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A first read on RFID World 2006

At the 4th annual RFID World event, held in late February in Grapevine, TX, enthusiasm about RFID’s ongoing potential was tempered with a healthy dose of reality.
FILED IN:  Machinery  > Labeling  > RFID

J. Kevin Brown director of information systems of Daisy Brands advised the audience to “Plan what you do otherwise you’ll just have a pile of data.” The sour cream producer was a Wal-Mart Top 100 supplier RFID volunteer. “[RFID was a] personalized service to our customer to make it easier for them to do business with Daisy” he added.

Purdue Pharma’s 60-day pilot of RFID-enabled OxyContin at the item level was summarized by Mike Celentano the company’s associate director supply chain and RFID systems. “We had fantastic reliability—only 10 to 15 bad tags out of 230. We concluded that the fundamental building blocks for RFID-based serialized point-to-point e-Pedigree exists today.” He said Purdue Pharma is also interested in case and pallet-level tagging.

Bob Berg DHL’s RFID global program manager said quotes the delivery company received for an order of one billion RFID tags elicited a lower-than-expected per-tag cost. Of course orders like this bring down costs for everyone. Berg said it was conceivable that DHL would have 100 RFID readers in its system in several years.

Carolyn Walton Wal-Mart’s vice president information systems disclosed that the company was looking at wearable RFID devices that could read the tags as boxes are unloaded from a truck. “What if our associates were alerted as they unloaded trucks to know that this box needs to go right to the store floor?” she asked rhetorically. Some 7 cases per day are organized staged and shelved daily at the Super Centers. Walton also noted the value of RFID combined with sensors. “Bananas are ripened in warehouses using nitrogen. What if a tag sensor knew how much nitrogen was needed? Bananas could be shelved at a Super Center in perfect ripeness which brings value to customers and reduces waste.”

Rick Lingle

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