RFID News Roundup

Smartrac intros RFID tags for luggage, supply chain, automotive and industrial use ••• Savi receives orders for active RFID tags from two U.S. defense agencies ••• Guardhat partners with technology, consulting and software firms to commercialize smart safety equipment ••• Bluepyc, RFID Canada form distribution partnership for IoT, BLE technologies ••• CYBRA, Sewio Networks announce RTLS partnership.
Published: November 1, 2018

Presented here are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Bluepyc, RFID Canada;
CYBRA, and Sewio Networks.

Smartrac Intros RFID Tags for Luggage, Supply Chain, Automotive and Industrial Use

Smartrac has announced its new Wings tag, which offers a read distance of up to 18 meters (59 feet) and a compact footprint. The tag comes with NXP‘s UCODE 8 IC, a new RFID tag designed for luggage tracking and also suitable for apparel and supply chain management applications.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Board of Governors mandated, in June 2018, that the IATA address passenger expectations for the real-time tracking of baggage. The first step was to develop a global development plan that would see IATA-standard RFID inlays in all baggage tags issued after Jan. 1, 2020.

The Wings tag

The Wings tag, Smartrac reports, was approved under the Auburn University RFID Lab‘s category U, which relates to luggage tagging in aviation. The university measures tag performance on materials like cardboard, plastic or rubber; at present, it lists only four inlays from three manufacturers as approved.

The Wings inlay is equipped with NXP’s UCODE 8 IC that comes with 128 bits of Electronic Product Code (EPC) memory and features a unique 96-bit tag identifier (TID), a pre-serialized EPC and an auto-adjust function for automated tag performance optimization. UCODE 8 enables a long read distance and fast inventory of dense RFID tag populations. Wings has an aluminum antenna measuring 30 millimeters by 72 millimeters (1.18 inches by 2.84 inches) and operates in the UHF band (860 to 960 MHz). The IC and antenna jointly enable a high read sensitivity in two directions.

The tag incorporates Smart Cosmos, Smartrac’s Internet of Things (IoT) platform, which records and manages unique transponder data at the production level in a controlled and secure manner. Smart Cosmos enables full traceability of RFID products and is designed to provide reliable quality assurance.

“With our new Wings tag, we are demonstrating our continued ability to respond to market opportunities in a very timely manner—and with a more convincing product than others,” said Matti Tavilampi, Smartrac’s global product-management director, in a prepared statement. “We expect Wings inlays to be well accepted by our systems integrator partners and end customers, and to play a major role in the upcoming rollout of RFID-based baggage tracking systems.”

Smartrac has also announced its Midas FlagTag, featuring NXP’s UCODE 7xm IC. The Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm is suitable for applications such as asset tracking, inventory management and process optimization in the automotive industry, the firm reports, as well as for other industrial environments.

The Midas FlagTag design uses the metallic surface as part of the antenna structure, to improve performance in demanding physical environments. According to the company, it costs less than foam-based inlays and hard tags typically used in industrial environments. It provides up to 2 kilobits of user memory to store data specific to customers or products, along with brand-protection features using digital signature technology, long read and write ranges, and reliable operation in signal-dense or noisy environments, the company reports.

The Midas FlagTag

The Midas FlagTag utilizes RAIN RFID technology, based on the UHF protocol standard developed by GS1 and ISO. The tag and IC comply with the German Association of the Automotive Industry’s recommendations for RFID implementations used in the tracking of parts and components in the automotive sector.

The tag has a small form factor, with a total size of 72 millimeters by 21 millimeters when used as a standard flat paper tag. A flag can be created at the end of the tag with a final paper tag size of 50 millimeters by 21 millimeters after folding, and with an exposed area of 22 millimeters by 21 millimeters. Read distances of up to 6 meters can be achieved, the company reports, depending on the geometry and size of the metal object. The tags are compatible with RFID printers for easy printing and encoding. The Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm incorporates the Smart Cosmos IoT platform as well.

