thereby preventing damage to or theft of the unit. RadarFind's system includes active RFID devices to track small cardiac telemetry units used to monitor patients' heart rates, in addition to wheelchairs, IV pumps and other medical equipment, and sensors to monitor the temperatures of refrigerators used to store medicines and vaccines. Sentry AV can also work with RadarFind's sensors and temperature-tracking applications, triggering an alarm if temperatures within a monitored refrigerator or freezer vary outside a pre-determined range. RadarFind developed Sentry AV because a customer, Mary Washington Hospital, located in Fredericksburg, Va., needed a way to alert employees when telemetry units were headed toward laundry or exit areas. The hospital began deploying RadarFind in early 2009 to track the locations of hundreds of cardiac telemetry units and other assets, as well as to monitor refrigerator temperatures (see Mary Washington Hospital to Deploy RFID Facility-Wide). "Sentry AV is another step towards supporting the 'location and status aware' hospital," said Michael Nelson, RadarFind's president, in a prepared statement. "The addition of a sensor alarm will further enhance the system's ability to help hospitals manage resource demands."

Rauland-Borg Links Nurse Call System With RTLS
Rauland-Borg Corp., a provider of nurse call communications, has announced that its Responder 5 Nurse Call system can now work with a variety of real-time location systems. The integration will enable Responder 5 to leverage data culled from an RTLS. For example, when a nurse wearing an RFID tag walks into a room to which she or he has been called by a patient, the RTLS can communicate that information to the Responder 5 Nurse Call system, which can then automatically cancel the patient call by lighting the nurse call corridor light above the door. The Responder 5 Nurse Call system and an RTLS can work simultaneously to update location information, eliminate redundancy, and provide productivity and response reports for the hospital's records, Rauland-Borg reports, thereby making it feasible for hospitals to track and record staff duties throughout their facility. The integration, for example, can help hospitals locate and call the caregiver closest to a patient in need. Rauland-Borg worked with several RTLS providers, including AeroScout, Centrak, Versus Technology and Visonic Technologies, to develop an open application programming interface (API) that allows for integration between the Responder 5 Nurse Call system and those companies' RTLS products.

International Coding Technologies Offers Ruggedized EPC Gen 2 Tag for Less Than $1
International Coding Technologies (ICT), a Lynnfield, Mass., provider of tracking technologies for the concrete industry, reports that its ruggedized ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags, designed for tracking concrete, steel, pallets and other assets, are now available for less than a $1 apiece with volume orders. The tag, which contains a passive 900 MHz, EPC Gen 2 RFID inlay, combines human-readable format, a bar code and RFID. The inlay is sealed in a watertight, dust-proof plastic casing that can be permanently attached to products in harsh environments. It is available in three variations: Cast-A-Code for concrete (see Precast Concrete Manufacturers Use RFID), Steel Code for steel structures, and Pallet Code, which comes with an adhesive backing or screw holes for attachment. The ruggedized tag is available with a variety of RFID inlays from numerous vendors; the only requirement is that the inlay fit into the plastic casing, which measures 4 inches by 1 inch. ICT also offers TrackCon, a PC-based handheld computer with a reader that collects and compiles tag data for product identification, quality control and production-tracking applications. TrackCon can be linked with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing resource planning (MRP) systems.

Logistics Provider Damco to Use Savi Networks' Wireless Tracking Service
Damco, a provider of freight-forwarding and supply-chain-management services, has selected Savi Networks' SaviTrak wireless tracking intelligence service to help improve the visibility, security and safety of global container shipments for its customers. SaviTrak features battery-powered tags that serve as a seal to a container's door, and are embedded with a GPS receiver to locate its position and, in some cases, sensors for monitoring conditions within that container. The tags also contain a GPRS transponder to transmit ID, location and sensor data over a cellular connection, thereby enabling companies to monitor their containers' status in real time, as long as the tags are within cellular range. If a container is opened or its tag is damaged, an alert is sent to the container's owners and other authorized parties, warning them of the event. Damco indicates it plans to incorporate this technology into its logistics service offerings, in order to provide real-time, automated intelligence regarding the location and status of customer shipments. "SaviTrak delivers a value-added tracking service that brings new levels of automated visibility, security and safety to global shipments," said Jens Wessel, Damco North America's VP, in a prepared statement. "We're pleased to offer SaviTrak to our valued customers to improve operations, performance and service, as well as deepen supply chain collaboration among our customers and partners."

Mexican Border Patrol, State Governments Leverage RFID Vehicle Registration
Neology, a provider of RFID-based applications including border control, vehicle registration, high-value pharmaceutical control, electronic toll collection, supply chain, passports and secure documents, has announced it has been awarded a multimillion-dollar extension to its existing contract with Banjercito, the Mexican Army Bank, which is responsible for controlling every entry and exit point into and out of Mexico, including seaports. Under the terms of the contract, Neology will provide passive RFID tags, interrogators and software integration to Banjercito. The contract, now in its tenth year, will incorporate license plate recognition (LPR) technology for the first time. Banjercito first began working with Neology to develop a fully integrated passive RFID-based electronic vehicle registration solution, in order to control the import and export of vehicles, immigration and security. Currently, according to Neology, every vehicle that enters or exits the country is issued a personalized permit, and Neology's fully integrated EVR solution has enabled Banjercito to automate and track tax transactions, compliance and tolling for both temporary and permanent vehicle importation. The integration of LPR technology will enable Banjercito to instantly cross-reference inputs from an RFID-based windshield tag and the LPR system. Neology's RFID-based windshield tags can be read on tagged vehicles traveling at 100 mph, the company reports. Neology has also announced that it has been awarded contracts by three states in Mexico to supply passive RFID tags, readers, handheld devices and integrated software. The contracts from the States of Campeche, Tamaulipas and Nayarit are some of the first to be awarded as part of the nation's REPUVE (National Public Vehicle Registry) initiative, the first phase of which was awarded to Neology in late 2008. "This solution when fully implemented will go a very long way to fighting crime in Mexico, and we are very proud to play a role in this process," said Francisco Martinez de Velasco, Neology's president and CEO, in a prepared statement.
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