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RFID News Roundup

GAO RFID launches two high-performance UHF RFID readers; Avery Dennison expands retail branding and information solutions to Russia; NXP partners with Glodyne Technoserve to provide access to banking, other services in rural India; Fenwal signs deal to become exclusive provider of Biolog-id blood-tracking system; Ortho-tag signs licensing deal with University of Pittsburgh; Engineered Systems improves crane safety with RFID-enabled inspection software.

Nov. 23, 2011—The following are news announcements made during the past week.

GAO RFID Launches Two New High-Performance UHF RFID Readers
GAO RFID has announced the addition of two new ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID readers to its product portfolio. According to the company, the 216017 reader features an Impinj R2000 Indy reader chipset and an Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz CPU, with 1 gigabyte DRAM and 4 gigabytes of flash memory, enabling it to run complex RFID applications. The device is compliant with the EPC Gen 2 dense reader mode (DRM) ISO 18000-6C standard, and is equipped with eight SMA RF antenna ports that support up to eight monostatic antennas or four pairs of bistatic antennas. The reader includes diagnostic LEDs on the face of the interrogator. GAO RFID has also launched another UHF EPC Gen 2 RFID reader, model 216007, which features an Intel XScale processor, 64 megabytes of RAM, 64 megabytes of flash memory, four monostatic antenna ports and a small footprint, the firm reports. This model can be integrated with RFID software, according to GAO RFID, and is suitable for supply chain or manufacturing and asset-management applications. The 216007 UHF reader, which operates over a frequency range of 902.75 to 927.5 MHz, supports dense reader mode and an autonomous mode function allowing independent operation based on external triggers, timing or software inputs. It is also designed to prevent data loss, by caching RFID tag lists in nonvolatile memory, thereby preserving data in the event of a power loss. Additionally, the company indicates, the device has an IP53 protection rating, enabling it to work effectively even in harsh environments.

Avery Dennison Expands Retail Branding and Information Solutions to Russia
Avery Dennison's Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) division, a provider of retailer industry labeling, brand embellishments, packaging, brand protection, in-store price management and RFID-enabled inventory and loss-prevention solutions, has announced that it is expanding its capabilities in Russia. "The dynamic Russian apparel and retail market is growing rapidly," said Shawn Neville, Avery Dennison RBIS' group VP, in a prepared statement. "Our goal is to combine our global expertise and local capabilities to deliver innovative solutions that will help our customers elevate their brand and products at retail, and improve supply chain performance from design to customer purchase." Avery Dennison RBIS currently serves the global apparel marketplace through a network of 115 offices and service bureaus in 50 countries. The company's suite of product offerings in Russia will include recently introduced offerings ranging from high-definition heat transfers for garment embellishment, enhanced RFID systems and Greenprint, an analysis tool to facilitate sustainable packaging development. "This is a rapidly growing economy with strengthening currency," said Evgeniya Subbotina, Avery Dennison RBIS' commercial manager for Russia. "Russian consumers are increasingly demanding greater selection and quality in retail apparel. Our existing relationships with global and regional brands, along with our end-to-end solutions, position Avery Dennison RBIS well to serve this important marketplace." According to Subbotina, the company will serve the Russian market through a combination of direct selling and distribution partners.

NXP Partners With Glodyne Technoserve to Provide Access to Banking, Other Services in Rural India
NXP Semiconductors has announced that it is working with Glodyne Technoserve, the technology service provider of the Indian state government of Bihar, in an effort to provide citizens living in rural communities with access to banking and social welfare facilities. Ultimately, residents of Bihar will be able to use the RFID-enabled e-Shakti cards as identity cards, employment cards and bank cards. The e-Shakti cards will contain NXP's SmartMX microchip platform, a secure contactless microcontroller chip featuring several security mechanisms designed to protect against identity theft and identity tracking, NXP reports. These include the ability to guard against reverse engineering and attack scenarios with light and lasers, as well as a dedicated hardware firewall to protect specific sections on the chip. The chip is designed to provide faster read-and-write capabilities, and can be delivered in a thin, 250 µm chip package suitable for a variety of contact and contactless e-government applications. The e-Shakti transformation project aims to improve the purchasing power of Bihar's large rural population, NXP reports, in order to stimulate the rural economy and further develop the Bihar region. For example, government officials can register participants as they arrive at work and then pay wages directly into their newly created bank accounts. Using secure handheld terminals, NXP explains, bank clerks can set up virtual banks in even the most rural areas, providing access to full banking services and eliminating the cost and effort required to set up physical branches. The terminals are also being equipped with NXP's Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, integrated biometrics, and GPRS and GPS technologies to connect directly to the bank's central server. The NFC reader built into the terminals authenticates each user via his or her contactless SmartMX-based card, while biometric data stored on the chip provides an additional level of security. "India's e-Shakti scheme is an example of the added-value NXP's advanced multi-application ID solutions can bring to millions of people," said Steve Owen, NXP's VP of global sales Identification, in a prepared statement. "Our ID technology offers a secure, robust and convenient way for the residents of rural Bihar to identify themselves. In doing so, they gain access to a multitude of services accessed on a daily basis by those living in cities." Binod Mishra, Glodyne Technoserve's senior VP and project director, noted that "in addition to accelerating transaction speeds, contactless-based systems also require a reduced level of capital expenditure compared to equivalent magnetic-based or contact chip systems. We typically find that contactless systems have longer lifetimes and are much cheaper to maintain, which is essential for states such as Bihar with many rural villages." NXP is currently involved in several of the country's e-government ID projects, including the National ID card and electronic driving license schemes. The e-Shakti scheme complies with the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), which guarantees 100 days of paid work a year to unskilled manual workers.
Fenwal Signs Deal to Become Exclusive Provider of Biolog-id Blood-tracking System
Fenwal, a global medical technology company focused on improving blood collection, separation, safety and availability, has announced that it has signed a five-year agreement with Biolog-id to exclusively market, sell and distribute Biolog-id's RFID blood-tracking and traceability system in Europe and the United States. The system is already CE Marked (a CE Mark is a mandatory conformity mark for products placed on the market in the European Economic Area, indicating that the goods conform with the essential requirements of the applicable EC directives) in Europe, and the companies also plan to submit it for clearance to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Biolog-id system is designed to provide comprehensive information regarding each blood unit following collection through transfusion, with real-time data available to both the hospital and blood- or plasma-collection site. This, Fenwal reports, aids in managing blood inventories, tracking the temperature and storage conditions of each blood unit, and assuring that the proper blood unit is matched to the correct patient. The Biolog-id system stores data on passive RFID labels, helping to prevent transfusion errors by eliminating manual steps and paper-based procedures. The system also enables blood centers and hospitals to work together more effectively, in order to assure that the right blood is available when needed, by providing both organizations with instant visibility into blood inventories throughout the supply chain. Biolog-id has participated in several pilots held in France, testing RFID for tracking red blood cells and plasma through laboratories and manufacturing sites, as well as to a hospital (see French Blood Institution Seeks Governmental Guidance). During those pilots, the firm supplied custom-designed tags and readers, as along with the software that managed data from RFID reads, and forwarded that information to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used by the pilots' participants.

