RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

Bowen, Atlas RFID Solutions partner for Midwest power project ••• FleetMind purchases patent covering electronic tracking of waste containers, including RFID ••• BlueCats, PLUS Location Systems unveil integrated RFID solutions ••• Industrial Internet Consortium announces manufacturing testbed, releases white paper ••• DNA selects Cisco Jasper to provide IoT connectivity ••• Paragon ID secures £2.2 million order to supply Oyster cards.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
Bowen, Atlas RFID Solutions;
FleetMind, Casella Waste Systems;
BlueCats, PLUS Location Systems;
the Industrial Internet Consortium;
DNA, Cisco Jasper; and
Paragon ID.

Bowen, Atlas RFID Solutions Partner for Midwest Power Project

Atlas RFID Solutions, a provider of material-readiness solutions for the capital asset market, has announced that Bowen—an Indianapolis-based general contractor that serves large power and industrial clients, as well as private and municipal water and wastewater clients—will partner with Jovix for a power-generating station project in Kentucky.

Jovix utilizes hardware, software and mobile technology that allows clients to locate and manage critical construction materials. The Jovix solution will be used on the project for track and trace, full site materials management and preventative maintenance in five slated laydown yards. Additionally, Bowen will use Jovix data-collection capabilities to provide accurate documentation for turnover reports upon completion of the project. Throughout the duration of the eight-month project, an estimated 20,000 materials will be tracked.

“Atlas RFID is excited to be partnering with Bowen to bring a material readiness solution to the project,” said Bobby Ball, Atlas RFID Solutions’ COO, in a prepared statement. “Bowen is a thought-leading organization that views technology as a competitive advantage, and we look forward to working with them to deliver real savings through technology-enabled innovation initiatives on this project and future projects.”

The custom Jovix implementation will include a combination of bar-code labels, passive tags, rugged field tablets and supporting professional services. A dedicated Atlas team will work closely with Bowen to implement the solution and ensure success throughout the project.

FleetMind Purchases Patent Covering Electronic Tracking of Waste Containers, Including RFID

FleetMind Solutions, a provider of smart-truck solutions, has announced that it has purchased Patent No. 7,511,611 from long-time partner Casella Waste Systems. The patent covers the tracking of a waste container with the use of RFID, bar codes and other electronic means. FleetMind showcased its FleetLink line of products, including RFID and the visual tracking of individual waste containers, at this week’s Waste Expo 2018 event in Las Vegas.

“Smart truck systems designed to meet the needs of the waste management industry need to include RFID systems integration or other electronic tracking means for effective asset management,” said Martin Demers, FleetMind’s VP, in a prepared statement. “In a nutshell, intelligent systems that integrate RFID technology can automatically identify items such as bins or containers that are being serviced. After having deployed products for more than a decade that have allowed our customers to improve their service levels and productivity, we now own the patent that covers the use of RFID technology in this context. Casella Waste is one of the most forward-thinking companies in this industry, and this patent further strengthens Fleetmind’s waste industry leadership position and ensures a great competitive advantage.”

The patent covers the use of an identification mechanism, such as an RFID tag or a bar code, associated with a waste container. The identification mechanism contains an identifier that can be used to identify the waste container, and that can be read by a vehicle with an identification reader. In addition, the location of the waste container can be determined using a GPS receiver. The waste container identifier and its corresponding location can then be stored in a computer for later transmission to a second computer, for example, by using a wireless communication link. The second can be used to associate the waste container identifier and the container’s position with a customer.

BlueCats, PLUS Location Systems Unveil Integrated RFID Solutions

BlueCats and PLUS Location Systems, providers of real-time location solutions, have announced the integration of products to offer solutions known as BlueCats Powered by PLUS, which PLUS Location Systems demonstrated this month at the RFID Journal LIVE! conference and exhibition. BlueCats Powered by PLUS provides location-based solutions that enable organizations to manage the relationship between assets and personnel with real-time location and activity data in a single platform.

The company’s Loop and Loop Local asset-management platforms enable users to manage places, items and individuals, as well as create rules relating to real-time interactions and distribute pre-determined events. The solutions combine a location engine with dashboards and reports to manage data on a single, integrated platform.

“We are excited to share how our new BlueCats Powered by PLUS solutions transform location and activity data into meaningful observations and reports,” said Nate Dunn, BlueCats’ CEO, in a prepared statement. “Loop and Loop Local were created to help organizations collect location data, manage hardware and devices, and customize rules and events to provide end-to-end visibility of the entire organization.”

Industrial Internet Consortium Announces Manufacturing Testbed, Releases White Paper

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an organization established to accelerate the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced the results of its Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) Testbed for Flexible Manufacturing. The testbed hosted its 10th plugfest during an 18-month timeframe at the Bosch Rexroth facility in Erbach, near Frankfurt, Germany, and brought together existing and first-time participants to test devices with a range of TSN capabilities utilizing the recently released OPC UC Pub/Sub protocol. Twenty companies participated, including chipmakers, network infrastructure and end-device vendors, and testing tool vendors.

