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RFID News Roundup

Sanjay Sarma, Mike Rose elected to lead EPCglobal board; Xerafy adds Pico XL 2-kilobit tag to its aviation-grade product line; U.S. Census Bureau seeks information on RFID for asset tracking; Enso Detego unveils new Virtual RFID Tunnel ; Laird Technologies acquires Emerson & Cuming Microwave Products; Smartrac intros new contactless ISO card.
Mar 08, 2012The following are news announcements made during the past week.

Sanjay Sarma, Mike Rose Elected to Lead EPCglobal Board
Sanjay Sarma, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Mike Rose, the VP of supply chain visibility at Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems (JJHCS), have been elected chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of EPCglobal's board of governors. EPCglobal, an affiliate organization of GS1, is responsible for driving the adoption of GS1's standards, including the Electronic Product Code (EPC). Sarma is one of the cofounders of the Auto-ID Center at MIT, which developed the original EPC specifications. In 2003, the Auto-ID Center evolved into two organizations: EPCglobal, charged with achieving worldwide adoption and standardization, and the Auto-ID Labs, responsible for the continued development of EPC technology. As a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT, Sarma has continued to lead the Auto-ID Lab at MIT, as well as serving on GS1 US' board of governors and being a permanent guest of GS1's management board. Sarma replaces Dick Cantwell, who served as chairman of EPCglobal's board of governors for eight years and, prior to that, as chairman of the board of overseers of the original Auto-ID Center since its foundation. During the past 12 years, Cantwell has helped lead the adoption of EPCglobal standards across various industries, including the successful implementation of EPC RFID within his own company (see Cisco Tracks IT Assets Via RFID), Cisco Systems, where he functions as the VP of the Internet Business Solutions Group. Rose has served on the EPCglobal Board for seven years. As JJHCS' VP of supply chain visibility, he has helped lead the adoption of GS1 standards within the health-care sector, with the goal of improving supply chain efficiency, traceability and patient safety.

Xerafy Adds Pico XL 2-kilobit Tag to Its Aviation-Grade Product Line
Xerafy has introduced its Pico XL tag, containing 2 kilobits of memory. This tag is the latest addition to the company's family of ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID-on-and-in-metal (ROM) tags for aerospace, defense, manufacturing, oil and gas, and other industries. The Pico XL features the TegoChip 2000, a passive UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID chip from Tego that meets the Air Transport Association's Spec 2000 Low Memory Tag format and SAE International's SAE AS5678 specifications. The Spec 2000 Low Memory Tag format is intended to allow the widespread use of lower-cost tags that store an abbreviated version of a tag's birth record, as well as a shorter form of its table of contents, as compared with the original aviation High Memory Tag format. The Low Memory tag format is intended for aircraft equipment that is not repairable (such as life vests). Tego first introduced its TegoChip 2000 in October 2011 (see Tego Offers New 2-Kilobit Chip and Demystifying the Low Memory of Aviation's Low-Memory Tags). The SAE AS5678 specifications spell out requirements regarding a tag's ability to withstand specific variations in temperature, air pressure, vibration, shock and other environmental factors. Xerafy previously introduced its Sky-ID high-memory XL tags, which offer 8 kilobytes of memory dedicated for flyable aircraft parts that are repairable and require that part history records be stored on the tags as they move through multiple cycles of installation on aircraft, as well as removal, repair, upgrade, pooling and re-installation. The Pico XL measures 0.70 inch by 0.43 inch by 0.19 inch (17.8 millimeters by 10.9 millimeters by 4.8 millimeters), and weighs 0.07 ounce (2 grams). According to Xerafy, the tag is IP68-rated, signifying it is water- and dust-proof, and can resist application temperatures ranging from -40 degrees to +302 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 degrees to +150 degrees Celsius). In addition to aviation applications, the company reports, the tag is suitable for IT asset tracking; medical device tracking; maintenance, repair and operations (MRO); manufacturing; and other applications.

U.S. Census Bureau Seeks Information on RFID for Asset Tracking
The U.S. Census Bureau, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has issued a request for information (RFI) as part of an initiative to develop requirements for an RFID (or similar technology) pilot program. The RFI is being issued for research and planning purposes only, and is not a request for proposal (RFP). According to the RFI, the Census Bureau wants to be able to better track assets using RFID tags or similar technology, in order to identify the locations of assets throughout the bureau's offices and warehouse, including its computer center, located in Suitland, Md. The current inventory requiring tagging and tracking is approximately 80,000 assets, but must be scalable to more than 150,000 assets during Decennial Census, according to the RFI. The bureau currently uses bar codes to track inventory, and is interested in a solution combining bar codes and RFID, and that is capable of using current infrastructure for read points that leverage fixed and handheld readers. In issuing its RFI, the bureau hopes to more fully understand the scope of current and practical technologies, processes and approaches for RFID implementation. The full RFI can be viewed here.


Reader 2012-05-22 06:06:53 PM
US Census Bureau going hi-tech, finally Interesting to hear that the Census Bureau issued an RFI for a combined RFID and bar code asset tracking system. With no disrespect to the Census Bureau, it seems that the government organizations have very slow turning gears and it takes forever to change things including adopting new technology. RFID technology has been out for a while but perhaps it is a good thing in this case that they've waited to use it (assuming they follow their RFI with an RFP) because the cost of RFID tags has gone down. I hope to see the Census Bureau adopt some other technology (like tablets for census takers) to save time and money in other areas of their operations, in the near future.

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