RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2007 Report

By Admin

More than 350 professionals gathered in Amsterdam to attend the third annual RFID Journal LIVE! Europe conference and exhibition. View the presentations from the event.

Many European companies are using RFID technologies to improve their manufacturing, supply chain and retail operations. On Nov. 6-8, RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2007, the third annual conference and exhibition for European professionals, provided a number of end-user case studies designed to demonstrate how companies can employ RFID to reduce costs and increase sales. Presentations from the event are now available (see final page for downloading instructions).

The conference was held at the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam in Amsterdam. More than 350 technology vendors, end users, standards setters and investors gathered for three days of training, lectures and networking. Attendees hailed from a variety of countries, including Turkey, Estonia, Taiwan, India, Israel and the United States, with many attendees and participants indicating the technology's adoption in Europe is on the rise (see Europe's RFID Focus Moves to Implementation).


The conference opened with four preconference seminars providing in-depth information on specific aspects of RFID and Electronic Product Code (EPC) technologies:

RFID Journal University offered attendees a basic introduction to the fundamentals of RFID, including an understanding of RFID hardware, a live demonstration, the latest developments and practical issues. Pankaj Sood, founder and manager of the McMaster RFID Applications Lab, explained the physics behind RFID, as well as legislation and standardization issues, real-world considerations and how to build on RFID with the EPC Network. And RFID Journal editor Mark Roberti discussed how to develop an RFID strategy and business case.

RFID in the Cold Chain educated end users and implementers about the benefits of using RFID in the cold chain, as well as the technology needed to achieve those benefits. Bill Hardgrave, director of the University of Arkansas' RFID Research Center, discussed RFID's role in the cold chain. Roberto Montanari, a professor of industrial plants at the University of Parma, spoke about temperature-sensitive products available for cold-chain monitoring. And Reiner Jedermann, a research associate at the University of Bremen, explored the use or RFIF temperature sensors to improve food quality.

• The EECC Training preconference, co-presented by the European EPC Competence Center (EECC), provided educational training to those attendees looking to understand how EPC technology can be used to achieve business benefits. Phillip Blome, head of RFID pilots and trials at Metro AG, discussed the technical challenges of RFID. Dr. Andreas Fuessler, a senior project manager at GS1 Germany, examined various standards and tagging requirements. The EECC's Thomas Holstiege offered a presentation on issues related to tag selection and tag placement. And Metro AG's Tina Winde explained data exchange and communication with EPC.

• The AIM Auto-ID Seminar, presented in cooperation with the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, helped educate value-added resellers (VARs), systems integrators, distributors and other channel players and end users about RFID and other auto-identification technologies. Presenters discussed new developments for the bar code, the latest update from AIM Europe's RFID Experts Group, how to choose the optimal RFID system, UHF Gen 2's impact on business processes and potential ROI, harmonizing auto-ID data structures, the value of privacy-enhanced RFID for B2B solutions, and using RFID to drive picking accuracy to 100 percent.

Main Conference

Following these preconferences, the event featured three main-conference tracks offering content designed to accommodate those with different levels of experience, and those looking for industry-specific solutions:

Manufacturing/Operations presented the benefits of using RFID to monitor production costs; opportunities to streamline warehouse operations with RFID; the results of 18 months of research into the use of RFID in the aerospace industry; insights into the obstacles to RFID adoption within the aerospace industry; the benefits of using active and passive RFID systems in the aerospace supply chain; how to integrate active and passive RFID systems to improve efficiencies; how to improve the reliability of identification systems on the manufacturing floor; and insights into why a growing number of companies are choosing RFID outside of the mandate world.

Supply Chain/Inventory Management explored the use of RFID in the jewelry supply chain; how to improve security and safety with RFID systems; how to make the fresh supply chain more transparent; how to share relevant data and keep private data private; insights into the importance of RFID in process efficacy measurement; the challenges and opportunities for RFID players in companies without legacy systems; the value RFID offers in a country where labor is still relatively inexpensive; how to address the challenges of changing from bar codes to RFID tags; how to achieve ROI within a company's supply chain using RFID; how and where RFID can be employed and integrated into a company's cold chain; how to use RFID to improve shipping accuracy; and how to overcome the challenges of deploying UHF systems in the supply chain.