“Right from the start, Midas FlagTag provided a superior—and highly successful—solution for tagging consumer goods and industrial components with metallic, plastic and cardboard surfaces,” Tavilampi said in a separate prepared statement. “With Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm, we are now taking that success story to the automotive industry and other industrial environments.”

Sample Wings tags are now available in dry format. Midas FlagTag UCODE 7xm product samples are available now as well.

Savi Receives Orders for Active RFID Tags from Two U.S. Defense Agencies

Savi, a provider of big-data and machine-learning analytic solutions, as well as supply chain management software and sensor technology, has announced that it has received orders from two major U.S. defense agencies for active RFID tags. The orders are a continuation of Savi’s 28 years supporting the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and allied partners’ automatic identification needs, the company reports. The combined orders of more than 48,000 sactive RFID tags will join the more than 1 million Savi active tags currently deployed by the DoD and international militaries around the world.

“These orders continue to signal strong support for the use of active RFID devices within the in-transit visibility network,” said Rosemary Johnston, Savi’s senior VP of operations, in a prepared statement. “Through improved visibility, the DoD and international military logisticians are able to make timely decisions on parts availability for critical weapon system maintenance, and timely delivery of food, clothing, munitions, and fuel without the need to order ‘just in case’ safety stocks.”

Savi is currently the sole provider for the DoD’s RFID-IV contract (#W52P1J-14-D-0014), which has a $102 million ceiling and is in its second and final option year. As the U.S. government considers requirements for the upcoming RFID-V contract, Savi is offering IoT sensors that can quickly communicate RFID information via cellular transmission capabilities, with no infrastructure required. Adding these sensors to the existing active RFID support, Savi explains, will allow the DoD to improve its ability to mitigate risk, reduce excess inventory and streamline asset management.

“Military and civilian government agencies around the world seek next-generation supply chain and asset management visibility solutions. Savi is excited to share our communications-capable IoT sensor technology, which provides lower-cost, in-transit visibility wherever the U.S. military needs it,” Johnston said in the prepared statement. “Savi’s goal is to help government and militaries support mission readiness, avoid supply chain disruptions and control inventory costs—we believe our new IoT sensors will be a good supplement to today’s robust active RFID network.”

Guardhat Partners With Technology, Consulting and Software Firms to Commercialize Smart Safety Equipment

Detroit-based Guardhat, an Internet of Things (IoT) industrial safety technology company specialized in developing wearables, infrastructure and software platforms, has unveiled a list of global solution providers and a re-designed website. The solutions from these global companies allow Guardhat to bring its life-saving technologies to commercialization, the company reports. Providers include DuPont Sustainable Solutions, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Qualcomm Technologies.

“We set out with the mission to save lives,” said Saikat Dey, Guardhat’s co-founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Our newest solution providers provide us with necessary access to global ecosystem solutions to continue that mission as we improve our technology and apply a robust and scalable enterprise solution to both the operational and discrete manufacturing industries.” These providers supply Guardhat with software, technology and networking solutions, allowing for the commercialization of its product and access to a diverse global industrial workforce.

DuPont Sustainable Solutions’ collaboration with Guardhat will integrate IoT and wearable solutions into DSS’s work with clients around the globe. DSS’s data-analytics team will provide industry and domain expertise-based insight by leveraging the capabilities of Guardhat’s Kyra data platform. Hewlett Packard Enterprise is Guardhat’s computer, storage, networking and global services partner, and will provide foundational infrastructure support for the Guardhat platform. Qualcomm, meanwhile, provides system-on-chip solutions and platforms featuring edge processing capabilities at low power, cellular connectivity, integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GNSS, hardware-based security, multimedia (audio and video) and sensor-processing capabilities.

“We combine our advanced Internet-related technology with dependable safety equipment to create a 3D space and holistic view of every user’s work environment,” said Anupam Sengupta, Guardhat’s co-founder and CTO, in the prepared statement. “This allows us to actively predict and prevent workplace accidents, which ultimately provides a better way to protect people.”

