Oilfield Project Proves RFID Value and Highlights More Potential

SINOPECThe news that one of China’s largest oil producers is using 30,000 Xerafy tags to track portable transformers is exciting because it is believed to be the largest outdoor RFID tracking project in China’s oil and gas industry. The massive scale of the deployment and the excellent results the customer is getting are receiving a lot of attention. However that should not distract us from the fundamentals that make this application great – and how it can apply to other companies and operations.

The oilfield project is a great example of how RFID can change business processes in areas that can be very hard to automate. Here are some aspects about the project to consider: Continue reading

Retail RFID Could Get a Boost by Tracking More Products

15515382_xxlIf you were a retailer, would you keep a few aisles closed some days so no one could shop there?

Of course not. To offset the sunk costs of rent, electricity, inventory, staff and other expenses, retailers need to make as much of their merchandise available for sale as possible. They wouldn’t intentionally prevent customers from buying what they wanted, yet that is what is happening within many retail RFID programs.

So far most retailers that use RFID are only tagging a portion of their product lines. That means they are not getting as much return on their investments in RFID readers and software as they could. It also means their inventory accuracy and shelf availability is not as high as it could be – and that prevents customers from making purchases. Continue reading

Xerafy Helps Automakers Automate the Paint Shop

81693796A recent Automation World article noted: “In the automotive world, a unique identifier RFID tag can do everything from telling robots how to paint cars, to what colors to paint them. ” It says one of the most important reasons for the increased use of RFID in automotive manufacturing has been the development of tags that can be read on metal. Xerafy’s read-on-metal tags have helped bring RFID into paint shops and other automotive work-in-process tracking applications. Now, RFID has become the go-to technology for automotive paint shop operations. This blog will help explain why.

Automakers and other industry product manufacturers have been interested in using RFID to help automate paint shop operations since at least the early 1990s. What Henry Ford pioneered decades ago remains true today: the more of processes automakers can automate and optimize, the more competitive they will be. The paint shop has been one of the last frontiers for automated tracking systems. Continue reading

FAQ for UDI

FDA-UDI-300x112The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently published an FAQ and other guidance about its Unique Device Identification (UDI) requirement to permanently identify medical devices. Xerafy has experience with UDI solutions and we are getting a lot of questions about where RFID technology fits in the UDI program, which we address in the following FAQs.

Q: If I use RFID for the UDI, do I need to have a bar code too?

A. No. Bar codes are not required for UDI labeling. The FDA made a point not to require bar codes because it wanted to give labelers the flexibility to use the automatic identification technology that best meets their product requirements.

Q. Do we need to retroactively apply UDI labels to devices that were in service before the UDI Rule was created?

A. No, but it is something to consider. The UDI program provides a consistent format for identifying devices and managing data. The consistency could be very valuable for asset management, inventory control and lifecycle management operations. Otherwise, organizations will need to maintain databases that use different item ID formats, which could contribute to errors or cause interoperability issues. Your automated asset management program becomes more valuable the more items you include in it. Continue reading