Distribution/Logistics examined the challenges and benefits of using RFID to monitor the temperature of shipments, setting up a temperature-monitoring RFID system, employing RFID to cut supply chain losses and integrating RFID with other security systems; as well as applications that track components and their history; the challenges inherent in tagging parts in harsh conditions; cutting costs using RFID with returnable assets; integrating RFID within the supply chain; the challenges and benefits of using RFID for item-level tagging; solutions for implementing RFID at the item level; and the benefits and applications of using real-time location systems (RTLS).

News and Announcements

During the main conference, several end users and industry leaders revealed how companies can employ RFID and EPC technologies to cut costs, improve supply-chain efficiencies and better serve their customers. Presenters included Airbus, Apo Conerpo, Container Centalen, DHL, The Jewlery Store, Lemmi Fashion, LogDynamics, Rolls-Royce, Schuitema, Sony, Vicaima and others. Among the announcements made at the show were:

• Elektrobit unveiled its EB Identification Network, an RFID suite consisting of interrogators, controllers and software designed to help companies implement, tune and manage networks of RFID readers, thereby reducing interference and congestion. (See Elektrobit Unveils UHF RFID Suite.)

• Metro Group explained how it is using RFID-enabled forklifts at a distribution center in Hamm, Germany, to track tagged pallets of frozen food and the locations where they are stored. (See Metro Sees Progress With Its Frozen-Foods Pilot.)

• Aker Yards, a shipyard in Turku, Finland, discussed how it has installed interrogators alongside gangplanks so administrators can determine who is on board a vessel and in danger in the event of a fire or other risk. (See Aker Yards Uses RFID to Ramp Up Worker Safety.)

• John Deere technology architect Mark Moran explained how the heavy-machinery manufacturer is using EPC Gen 2 tags to add quality control, monitor work-in-process and streamline production. Moran described how the firm used EPC/RFID technologies to make sure products coming off the line with quality issues and marked with repair tags didn't end up on delivery trucks bound for retailers. (See RFID Gains Traction at John Deere.)

• Intelleflex announced the availability of its line of RFID-enabled battery-assisted passive RFID tags and associated readers and antennas for the European Union. This technology is designed to extend the typical range of passive tags to 50 meters, improving read reliability in challenging real-world environments such as metal, liquids and outdoor locations. (See RFID News Roundup: Intelleflex Announces EU-Compliant RFID Product Availability.)

For more announcements from the show, including news involving Reva Systems, GS1 in Europe, Metro, the Institute for Information Industry, Microsoft and others, see Europe's RFID Focus Moves to Implementation. To hear a podcast overview of the event, click here.

At the show, RFID Journal editor Mark Roberti interviewed Stephane Pique, director of EPC/RFID for GS1 in Europe, about the progress EPCglobal has made on standards, the state of adoption of EPC standards in Europe and what GS1 in Europe is doing to help those who want to use EPC standards, and more. To view a video of that interview, see Video: An Interview With GS1 Europe's Stephane Pique. And to read Roberti's thoughts on how the show turned out, check out Europe Takes a Practical Approach to RFID.

Download the Presentations

Several speakers and panelists at RFID Journal LIVE! Europe 2007 have given permission to provide RFID Journal readers the PowerPoint presentations and videos from their sessions. Please note that several speakers did not provide PowerPoint files, and that some have opted not to have us post their presentations.

To download PDFs from both the preconferences and main conference, please visit the presentation index and click on any underlined presentation title or speaker name in red. If a title or name is not underlined, that presentation is unavailable. As more presentations become available, we will add them as well. The speakers own the copyrights to these presentations, and no material should be used without their permission.

Upcoming Events

In January 2008, RFID Journal will debut RFID in Health Care, a collocated event with The Health Care Supply Chain Summit, created to explain how hospitals and health-care providers are achieving benefits using RFID technologies.

Also coming next year will be RFID Journal 2008, April 16-18 in Las Vegas—featuring the second annual RFID Journal Awards ceremony—as well as the 2008 RFID Journal—AAFA Apparel and Footwear Summit, slated for Aug. 20-22 in New York City; and the next EPC Connection event, the details of which are still being finalized.