Ortho-tag Signs Licensing Deal With University of Pittsburgh
In an extension of an ongoing partnership with the University of Pittsburgh, Ortho-tag a startup developing smart, Near Field Communication (NFC) tags for embedding into various medical devices, has signed a global licensing agreement with the university to utilize Transcutaneous NFC (TNFC) technology in "smart" medical devices for orthopedic implants and recipient patients. In addition, Ortho-tag and the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering have entered into an agreement regarding ongoing research for future Ortho-tag technologies and products. The Ortho-tag system was unveiled earlier this year (see Pittsburgh Researchers Develop Implantable RFID for Orthopedic Device). The solution leverages an RFID tag that can be affixed to an orthopedic implant, thereby enabling sensors built into the tag to track the device's health and use within a patient's body. The tag conveys that information via RF signals transmitted through human tissue to a reader placed against a patient's skin. Not only will the system track conditions within the body surrounding the implant, but it can also identify the device itself in the event of a recall. Moreover, it can help verify that the implants were authentic, and not counterfeit. The licensing agreement allows Ortho-tag (a spin-off tech company from the University of Pittsburgh) to leverage the patents held by the university, and to market and sell products based on them. TNFC is a critical component of the Ortho-tag stable of products that enable the transcutaneous transmission of information between the patented Ortho-tag affixed to an orthopedic implant and a proprietary Ortho-tag touch probe/reader. As part of an all-inclusive system, the Ortho-tag enables orthopedic surgeons to easily identify vital information about a patient's implant. By year's end, says Ken Laing, Ortho-tag's CEO, the company plans to submit for review and approval via 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is required for medical devices before they can be used on humans. During the 510(k) process, the FDA determines whether a device is equivalent to a previous instrument cleared by the agency or marketed before 1976. By year's end, Ortho-tag also plans to begin offering the Ortho-tag Card, a plastic card containing a passive RFID inlay, to give patients the ability to have with them, at all times, pertinent information related to their implant and implant surgery. The RFID-enabled card can be used to correlate medical information about a patient's orthopedic implants with other medical data. The card's RFID tag will be encoded with a unique ID number that can be associated with a particular patient; the medical information associated with that ID and patient will be stored within a database.

Engineered Systems Improves Crane Safety With RFID-enabled Inspection Software
Engineered System, a provider of overhead cranes, trolleys and hoists in the U.S. Southeast, has announced that it has chosen Field ID inspection software to replace a manual process involving pen and paper to record most of its safety inspections with an RFID-enabled system. The goal, the company reports, is to strengthen its safety compliance management, improve the efficiency of equipment inspections, better communicate with customers and gain faster access to comprehensive safety information. Engineered Systems is attaching passive 13.56 MHz RFID tags, compliant with the ISO 15693 standard, to crane, trolley and hoist components. Using mobile reader devices and Field ID's cloud-based inspection software, Engineered Systems' safety inspectors can identify equipment at any customer location, and access such information as the date of last inspection, certification deadlines and work orders to repair safety deficiencies. The company also uses Field ID's solution to certify equipment, and to immediately notify customers about parts requiring repair or replacement. Other benefits, the company indicates, include reduced paperwork, more accessible and better-organized information, access to equipment safety history, and improved customer compliance with manufacturer specifications.
Pub Time : 2011-11-28 11:29:55 >> News list
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