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  • Editing Team 12:01 on February 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Using RFID and Other Technologies to Track Global Food Supply Chain Is Essential 

    Europe-horsemeat-scandal-global-food-supply-chain-RFID-blogRecently, Europe is engulfed in horsemeat scandal — spot checks conducted by Irish beef inspectors led consumers across Europe to realize that they might not be getting beef when purchasing beef products. In fact, one inspection found that about a third of hamburger meat was composed of horsemeat, and not beef. This case is evidence that the global food supply chain is just too complex to monitor without RFID and other technologies.

    The issue here is simple: It is expensive to track every animal using pen and paper, inspect every animal crossing borders, and create a chain of custody showing where the meat used in a particular product originated.

    The world’s food supply chain crisscrosses countries and continents. Monitoring billions of dollars’ worth of food moving from one place to another is impossible with the systems currently being used. This leaves gaping holes for unscrupulous businesses to exploit, potentially putting tens of thousands of people at risk.

    The time has come to use RFID and other automatic data-capture technologies to monitor animals and food shipments. Small farms may say that they can’t afford the technology. But tags are becoming cheaper, and there are systems hosted in the cloud that enable users to read tags via their mobile phones and then upload that information, so it can be shared with business partners and government regulators.

    If there’s an international effort to standardize both RFID’s use for food tracking and the systems utilized for sharing data, the cost will be a lot less than the cost of having people swear off beef because they no longer trust that what they get is pure and safe.

     
  • Editing Team 14:09 on August 27, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , supply chain   

    Panalpina Monitors Cold Chain Network Using RFID Sensors 

    Panalpina-monitors-cold-chain-sensors-RFID-blogThe demand for RFID technology is increasing at a fast pace, especially in the healthcare industry, but not only limited to that. Now, Panalpina has integrated active RFID sensors in a third of its air cargo, since it is temperature sensitive. The company is now using SmartView technology on its cool chain network, and SmartView is also being integrated into the company’s IT platforms for seamless launching.

    The shipments being moved by Panalpina are healthcare shipments for the most part but Panalpina is also responsible for moving pharmaceuticals, chemical pre-products, dangerous and hazardous substances, printing machines and high tech wafers.

    SmartView is an active RFID-based temperature control system from Ambient Systems, an award-winning solution for cool chain optimization. Panalpina uses SmartView in its own controlled freight network. With RFID, temperatures can be recorded over-the-air and continuously monitored in the transit warehouse and while on the road when being transferred from the warehouse to the planes take off location.

    Every 15 minutes, SmartView system will record the temperatures using the RFID sensors, which are attached onto the shipment. Once the plan reached the delivery location, the information is automatically transferred to the central database. The Panalpina routers are typically located in the airport transit warehouses.

    Panalpina is also currently working on a system, which will make temperature monitoring of individual shipments directly accessible to its customers.

     
  • Editing Team 17:50 on August 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Research from Cybra Shows the Rapid Increase of RFID Users 

    Research from Cybra, a barcode and RFID software supplier, shows that in the past four years, the number of RFID users has increased rapidly. Compared to that of 2008, the number of respondents has increased 157%. It has investigated 153 enterprises, half of which are Cybra’s customers and most of which are retailers of garment, etc. The increase of respondents means that item-level applications have increased, but most of applications are used in closed-loop supply chain, which means production and marketing are owned by the same company.

    According to the research, 70% of the surveyed have already adopted or intend to adopt RFID technology; 54% are deploying the tech; 19% have no intention for it. Among these users, 81% of them expect to get the ROI within 3 years; 56% anticipate getting the ROI within 2 years. A quarter of them are manufacturers; 11% are retailers; another 11% are garment retailers; 10% are wholesalers.

    Researches of 2008, 2011 and 2012 indicate that 21%, 32% and 54% respectively of the enterprises surveyed were using RFID technology. In 2008, 51% of the surveyed were intended to adopt RFID technology while 29% were not. However, this year, 70% of the surveyed are intended to adopt this technology in the near future while the number of those who are not interested in it reduced to 19%. Most of the companies of these 19% have concerns of high cost, tight budget, that the company is too small to adopt RFID systems, or that they have little confidence in the ROI. In addition, 62% intend to deploy RFID tech in inventory management, 32% in monitoring manufacture and assembling, 26% in tracking containers and trays.

    Most users deploy RFID tech in closed-loop application and get certain ROI. A jewelry retailer has adopted UHF RFID systems including Smartrac’s Belt tags as well as R420 and R440 readers. It adopted Impinj Monza 5 chips in the tags, Impinj Brickyard and Mini-Guardrail short-range antennas in the readers, Laird Technologies far field antennas, and Times-7 smart rack antennas. The RFID systems keep track of each item to make sure their security. Cybra plans to work with GS1 to make a new investigation in the coming spring.