Guardhat estimates that there are 13 million industrial workers in the United States, resulting in 4,000 deaths and three million injuries annually. The company’s goal, it reports, is to reduce workplace injuries by up to 20 percent, thereby saving organizations $30 billion to $50 billion per year in worker safety-related costs.

Bluepyc, RFID Canada Form Distribution Partnership for IoT, BLE Technologies

Bluepyc, a business unit of Softwork Group focused on wireless technologies, has announced a distribution partnership with RFID Canada, a provider of automatic-identification and data-capture (AIDC) technologies such as RFID, Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).

After investing in the design and production of BLE architectures, starting with Gateways and EchoBeacons, Bluepyc says it is expanding its market presence, with the goal of establishing an international network of partners. Distributors will be responsible for providing local BLE-based solutions.

“We’ve created a comprehensive service model for our distribution partners,” said Massimo Damiani, Bluepyc’s founder and CTO, in a prepared statement, “with the goal to provide not only the BLE devices, but also the proper tools, the best support for business development and the technology know-how: ranging from available starter kits to webinars of our Bluepyc Academy Path, featuring business development strategies and in-depth technical contents catered to different audiences, and this also includes lead generation for the distributors.”

“By signing the distribution agreement with Bluepyc, we continue to stay true to our company’s mission,” said Silvana Cantalini, RFID Canada’s VP, in the prepared statement, “we work to establish the best partnerships and business collaborations, in working with hardware producers to end customers, in which the latest technology solution trends are brought to the table.”

CYBRA, Sewio Networks Announce RTLS Partnership

CYBRA Corp., the developer of Edgefinity IoT tracking software, and Sewio Networks, a provider of real-time location hardware, have announced a partnership to offer real-time location system (RTLS)-centered solutions focused on safety, security and productivity applications. The strategic partnership was announced at the Sewio Summit, a European RTLS conference.

CYBRA’s patent-pending Edgefinity IoT software is a platform for rapidly building integrated applications that locate and protect individuals, assets and vehicles using RFID, RTLS and other sensor technologies. Sewio Networks is a manufacturer of RTLS hardware and software based on ultra-wideband (UWB) RFID technology.

“We’ve been working with Sewio for some time now, and we’re excited to formally announce the new strategic partnership. It means customers looking for a manufacturer-certified real-time tracking solution are in luck,” said Harold Brand, CYBRA’s CEO, in a prepared statement.

“Many of our clients look to us to find the right hardware for their needs,” Brand said in the prepared statement. “We are excited to represent Sewio’s exceptional catalog of RTLS anchor readers and tags, and to use their hardware and advanced firmware for some of our most challenging projects. In addition to extreme precision, Sewio’s hardware combined with CYBRA’s Edgefinity IoT software allows organizations to implement real-time tracking solutions for both indoor and outdoor requirements scalable from a single building enterprise to multi-national corporations with global operations.”

“Today’s intralogistics and supply chain managers are feeling increased pressure to demonstrate highly positive ROI and short payback periods from their workflow process optimizations,” said Petr Passinger, Sewio’s CMO, in the prepared statement. “We’re proud to have CYBRA as a Sewio Partner, because of their outstanding experience in the field which they will leverage to add genuine value to our technology.”

Edgefinity IoT tracks people, assets and vehicles to provide real-time situational awareness at facilities and campuses. Upon detection of a rule-defined event requiring response, Edgefinity IoT issues alerts to specified individuals, to ensure that safety incidents and hazards are dealt with immediately. If a predetermined amount of time passes and an alert does not receive the requisite response, the system can escalate the incident to higher enterprise echelons, first-responders and so forth.

The Edgefinity IoT platform is designed to address the complex safety and security needs of organizations, the company reports, ranging from typical white-collar offices to critical infrastructure. A scalable software and hardware solution combining active and passive RFID hardware and software with RTLS and multi-sensor capabilities, Edgefinity IoT continuously monitors the health, safety and security of staff members and contractors, particularly in lone-worker situations. Additional applications include mustering and evacuation, first-responder location, monitoring and management, school safety, the protection of high-value assets (such as artworks), and optimizing operations from factory floors to airport tarmacs and other facilities.