Congratulations to the RFID Journal Award Winners

If you are a sports fan, you feel a deep appreciation for excellence on the field, pitch, rink or wherever. You get a sense of joy from watching someone else do something special—like pitch a shutout in baseball or make a fantastic save at the World Cup. I get a similar sense of joy from reading and writing about excellence in business, which is why it’s been especially rewarding to create the RFID Journal Awards and select three deserving winners.

This week, we announced that the panel of judges has chosen Hewlett-Packard Brazil for the best RFID implementation, DHL for the best use of RFID in a service and Dow AgroSciences for the most innovative use of RFID (see RFID Journal Announces Winners of First RFID Journal Awards). The awards will be presented at RFID Journal LIVE! 2007, and a representative from each company will discuss its particular project.

Marcelo Pandini, RFID and business development manager at HP Brazil, will explain how the company is using RFID to track large amounts of serialized product. The tags incorporate data needed for warranty and service information. At its Sao Paolo site, which manufactures printers, more than 40,000 reads and writes take place on work-in-process every day. Some 65 interrogators have been installed to track parts as they are added to the printer chassis, with a read-write yield of better than 99.5 percent.

Keith Ulrich, director of Deutsche Post’s Technology and Innovation Management Group, will explain how his team developed an RFID temperature-tracking application for DHL, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, so DHL could monitor the condition of drugs and other products being shipped. Using RFID temperature tags from Infratab, DHL now gives its pharmaceutical customers the ability to proactively respond to shipment problems in transit, which has improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. It’s also given DHL a competitive edge and a significant new source of revenue growth.

Andy Wurtz, technology leader at Dow AgroSciences’s Sentricon unit, will discuss a truly innovative application that involves using an RFID tag attached to a sensing device that indicates whether termites are active in a Sentricon monitoring station. Previously, trained technicians had to inspect the stations by opening them manually, scanning a bar code on the station cap for recordkeeping and recording the condition of the monitoring device. The result: Sentricon increased the efficiency of an authorized operator by 67 percent.It’s exciting that these three worthy winners will be acknowledged at RFID Journal LIVE!, but I think it will be a particular treat for attendees to hear about what these leaders have accomplished. I have no doubt many people in the audience will find these applications relevant, in some way, to their companies’ operations. Even Dow’s Sentricon application—a novel, niche application—might encourage others to think about RFID in new ways that benefit their business.

There were nearly 50 submissions, many of which were worthy of praise. Some came up a little short because they were pilots, or because they had not been live long enough to have proven benefits. But I thank all those who submitted and hope you will enter again next year.

I would also like to thank the five judges who joined me in evaluating all the submissions. They brought their experience in RFID, their intelligence and their integrity to the voting, which makes these awards meaningful and the award program a success. The judges are:

• Stephen N. David, former CIO and chief business-to-business officer, The Procter & Gamble Company

• Bill Hardgrave, director of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas

• Gordon S. Holder, retired vice admiral for the U.S. Navy and a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton

• Chris Hook, wireless and sensor solutions practice lead at Deloitte Consulting

• Fred Riggins, assistant professor at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

I hope you will join us at RFID Journal LIVE! for the awards presentations—and for a conference program that will educate you about how and where RFID is delivering real business value today, and how to implement systems cost-effectively. Or just come walk the 86,000-square-foot exhibition hall and see the latest RFID solutions from the leading technology providers.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below.