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RFID News Roundup

Kazakhstani government adopts RFID for conferences; Omnitrol Networks, Trident RFID to provide meat-tracking solution to Firstlight Foods; IC-Tag Solutions supplies RFID tags to race-timing solutions provider, motorcycle-parts retailer; RFID Sensor Systems intros high-memory EPC Gen 2 metal-mount tag; Laird Technologies signs Chinese distribution agreement with Milli-Tech.
Apr 28, 2011The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Kazakhstani Government Adopts RFID for Conferences
The government of Kazakhstan has enlisted radio frequency identification to help secure access at the various international conferences that it hosts at government facilities. The solution was designed by ANS-KZ, an IT security firm based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Academia RFID, a research and development, consulting and training center located in Montreal, driven by a team of Ph.D. researchers and accredited RFID instructors in the fields of industrial engineering, operations management, supply chain management, transport and logistics, distribution and retail, and e-commerce marketing. The goal was to provide visibility and access control in the conference facility, according to Anthony Palermo, the director of Academia RFID's Centre of Excellence, and so the team created an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID solution that leverages Impinj's Revolution readers, Venture Research I/O controllers and Poynting antennas, Motorola Solutions' MC9090-G RFID handheld readers, Avery Dennison tags from Labelad, and RFID middleware and management software provided by Effecto. The project began with an e-mail listing of system requirements, Palermo explains, and progressed to a sophisticated security interface that offers conference-floor visibility and breakout-session access control, with real-time (and discreet) alerts of security breaches. The solution leverages participant badges that include RFID tags whose unique identifiers reference a secured database to identify participants and their access status. The RFID interface—including screens at each read point, on the handhelds and at a main security desk—is designed to issue an alert if a participant breaches certain doorways without permission, as well as show a complete overview of the conference and its participants in near real time. After a few weeks of being tested in Academia RFID's lab, the system was fully deployed in September 2010 by the ANS-KZ team in Astana.

Omnitrol Networks, Trident RFID to Provide Meat-Tracking Solution to Firstlight Foods
Omnitrol Networks, a provider of track-and-trace solutions, and Trident RFID, an industrial RFID solutions provider specializing in the primary produce sector, have announced a partnership to supply an RFID-based solution to Firstlight Foods, a New Zealand producer and distributor of venison and beef. The solution is aimed at automatically capturing complete pedigrees, as well as tracking the processing of venison and beef in real time. Trident RFID's ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID products are designed specifically to track products with high water content, such as meat and produce. According to the two companies, the solution will enable Firstlight Foods to automatically track production, and to accurately generate electronic meat pedigree records, thereby enabling field-to-fork traceability.

IC-Tag Solutions Supplies RFID Tags to Race-Timing Solutions Provider, Motorcycle-Parts Retailer
IC-Tag Solutions, a manufacturer of customizable, pressure-sensitive labels and tags that specializes in passive RFID, has announced that its solutions have been chosen by several companies to provide race-timing systems that let racers wear tags so their times can be accurately and instantly tracked. IC-Tag Solutions provides a number of RFID-based tracking solutions that employ ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) or high-frequency (HF) labels and tags that the company produces using inlays from such companies as Avery Dennison, Alien Technology and UPM RFID. Its roster includes direct thermal and thermal-transfer labels, PolyPremium RFID labels made of a highly durable film, the IC-TAG Capsule (an RFID label designed for metal-mount applications), RFID wristbands and 13.56 MHz sensor tags. The tags designed for the race-timing solutions leverage EPC Gen 2 inlays, according to Olga Green, IC-Tag Solutions' marketing director, who says her company has seen a large demand for 4-by-2-inch RFID labels made with UPM RFID's DogBone inlays for use in marathons. Using RFID at racing events enables commentators to provide live updates of racing statistics, she explains, rather than waiting until the race ends. Customers include TimeYourRace, a provider of RFID-based race-timing solutions. IC-Tag Solutions' customers also include companies that utilize the EPC Gen 2 tags to track production, such as Imperial SportBikes, located in Sheridan, Colo. As major part of its business, Green says, the bike company sells parts that it removes from used motorcycles—primarily European sport bikes. Every part taken off of a bike is unique, and thus must be pictured and identified—which means the company has approximately 9,000 unique parts. It uses RFID labels from IC-Tag Solutions to create an inventory system, locate items and track all of its parts. An RFID tag is encoded for every part of a motorcycle as it is dismantled, with each tag linked in the parts database to a unique identifier. Every part is also attributed to a bike by a vehicle identification number (VIN). The parts are bagged or wrapped, and are then placed into a tote and moved to their assigned shelf locations. Two RFID portals are used to track the parts as they leave the warehouse. Eventually, Imperial SportBikes intends to install readers on the shelving to automatically track inventory as it is placed on or removed from the shelves.

RFID Sensor Systems Intros High-Memory EPC Gen 2 Metal-Mount Tag
RFID Sensor Systems, an OEM manufacturer of custom RFID tags, has announced a new passive transponder, the ST070-016, as part of its family of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 tags operating over the 860 to 960 MHz spectrum. The ST070-016 tag offers a read range of up to 40 feet on metal mountings with standard North American readers, the company reports. It has 16 kilobits of user memory, and nearly equal read-write ranges, which RFID Sensor Systems says makes it suitable for toll- and vehicle-monitoring applications, as well as for supply chains and item-level tracking in manufacturing operations. In addition, the firm reports, the ST070-016 tag is well suited for military applications and harsh environments with high temperatures and moderate gamma radiation levels. The tag features the company's Long Ranger miniature antenna technology, coupled with an ultra-low-power MaxArias WM71016 RFID chip from Ramtron International, a fabless semiconductor firm that designs, develops and markets specialized semiconductor memory, microcontroller and integrated semiconductor solutions. Together, the Long Ranger antenna and MaxArias RFID chip help the tag achieve improved read-write range. Ramtron's F-RAM memory provides high-endurance and gamma-radiation stability, as compared with the EEPROM-based technology available in current industry Gen 2 tags. RFID Sensor Systems is presently seeking partnerships with systems integrators to customize tags for particular applications, including unique environmental and high-temperature requirements. The ST070-016 tag is available now in volume, with standard screw-mounting and optional magnetic Velcro backing. Volume pricing begins at $7.95 per tag.

Laird Technologies Signs Chinese Distribution Agreement With Milli-Tech
Laird Technologies, a provider of customized performance-critical components and systems for advanced electronics and wireless products, has announced that it has signed a distribution agreement with Chinese-based distributor Milli-Tech, a value-added, technology-focused distributor. Under the terms of the agreement, Milli-Tech will distribute all of Laird Technologies' Infrastructure Antenna Systems (IAS) product lines, which consists of WLAN, RFID, portable radio, vehicular, dispatch base station, cellular, LTE, WiMAX, backhaul and WISP antennas. Milli-Tech's experience in RF technologies enables the company to focus on the needs and requirements of Laird Technologies' customers located in China and Hong Kong, says Tony Zhao, Laird Technologies' regional sales director of the IAS product line.
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