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RFID News Roundup

ODIN unveils new IT asset-management software for RFID; European consumer goods companies test RFID to improve stock turnover; CAEN RFID releases new RFID temperature logger; American University in Dubai adopts RFID to secure diplomas; Qatar's new Doha airport to feature Crisplant bar-code/RFID baggage system; Axcess International releases new software for its Dot Wireless Credential.
Mar 25, 2010The following are news announcements made during the past week.

ODIN Unveils New IT Asset-Management Software for RFID
ODIN Technologies has released a new software package designed to help its current customers add RFID-based asset-tracking capabilities to their existing enterprise asset-management software, without having to develop a lot of custom code for such things as device management and RFID read-filtering. This integration with the enterprise solutions, the company reports, is enabled by ODIN's EasyEdge device-management software. The new software, called Intelligent Asset Management (I AM), can be used to track IT assets in a data center or office environment. I AM is available as a complete solution that ships with EPC Gen 2 UHF RFID hardware, such as handheld readers, passive tags and portals, with RFID tables and carts available as options. I AM can also be utilized as a stand-alone system, and can help organizations currently using more manual-intensive, spreadsheet-driven tracking become more efficient. If an organization later chooses to deploy an enterprise asset-management solution, ODIN reports, the data is already structured and consistent, and can be integrated to the enterprise asset-management system. According to ODIN, the RFID software can help organizations better manage inventory of their IT assets, automate the receiving and provisioning processes of such assets, and improve the security of those items. "ODIN's goal is to ensure RFID solutions are both accurate and easy to use," said Patrick Sweeney, ODIN Technologies' founder, in a prepared statement. "In our past deployments we could reliably ensure RFID system accuracy, but found our customers struggling with integrating RFID into their physical asset management and security processes. ODIN developed I AM so end users would finally have an easy-to-use RFID asset tracking solution that can augment traditional enterprise asset management software or operate stand-alone."

European Consumer Goods Companies Test RFID to Improve Stock Turnover
The University of Parma's RFID Lab has launched the second phase of a project designed to test radio frequency identification's potential to increase turnover rates at retail and manufacturing organizations by reducing and preventing out-of-stocks on store shelves. The RFID Logistics Pilot Project II, which got underway in February 2010, is slated to last for one year. A variety of food and fast-moving consumer goods companies are participating, including Auchan, Coop-Centrale Adriatica, Conad, Danone, Lavazza, Nestlé, Parmalat and Parmacotto. Indicod-Ecr, the Italian representative of GS1, is also taking part in the research, and is providing Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards developed by EPCglobal. The companies involved in the current pilot will share the costs for the project development, work together to make decisions concerning the design of the RFID system and the experimental tests, and benefit from the know-how developed. "This is a virtuous mechanism that allows Auchan to carry out benchmarking with suppliers and competitors, at the same time containing the total costs of RFID testing," said Marino Vignati, Auchan's CIO, in a prepared statement. The current project mainly involves Auchan's distribution center, located at Calcinate (Bergamo, Italy), and at three of its retail stores. The DC is affixing EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to approximately 30,000 cases of goods. The EPCglobal network is being used for real-time monitoring and managing of supply chain processes. The pilot is focusing on replenishment processes at the stores, and RFID is being used to monitor the stock levels, both in the back room of the retail stores and in the shop areas. Based on such information, appropriate alerts are being leveraged to indicate items that are running out, so that they can be replenished as quickly as possible in order to prevent the occurrence of out-of-stocks. Pilot participants are evaluating the prevention of out-of-stock events, as well as the potential to increase the stores' turnover. The project is a follow-up to one that the university's RFID Lab conducted in 2008 (see Italian Retail Pilot Quantifies RFID's Many Benefits). That earlier pilot identified and tracked thousands of cases of goods and pallets as they moved from production to sales floors, using RFID technology also based on EPCglobal standards. The pilot showed a 68 percent reduction in the time required to check the quantity and mix of goods as they were shipped from a manufacturer's warehouse, an 80 percent reduction in the time necessary to receive the products at a participating retailer's distribution center and a 30 percent reduction in the so-called safety stock required, among other results.

CAEN RFID Releases New RFID Temperature Logger
Italian company CAEN RFID has introduced a new RFID-enabled temperature logger designed for the pharmaceutical and food industries. The RT0005, part of the firm's easy2log family, contains a semi-passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag compliant with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6C standards. The tag includes a sensor for measuring the temperatures of sensitive products during transportation and/or storage, such as biopharmaceuticals, fresh or frozen food, and chemicals. device is. According to CAEN RFID, it features a slim profile, a manual interface that is easy to use, algorithms that determine goods' remaining shelf lives, and up to 16 configurable temperature ranges. The device is operable in ranges of -20 degrees Celsius to +70 degrees Celsius (-4 to +94 degrees Fahrenheit), and has a monitoring time span of up to five years.

