RFID News Roundup

By Rich Handley

PragmatIC intros new RFID and NFC solutions ••• Fujitsu announces partnership with Positek to grow RFID market in North America ••• Atlas RFID announces open API, Oracle P6 integration ••• Antelop Solutions adds VISA token support for NFC mobile wallet platform ••• Identiv, DTC expand global distribution of smart-card readers and credentials ••• Sponge system from Haldor Advanced Technologies enhances patient safety at Cambridge Health Alliance ••• Weir Oil & Gas launches RFID-based asset-management system ••• Honeywell vehicle tag enables secure data transactions for toll collecting.

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The following are news announcements made during the past week by the following organizations:
PragmatIC;
Fujitsu Frontech North America, Positek RFID;
Atlas RFID;
Antelop Solutions;
Identiv, Development Trading Co.;
Haldor Advanced Technologies;
Weir Oil & Gas; and
Honeywell.

PragmatIC Intros New RFID and NFC Solutions

PragmatIC, a provider of flexible electronics, recently demonstrated, at the IDTechEx Show, how its flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) can be assembled into inlays and tags. The thin, flexible and robust nature of FlexICs allows fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands to engage directly with customers through their products. The company has also updated the status of its FlexLogIC “fab-in-a-box,” with the first such system slated for commissioning in January 2018.

In October 2016, PragmatIC received a strategic investment from Avery Dennison, a Fortune 500 company that provides labeling and packaging materials, as well as RFID. The company has also been working with Smartrac, a provider of RFID products and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, under the EU-funded PING project, since 2015.

“We are very privileged that these prominent global RFID and NFC companies have chosen to work with us and integrate our unique technology for ultra-low-cost flexible electronics,” said Scott White, PragmatIC’s CEO, in a prepared statement. “With these strong partners, we can now enable the world’s largest consumer brands to add intelligence into everyday items.”

Fujitsu Announces Partnership With Positek to Grow RFID Market in North America

Fujitsu Frontech North America has announced that it has partnered with Positek RFID to form a new subsidiary company, Positek RFID, with the objective of expanding the market for washable RFID technologies in North America. Positek RFID creates and installs custom-designed laundry-management solutions that enable companies to improve productivity by reducing labor and merchandise costs and accurately tracking, sorting and managing inventory.

Jeff Markman will continue his role as president of the new company, reporting to the board of directors. Herb Markman will be actively involved with Positek RFID and assume the position of chief technology officer.

“Our business relationship with Positek through the years has been very successful. By creating this new company, we will enable Positek to achieve even greater strength and market success as industry moves towards digital transformation,” said Michi Sugawara, Fujitsu Frontech North America’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. “Positek RFID will continue to be operated as an independent business with a long-term goal of expanding its presence in the North American market.”

“We are excited to form a closer working relationship with Fujitsu,” said Herb Markman, Positek RFID’s CEO, in the prepared statement. “Fujitsu is a forward-looking company with exceptional product development. We are confident that this relationship will allow us to become even more agile and grow our market while giving our customers confidence in our long term success.”

“I am delighted to announce that our subsidiary, Fujitsu Frontech North America, has entered into this new business relationship with Positek,” said Kazuhiro Igarashi, Fujitsu Frontech Ltd.’s president and CEO, in the prepared statement. “We believe that the partnership with Positek will bring us a further expansion of the RFID solutions business in North America and development of new market segments, by making full use of Positek RFID’s sophisticated integration technology and extensive customer base.”

Atlas RFID Announces Open API, Oracle P6 Integration

Atlas RFID has announced the release of an open API for track-and-trace and field mobility within its Jovix material-readiness software. Jovix can now communicate with any system used on industrial construction projects, to pass critical information about material location and status to applications stakeholders. This allows projects to benefit from critical information about materials in the format and application that best meet their needs.

In addition, Atlas RFID has built in a new scheduling entity in Jovix, including connectors to Oracle‘s P6 scheduling application. Real-time material location, along with status information, allows companies to monitor construction progress. According to the firm, materials account for 50 to 60 percent of project costs and control as much as 80 percent of the schedule.

“At Atlas, we know that each project has their own quiver of tools used to manage all that happens on a project. Many of these systems are proprietary to major players in the industry, while others are more ubiquitous across projects,” said Daniel Bennion, Atlas RFID’s VP of product management, in a prepared statement. “In a material readiness solution, a system is needed that can communicate to, and receive information from, the applications you use already. The easiest way to enable this communication is through a public API that can be accessed by any third party.”

Antelop Solutions Adds VISA Token Support for NFC Mobile Wallet Platform

Antelop Solutions has joined the Visa Token Service program as a certifying token requestor. This enables banks and card issuers to use its cloud-based HCE Near Field Communication (NFC) payments platform to launch mobile wallets that comply with the latest Visa tokenization requirements.

“Our HCE SaaS [software-as-a-service] platform, hosted in a PCI-DSS environment and compliant with the latest schemes requirements, makes onboarding simple and easy for banks and issuers looking to launch their own mobile wallets,” said Nicolas Bruley, Antelop’s CEO, in a prepared statement.

“Antelop is already certifying as a Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) contactless wallet solution,” Bruley said in the prepared statement. “The addition of Visa Token Requestor–Token Service Provider (TR–TSP) certification means we can provide issuers with our own pre-certified multi-scheme NFC SDK that can be easily integrated into their existing app and a PCI-DSS Wallet server connected to Visa VTS & Mastercard MDES.”

Antelop Solutions, founded by a team of former senior consultants and technical product managers at Visa, launched its SaaS solution in June 2017 with the aim of speeding time to market for banks and card issuers seeking to offer NFC mobile payments to their customers. The firm was the first HCE expert to gain Visa Security compliance in 2015, not relying on any third-party software.

Identiv, DTC Expand Global Distribution of Smart-Card Readers and Credentials

Identiv has announced that it has entered into a distribution partnership with Development Trading Co. (DTC), a security printing and services company located in Saudi Arabia. The companies will bring Identiv’s portfolio of secure smart-card reader technology and credentials to the Middle East.

Identiv’s smart-card reader portfolio features a variety of contact, contactless and mobile smart-card reader and terminal technologies, as well as digital-identity and transaction platforms. Available in multiple form factors, Identiv’s credentials can be used for physical and logical access control, converged access solutions for building and computer access, transit payment, brand protection, time and attendance, cashless vending and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Identiv’s cards are available as single-technology credentials, multi-technology, or credentials with a contact chip for high-assurance deployments using digital certificates.

“Identiv shares DTC’s enthusiasm of forging into the connected future of physical and logical access control,” said Dr. Manfred Mueller, Identiv’s COO and general manager for smart-card readers and transponders, in a prepared statement. “For the first time ever, Identiv will offer its complete portfolio of smart card reader technology and credentials to the Middle East, made possible by this exciting new partnership.”

“DTC is focused on bringing radio frequency identification (RFID), brand authenticity, document protection, secure credentials, and the highest security access control to the Middle East,” said Sultan M. Al Ammari, DTC’s operations manager, in the prepared statement. “We are thrilled to partner with Identiv, the most trusted global provider of physical security and secure identification solutions, and provide our partners with Identiv’s cutting-edge smart card reader and credential technology.”

Sponge System from Haldor Advanced Technologies Enhances Patient Safety at Cambridge Health Alliance

The ORLocate Sponge System, from Haldor Advanced Technologies, is enhancing patient safety and quality of care throughout Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), an academic community health system in Massachusetts. The ORLocate Sponge System was recently deployed at both the operating room and L&D departments at Cambridge and Everett Hospitals.

The ORLocate system allows hospitals to eliminate the risk of retained sponges and instruments. Empowered by RFID, ORLocate can both count and locate multiple surgical items in a single scan, to confirm that no surgical items have neem left behind inside a patient.

“At CHA, we continuously look for ways to improve patient safety and the quality of care through innovation,” said Roger Conant, Cambridge Health Alliance’s associate chief nursing officer, in a prepared statement. “Introducing Haldor’s ORLocate system at our hospitals in Cambridge and Everett will greatly enhance patient safety, optimize process efficiency and reduce costs by improving surgical sponge management and identification in our procedural areas. We are committed to keeping our patients safe at CHA and this product is helping us achieve that goal.”

A generic adapter facilitates integration with hospital information systems, such as EMR, operating room management, surgical scheduling and decontamination and sterilization machines. The ORLocate View server provides reporting and analytic capabilities tailored to a particular client’s needs.

“CHA is a highly recognized healthcare provider in the Boston, MA, area and one of our first strategic North American customers,” said Ilan Kadosh-Tamari, Haldor Advanced Technologies’ CEO, in a prepared statement. “It was both a pleasure and an honor to work with such a hospital that puts patient safety as its first priority.”

The ORLocate platform’s holistic approach and modular architecture can be easily adopted to support hospitals’ growth strategy and budget constraints. A hospital may elect to start with an adoption of the ORLocate Sponge System and then expand to SPD Management and/or intraoperative instrument tracking at a later stage.

Weir Oil & Gas Launches RFID-based Asset-Management System

Weir Oil & Gas, an upstream provider of pressure pumping and pressure control equipment and services, has announced the launch of a technology that brings greater visibility and functionality to the way in which service companies manage iron assets from the field. The firm has developed a mobile application for iPhone and Android devices, designed to provide the benefits of the previously launched SPM Asset Management Program (AMP) directly to the field.

“Technology has reshaped our industry in a number of ways over the last ten years, but one basic issue that has continued to burden service companies is pinpointing exactly where all of their iron is located,” said Chris Hibbert, Weir’s pressure pumping VP of sales and service. “We set out to not only help them answer that question, but to go a step further in providing a comprehensive history and insight into asset integrity and performance.”

Weir leverages RFID technology to register each asset by serial number within seconds. Through this technology alone, a spread of iron can be accounted for within minutes versus hours, when compared to the manual process of counting and logging serial numbers by hand. In addition to the substantial time savings, this approach also reduces human error by automating the inventory process.

According to Weir, a customer utilizing the app witnessed a 79 percent reduction in the amount of time required for workers to inventory a fleet of iron assets. On top of reducing labor expense, the inventory of roughly 900 pieces of iron was recorded at serial number level detail, whereas it was previously recorded by product type only.

With SPM AMP and the newly launched mobile app, users can assign assets by crew or unit, as well as view Weir inspection certificates, so asset managers know the status of each piece of iron and its location within a fleet in real time. These gains in efficiency and accuracy provide asset visibility, the company explains, which can translate to improved safety in the field.

Businesses required to show inspection certificates on a jobsite can now access them via the Weir app and email them to any exploration and production company representative, as needed. This, Weir explains, eliminates the time-consuming task of searching stacks of paper for certificates, and thereby allows operators to focus on productivity.

Weir Oil & Gas has placed RFID tags on all iron leaving its factory, dating back to 2015. A a result, Weir can provide value-added services that can be expanded in the future. The company also has the ability to retrofit older or competing iron on behalf of its customers.

Honeywell Vehicle Tag Enables Secure Data Transactions for Toll Collecting

Honeywell‘s new passive RFID tag enables secure vehicle identification while preventing counterfeiting, spoofing or exposing customer data to unauthorized users. The IT70 tag can be used for highway tolling applications, electronic vehicle registration, vehicle access and payments.

The tag can be read from car and truck windshields at ranges exceeding 10 meters, even when the vehicles are traveling at speeds of more than 160 kilometers per hour. Drivers across Brazil are already using the Honeywell RFID tags to access toll roads, as well as to pay for gas and parking.

“Organizations want to prevent unauthorized use of the tags, and their customers need the peace of mind that data being transmitted from their car is secure,” said Hank Stephens, the RFID product leader of Honeywell’s Productivity Products business, in a prepared statement. “We incorporated a range of cryptographic standards to provide two-way authentication and data security with up to six access keys with fully configurable privileges.”

Since it is a fully passive RFID tag, the company explains, the IT70 requires no further maintenance once it is applied to a vehicle windshield. The tag features up to six access keys, cryptographic encryption support with the ability to perform AES-128 functions three times faster than competitive tags, a long product lifecycle and the durability to withstand extreme environmental conditions ranging from -40 degrees to 85 degrees Celsius.

“Although commonly used for toll lanes and parking garages,” Stephens said in the prepared statement, “these secure RFID tags can also be used for other electronic payment transactions such as buying gas without having to leave your car.”