At its most recent plugfests, held in Austin, Texas, during a joint Avnu Alliance and IIC meeting on interoperability in February 2018, and in Erbach, Germany, vendors tested time synchronization (IEEE 802.1AS), scheduled traffic flows (IEEE 802.1Qbv) and frame pre-emption (IEEE 802.1Qbu). The project created two TSN demonstrators with equipment from more than 15 companies performing real-time control automation functions over standard Ethernet network infrastructure supporting the new TSN capabilities.

The consortium installed a permanent TSN interoperability rack in Austin with end devices, network infrastructure and testing equipment for ongoing and in-between testing of TSN capabilities by members, and developed an interoperable diagnostic data application based on the recently finalized OPC UA specification for Publish-Subscribe (Pub/Sub) so devices can communicate key TSN-related status information. It integrated testing tools from Calnex, Ixia and Spirent into plugfest activities, and opened the plugfests to non-member participants to accelerate their TSN deployments.

Additionally, the IIC has announced the publication of a white paper titled “TSN for Flexible Manufacturing Testbed Characteristics of Converged Traffic Types.” The document describes industrial traffic types that the IIC TSN for Flexible Manufacturing Testbed supports and enhances the traffic-type descriptions from the IEEE 802.1Q specification.

DNA Selects Cisco Jasper to Provide IoT Connectivity

DNA has announced that it has invested in the expertise of its personnel and the new DNA Connectivity IoT service in order to become a significant operator in the global IoT market. DNA has collaborated with Cisco to launch its new Internet of Things (IoT) service, which is applicable to businesses in numerous industries. By pairing DNA’s extensive mobile network with Cisco Jasper Control Center, a global IoT connectivity management platform, companies throughout Finland can launch, manage and monetize IoT services worldwide.

“We want to accelerate the development of Finnish IoT innovations by launching a versatile, cloud-based and continuously developing ecosystem for automatic connectivity management by a global market leader,” said Esa Kinnunen, DNA’s director of IoT sales and solutions, in a prepared statement. “Together with Cisco Jasper, we are able to provide our customers with optimal capabilities for the development of IoT solutions and their efficient scalability for Finnish and international markets.”

Control Center provides near-real-time visibility and control over IoT services throughout Finland, and also has the global scale required to easily expand those services worldwide. The Cisco Jasper IoT platform is being utilized by more than 55 service providers globally, the company reports, and the thousands of automated commands enabled by the platform manage IoT devices across more than 550 mobile networks worldwide. Its connectivity-management solutions are suitable for the diverse and changing needs of companies of all sizes.

“This collaboration will empower innovative enterprises throughout Finland to launch connected services that enhance their customers’ experiences and generate new revenue, and to scale those services globally,” said Kalle Ward, Cisco IoT’s managing director of EMEAR, in a prepared statement. “In addition, global businesses looking to expand their IoT services into Finland can do so leveraging DNA’s world class mobile network and our Control Center IoT connectivity management platform.”

Additionally, DNA is joining the IoT World Alliance as the only Finnish operator in the global network. The Alliance’s primary goal is to facilitate worldwide management of IoT connections for its customers through localized and standardized services.

Paragon ID Secures £2.2 Million Order to Supply Oyster Cards

Paragon ID, a provider of identification solutions for transport, e-ID, traceability and brand protection, has secured a new contract to manufacture Oyster cards for Transport for London (TfL), the government body responsible for the transport system in Greater London. The contract, worth £2.2 million, will see the business continue to produce smart cards throughout 2018. Oyster cards are rechargeable smart cards used to pay for journeys on bus, tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL rail, river bus and most National Rail services throughout the city.

Paragon ID provides identification solutions, including in the e-ID, transport, smart-cities, traceability and brand-protection sectors. Using technologies such as RFID and NFC, Paragon ID provides smart cards, tickets, labels and tags to clients in such markets as public transport, manufacturing, logistics, gaming and retail.

Paragon ID is an ITSO-certified smart-ticketing specialist with manufacturing facilities across Europe. The company offers a range of solutions, including magnetic and contactless tickets, smart cards, secure personalization services, terminals and mobile applications for the public transport sector. It supports transport operators in their gradual migration from traditional paper-based tickets to RFID-enabled smart products, such as smart tickets, smart cards or host-card emulation solutions for smartphone-based ticketing.

“We are very pleased to extend our relationship with TfL further and include them amongst our growing list of clients within the mass transit sector,” said John Wise, Paragon ID’s technical sales director, in a prepared statement. “Retaining our position as a manufacturer of Oyster Cards means that once again we are able to reaffirm that we are a market leading business in the smart ticketing industry. Oyster cards are one of the greatest examples of smart ticketing technology in the world, so to secure this order adds further credibility to what we do. We are looking forward to working with TfL throughout 2018 and contributing to their success.”