Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

The ABCs of the EPCglobal Network

The network is critical to fulfilling the promise of using low-cost RFID tags to track goods in the global supply chain. We explain what it is, how it works and where its development stands today.
By Bob Violino
Jul 12, 2004—The EPCglobal Network is expected to help companies and organizations increase efficiency and accuracy through near-perfect supply chain visibility. It provides a means of sharing data in real time—via the Internet—about virtually any product equipped with an RFID tag that contains an Electronic Product Code (EPC). Initially developed by the Auto-ID Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the EPCglobal Network (also known as the EPC Network) consists of several major elements, each at various stages
of development. Here’s a look at how it works, what components are available now and what still needs to be done.

The EPC numbering scheme. Like the bar-coded numbers of a Universal Product Code (UPC), an EPC identifies a product and its manufacturer. But an EPC also includes a serial number that uniquely identifies the item to which the RFID tag is attached. The EPC has a header, which tells an RFID reader whether the tag is a 64-bit or a 96-bit EPC, and three sets of data, which identify the manufacturer, the product and the item’s unique serial number. By separating the EPC data into partitions, RFID readers can search for items with a particular manufacturer code or product code.

EPCglobal, the organization formed by the Uniform Code Council (UCC) and EAN International to take over the development of EPC technology from the Auto-ID Center in November 2003, is developing commercial standards for the network. EPCglobal says its goal is not to replace existing international bar code standards, which the UCC and EAN International also oversee, but to create a migration path for enterprises to move from the current UPC bar code system to the new EPC RFID system. The EPC numbering scheme is now complete, says Sue Hutchinson, product manager at EPCglobal US, in Lawrenceville, N.J. She adds that this element of the network can be used by organizations today for RFID deployments.

The EPC middleware. This is the software that enables data exchange between an RFID reader—or network of readers—and business systems, such as enterprise resource planning applications. The Auto-ID Center developed a software technology called Savant to deal with the management and movement of the enormous volumes of EPC data that will be gathered from RFID tags and readers.

A Savant differs from most enterprise middleware in that it uses a distributed architecture and is organized in a hierarchy that manages the flow of data. Savants will run in stores, distribution centers, factories and other locations, gathering, storing and managing data, and interacting with other Savants in other locations. Some Savants will also be capable of monitoring data, correcting errors in data coming from readers and making decisions on where data needs to be sent.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,261 words and 4 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco