Alert: Packaging World now enhanced for the iPad and iPhone. Watch a quick video preview
 
Download this free, 80-page Food Safety Playbook jam-packed with strategies for success, best practices, how to ensure compliance with FSMA, and pitfalls to avoid. Written specifically from a packaging perspective  Learn more >>
 
Article |

Conair: DIY RFID

It’s challenging enough for a consumer packaged goods company to commit to RFID at the bare-bones tag-and-ship level.
Print Reprint
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Labeling  > RFID
     

It’s altogether another thing when that CPG company decides to “do it yourself” to the extreme: Conair produces RFID devices of its own design based on Monza™ 3 chips from Impinj® (www.impinj.com). Conair, which markets hair dryers and other products under brand names like Cuisinart and Waring, was the subject of an April Webinar presented by RFID Journal.

Conair’s entry into RFID was motivated by two calls to action: Walmart’s request for pallet- and item-level RFID and post-9/11 appeals from Homeland Security to assist in securing U.S. ports.

Its plan: Develop best-in-class RFID at best value. To that end, it formed a subsidiary, United Security Applications ID (USA ID, www.usaidtracking.com), and hired Paul Arguin as director of technology and engineering to handle its own RFID development program.

ADVERTISEMENT

Why bother with in-house development?

“We tested tags in the market and determined that the sensitivity and, especially, the range, did not meet our needs for a nice, compact tag,” says Arguin. Conair’s 1⁄2 x 1-in. RFID tag with 30-ft range is effective and unobtrusive. It’s used on Conair products delivered to Sam’s Club and is also planned for Walmart.

Other outgrowths of Conair’s DIY initiative include an RFID-enabled ISO 17712 high-security cargo tag; high-sensitivity GPS devices; and combined RF and AM (acousto-magnetic) EAS (electronic article surveillance) sensors. John Mayorek, senior vp, USA ID, says it is going to be offering these products to the market soon.

Its program started with RFID-encrypted electronic seals (e-seals) on cargo containers (for more on e-seals, see www.packworld.com/article-19444); Conair is the 34th largest importer of merchandise into the U.S. that arrives at the Port of Newark, NJ. That security also permits the containers to cut the processing time through customs by up to two-thirds. The solution, which relies on a combination of GPS and a GSM cellular network, works in or on steel containers; it also uses some signal-processing software.

Mayorek points to another internal benefit it gains from RFID: Conair can automatically conduct inventory counts using AWID (www.awid.com) readers: “It’s a more accurate way to do that without using manpower out in the warehouse. It works extremely well for our inventory.” And he adds, “I’m sure there are 400 more applications where RFID could be used.” •

Comments(0)

Add new comment

E-BOOK SPECIAL REPORT
42 Best Package Designs
Sign up to receive timely updates from our editors and download this e-book consisting of our editors' picks of most notable package designs. Updated for 2014!
x

Newsletters

Don't miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!
GENERAL INTEREST
PACKAGE DESIGN/DEVELOPMENT
Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.