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

Checking Items in a Group

By using a group ID as well as an individual tag ID, we could verify a shipment of goods, reduce shrinkage and validate receiving without perfect read rates.
By Jin Mitsugi and Yuki Sato
Aug 01, 2010—In Japan, delivery services handle more than 320 million packages annually, mostly for consumers. After pickup, the packages go to a central distribution center for sorting and grouping. From there, they go to a destination distribution center, where they're sorted into smaller groups, then on to branch distribution centers for delivery. During this process, it's not unusual for packages to be separated from their designated groups.


Yuki Sato (left) and Jin Mitsugi (right)
We could RFID-tag each package to identify it accurately and swiftly, but an operator or driver would need to check every item against a master list to know if a group were missing a package—or contained an extra one. Such a list would typically be available on an electronic data interchange (EDI) system that runs on a network. But there are many situations—in branch distribution centers or on the road, for example—where there is no network connection or workers don't have access to the list for other reasons.

At the Auto-ID Lab Japan, we wanted to develop a convenient way to check whether a group of packages is complete—for instance, should it include just 99 packages, or was one of 100 packages lost or misplaced? We developed a method called group coding of RFID tags. The first step is to create a unique identification for the group, based on each item's RFID tag ID or Electronic Product Code number. Then we write the group ID onto the user memory of every RFID tag in the group. A package may belong to more than one group, so, for example, we can establish a group for a destination center and one for a branch center.

To verify the integrity of a group, a worker could use a handheld reader to check each tag's unique ID and group ID. An estimated group ID would be computed automatically from the unique IDs of packages that have the same group IDs. Then, the estimated group ID could be compared with the original group ID, to determine immediately if there are any missing or extra items. By extending group coding, we could also determine the number of missing items. (This technology is similar, in principle, to forward error correction in wireless communications.)

Group coding could be applied to other RFID applications, such as ensuring the correct items are loaded onto trucks or received at distribution centers. It also could prevent shrinkage. In addition, instead of trying to achieve perfect read rates at fixed RFID portals, we could determine that a group of items is valid if we can identify, say, 97 percent of its expected contents.

Jin Mitsugi is an associate director of the Auto-ID Lab Japan at Keio University and an associate professor in the faculty of environment and information studies. Yuki Sato is a junior at Keio University.
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 468 words and 1 page. 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