American University in Dubai Adopts RFID to Secure Diplomas
The American University in Dubai (AUD) has announced that it has implemented RFID technology from Amricon. The college is one of dozens in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that are using RFID tags on the diplomas they issue, in order to ensure the documents' validity, as well as speed up the process of university registration (see UAE Universities Adopt RFID to Thwart Diploma Forgery). The RFID application, which leverages NXP Semiconductors' 13.56 MHz Mifare chips, will ultimately be utilized by 50 universities throughout the country and roughly 15,000 students, according to Amricon. The RFID tags affixed to the diplomas are encrypted, and are designed to protect and secure the diplomas since they hinder forging and prevent unauthorized individuals from encoding the labels' RFID tags. The tags also contain student information, which can be accessed by appropriate personnel using RFID interrogators for registration and other processes. The chips have sufficient memory to store a student's name and degree status, along with a list of completed courses. The solution has been recommended by the nation's Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research (MOHESR). All MOHESR offices around the country are outfitted with RFID interrogators that can read the diploma tags. "By using Amricon's RFID Smart Technology, we ensure that our students' certificates, and their pertaining encoded data, are more protected and secure, given the fraudulent practices available in the market today," said Matilda Jabbour, AUD's acting registrar, in a prepared statement. "No longer are the traditional security features—i.e., signatures, holograms and bar codes—enough to protect those valuable certificates. As one of the leading adopters of new technology, we believe that Amricon's Smart Document Attestation Solution provides the ideal solution in line with the requirements of the MOHESR."

Qatar's New Doha Airport to Feature Crisplant Bar-code/RFID Baggage System
Qatar's New Doha International Airport (NDIA), currently under construction and slated to open in 2011, will feature a hybrid bar-code and RFID-enabled baggage-handling system. The system, being built by Crisplant, will leverage an automated baggage-handling system with an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tunnel that supports EPC Gen 2 technology and has integrated bar-code scanners. Combining the RFID and bar-code technologies into a single unit provides the airport with a solution it can begin using now for both RFID- and bar-code-tagged luggage. What's more, Crisplant reports, it improves overall read rates of tagged luggage to no less than 99.5 percent (minimum read rates are 98 percent for bar-code tags, 98 percent for RFID tags and 99.5 percent for the hybrid bar-code/RFID tags). The company's solution can capture reads even when tags are placed in difficult positions, and features monitoring and reporting of read rates to indicate problems before they occur. It also features new software designed to identify and define each tag's strength and quality, the company indicates. A total of 12 hybrid RFID tunnels will be installed on the transfer lines at NDIA, with an additional 12 RFID units integrated into the early-storage baggage system. All of the units feature dual controllers with full redundancy to ensure maximum availability. The baggage-handling system also comprises high-speed tilt-tray sorters with 28 high-speed inductions and 172 discharge positions. Upper-level control systems include 25 servers in a fully redundant configuration, with more than 25 workstations and laptops, 88 information monitors, 9 video walls and a fully redundant Cisco network. Following the hand-over, Crisplant will continue to maintain the baggage-handling system as part of a five-year service agreement included in the original contract. The new airport is expected to handle up to 24 million passengers per year, with an estimated 19,500 items of luggage passing through the baggage-handling system every hour.

Axcess International Releases New Software for Its Dot Wireless Credential
RFID tracking solutions provider Axcess International has announced a new version of AxcessView, its desktop software package designed to automatically monitor, analyze and issue alerts regarding critical personnel and asset activities within an organization. AxcessView derives real-time visibility via data collected from the company's Dot Wireless Credential. This visibility, according to Axcess International, enables applications that can increase security, safety and enterprise productivity. Dot Wireless Credential leverages Axcess International's Dot chip, which provides dual active-passive capabilities so it can be employed both as a passive EPC Gen 2 tag and as a 433 MHz active tag, and 125 kHz proximity tags that extend existing access-control systems into more advanced workforce-management solutions, including local location identification, tracking and control capabilities (see RFID News Roundup: Axcess Licenses HID Global Proximity Technology). The new version of AxcessView supports such functions, accounting for all badged personnel entering a secure doorway, as well as managing guests and visitors, protecting assets and monitoring their movement, counting inventory during emergency evacuations, and collecting time and attendance data. The software utilizes Microsoft .NET for extensibility and supporting SQL databases, the company reports, and includes a new graphical user interface, data parsing and analysis rules that are easy to set up, color-coded information for rapid identification and handling, advanced search features, drill downs and report generation.
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