     
  • Editing Team 12:18 on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , supply chain   

    RFID Technology to Enhance the Consumer Shopping Experience 

    garment-supply-rfid-blogDid you have this experience? That you walk into a shop in order to buy something particularly but end up leaving discouraged. This has been a common scene for too many consumers for far too long. Now here comes a solution that can offer retailers the inventory accuracy and visibility needed to provide an enhanced consumer shopping experience, which is RFID.

    RFID is a hot topic in the retail industry, though the average consumers are not aware of the potential impact this technology has on their shopping experience. Using RFID technology, retailers can make sure the right product is in the right place, at the right time. They can also predict better when products are out of stock and merchandise availability, which in turn can drive increased sales and also frees up more time for associates to focus on the customer.

    Today, some retailers still rely on outdated barcode technology to manage their global apparel supply chain. Yet the limitation of barcode technology for item tracking brings many problems. Barcode scans are still inaccurate. Barcodes don’t provide any insights into manual restocking operations, and they were never designed to support rapid cycle counts.

    On the other hand, RFID seems to be a better choice in retail experience. RFID is a proven, ready-now technology that improves inventory accuracy and visibility, reducing out-of-stocks that frustrate customers and drive lost sales for retailers.

    RFID helps elevate the consumer shopping experience. With RFID, customers feel they can always find their size. Using a hand-held RFID reader, a single retailer can take a complete inventory in just a few hours, yielding 99% or more inventory accuracy, enabling the retailer to detect and address stock-outs so that goods are available when customers are ready to buy. It also reduces the unnecessary work for employees so that they can have more time focusing on customers

    This technology also improves efficiency by offering retailers, manufacturers and brand owners heightened product visibility throughout the end-to-end global supply chain. It increases accuracy, without the increased cost of labor for manual validation. When the garments are delivered to the shop, store associates can get alerts about incoming items that need to move to the sales floor immediately to prevent stock-outs.

     
  • Editing Team 10:46 on July 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , supply chain   

    RFID Technology Help Track International Wine Shipment 

    wine-shipment-track-rfid-blogUsing EPC Gen 2 RFID tags and readers to track shipments of wine from Europe to Asia, GS1 Italy and GS1 Hong Kong got a result and made a conclusion that radio frequency identification technology (RFID) could make the supply chain more visible, which benefits not only wine producers, importers and distributors, but also retailers and consumers can also benefit from them.

    The pilot has just been completed by these two groups, consisting of testing an RFID-enabled supply chain of wine between Italy and Hong Kong. Electronic Product Code (EPC) passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags were used in the pilot. They were placed on bottles of wine, cartons and pallets. Besides, temperature sensor tags were also placed in cartons and on pallets, and were affixed to the wall of an Italian vineyard warehouse.

    The aim of this pilot was to determine how well an RFID solution could help monitor imported products by tracking the bottles from when they were shipped from the wine producer until they left the local importer, en route to the wine shop.

    The data which was read from the tags on the bottles, cartons and pallets was collected and stored on GS1 Hong Kong’s ezTRACK Web-based application, based on the EPCIS standard. That information was then shared with the EPCIS-based data stored by GS1 Italy.

    Judging from the results, GS1 Italy determined that the accuracy of supply chain data could be increased from 80 percent to 100 percent and that logistics management could be improved based on having better knowledge of products’ locations.

    The technology proved that retailers in Hong Kong can “achieve full visibility of the whole movement of the wine products, from oversea vineyard to their storage destination, which eventually improved their inventory management and quality assurance.”

    In the future, by reading a label’s tag in order to access data regarding when and where wine was bottled, as well as the temperature at which it was stored, the technology could help retailers predict overstock or out-of-stock events, and provide consumers with quality assurance in stores.

     
  • Editing Team 16:47 on July 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , supply chain   

    Marks & Spencer Taking more RFID into Garment Supply Chain 

    MarksSpencer-rfid-blogMarks & Spencer expects radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to play an increasingly important role in the clothing recycling process as it moves towards a closed-loop garment supply chain.

    The process of identifying the components of products will become “more efficient” as technology improves, said M&S’ director of general merchandising technology and sourcing at the Plan A Stakeholders’ Conference in London in June.

    “I see a world where ultimately most garments in the future could easily have an RFID tag built into them which could then go through a machine that would automatically recognize a cotton garment, a blended garment, a wool garment and sort it automatically into chunks of raw material. As soon as you’re able to do that in an efficient way, it opens up a whole lot more opportunities around closing the loop.” he said.

    More RFID technologies will be used after a number of major US retailers agreed a set of guidelines for assigning serialized identification numbers to individual items.

    The guidelines, released by information standards organization GS1 US, will make it possible for firms to trace individual products across the apparel supply chain.

     
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