At the RFID in Defense and Security show held yesterday in Arlington, Virginia, I was impressed at just how pervasive RFID has become in the industry.
When the U.S. Department of Defense established the Item Unique Identification (IUID) program in 2004, it was a huge initiative. As much as I would hesitate to describe it as a “humble beginning” because of its reach and magnitude, it has since provided a level of supply chain visibility that any organization should be jealous of.
Beyond the establishment of perhaps the largest and most complex RFID-enabled supply chain systems, the Army is taking the technology to areas of food quality and safety (yes, combat rations have a shelf life too) with sensor-equipped RFID tags, and the Air Force is moving rapidly toward tagging critical assets both on the ground and in air. The DoD does not move at lightning speed, but once they have their mind made up, they move in a big way. What many of us in the private sector call “initiatives and implementations,” they call “missions and objectives.”
Given what I learned today, I see a very bright future for rugged C1G2 UHF tags in the military. Xerafy’s partner, RFID Global Solution, showcased our newest product family additions, the Dash XS and Dot XS – the smallest durable passive UHF tags on the market today. During breaks between seminar sessions, we talked with attendees about how they could track tools for maintenance and repair operations and also how they could track critical components in electro-mechanical subsystems. Having the right tag is often the most critical component to success, especially in the types of demanding environments the military is presented with every day.
I suppose for today at least, I’ve had my allotment of acronyms. Thankfully, interpreters were not in short supply, and I’m looking forward to next year’s conference. Special thanks to Mark Roberti of RFID Journal for yet another informative and successful event.