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

A Diamond Ping

Steinmetz Diamond Group uses RFID to track, manage and secure tiny, highly valuable gemstones.
By John Edwards
Jun 20, 2011—Diamond transport and storage has traditionally been a low-tech and surprisingly informal affair, especially given the value of the items involved. Each diamond is kept inside a "brifka"—a paper parcel marked with the stone's principal characteristics. While the technique is cheap, simple and widely supported, it provides nothing in the way of visibility, business intelligence or insight beyond what an observer can read off the package. Additionally, for high-volume companies, brifkas demand endless hours of painstaking manual processing and data entry to achieve accurate (though delayed) inventory counts.

Approximately five years ago, Steinmetz Diamond Group, based in Geneva, began searching for a better method for tracking, managing and securing the tiny, ancient (most diamonds are more than three billion years old) and extremely valuable gemstones that lie at the heart of the company's operations, says Pavlo Protopapa, the firm's chief financial officer. Steinmetz, one of the world's largest diamond groups, purchases rough diamonds and processes them into polished stones ready for sale. The company's management wanted a better way to monitor its diamonds' movements, one that would allow its representatives to immediately pinpoint each diamond's specific location.

SpaceCode's SmartSAS provides a technology-monitored "handshake" that allows authorized staff members to hand over diamonds between processes.

"Wouldn't it be great if we could implement a system globally whereby we would be able to get management reports on demand, and know what we've got, and where it is, in real time?" Protopapa asks. "That was the overall objective." Ultimately, he says, it was hoped that the system would invisibly and efficiently track the movements of stones between processing and cutting centers in Belgium, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and New York.

The SmartCabinet provides visibility, control and traceability of diamonds stored within.
Examining their options, Steinmetz's managers quickly narrowed in on two choices: bar codes and radio frequency identification. The bar-code approach was almost immediately rejected. "I always felt with bar-code systems, although they were accurate and you could rely on them, they didn't provide enough details and automation," Protopapa explains. "Whenever you wanted information, you would have to phone up and ask somebody."

The remaining option, RFID, promised to provide the company with everything it sought in a tracking and visibility solution: rapid data entry with minimal human intervention, instant inventory updates, complete accuracy, inherent protection against data forgery and an extra passive security layer. The next step was to find a partner that could meet Steinmetz's demanding needs. After all, losing a stuffed brifka isn't exactly like having a can of peas go astray.
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 1,603 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