The Internet of Things will continue to evolve – While many people started paying attention to IoT and its potential last year, 2015 looks to be the year in which the industry lays the critical groundwork to realize that potential. As noted futurist Paul Saffo and founder of Discern Analytics aptly puts it: “The biggest shift is a strong move away from a single do-everything device to multiple devices with overlapping functions and, above all, an inter-relationship with our other devices.” Three quarters of organizations said passive RFID was important or very important to their IoT projects, according to a Forrester-Zebra Technologies study. Manufacturers, healthcare providers and retailers are among the leaders in applying Internet of Things concepts. The quality and value of real-time information that becomes available will take the guesswork out of planning and improve the speed of decision-making. Continue reading
The term “industry 4.0″ refers to the fourth industrial revolution and it is gaining traction in the industrial markets. The first industrial revolution introduced mechanized production using water and steam power, the second was characterized by the division of labor and the third by industrial automation. In broad terms, in the fourth industrial revolution, devices will drive some of their own production and maintenance processes by sensing conditions and communicating through the Internet of Things.
The rise of the internet and ubiquitous connectivity gave rise to IT driven information, triggering innovation, productivity gains and economic growth much faster and greater than the earlier waves of revolution. However, products by themselves were largely unaffected. Now, with Industry 4.0, smart, connected products using technologies such as RFID and embedded sensors, new data that can be captured, analyzed and managed through wired or wireless connections with the product. Intelligence and connectivity enable an entirely new set of product functions and capability, altering the market with new competitive opportunities as well as threats. Continue reading
A recent Forbes article examined what companies are doing to prevent cargo theft, which costs U.S. businesses $30 billion annually according to the FBI. The article reports that electronics and pharmaceuticals are the most expensive goods stolen from the supply chain, while metals, food and beverage products, household items and apparel are the most frequently stolen.
The article goes on to cover how companies are using expensive GPS, satellite and mobile computing systems to track their goods. The trouble with these systems is that they are used to tell when vehicles and shipping containers go missing. Xerafy can provide a deeper level of cargo protection, asset management and inventory control because we can track and manage products at the pallet, case and item levels. The most problematic products cited in the FBI report – computer equipment and other electronics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage items, etc. – are ideal candidates for tracking and management with our Trak Series and Metal Skin product lines. They can be used in the supply chain, but also in data centers, factories, warehouses, hospitals, offices and virtually any other location. Continue reading
The latest RFID market growth forecast from IDTechEx not only shows a very bright future for passive UHF, but also reflects how far the market has come. The healthcare market projection provides a strong example.
There will be 28 percent more passive UHF tags used for medical and healthcare applications in 2014 than there were the year before. The percent change is in line with the overall growth for all passive UHF tag sales (27 percent). However, the healthcare segment is growing faster than some applications that are more established and have received much more end-user attention, such as logistics, airline baggage and cargo tracking, access control and even general asset tracking. Continue reading
Lately, aerospace OEMs and MRO providers increasingly have been adopting high-memory RFID tags for storing part manufacturing and maintenance history for the life of an aircraft. The aviation market has accelerated adoption of Air Transport Association (ATA) SPEC2000 standards to improve both the structure and transferability of data. Differences in certification requirements among regulatory agencies (FAA, EASA, etc.) previously hampered adoption of RFID on serialized aircraft components. But now, driven by the common business goal of an outsourced, open source, global supply chain, the airline industry — led by Boeing and Airbus — the industry is collaborating to make more use of automatic data capture using GS1/EPC RFID standards of RFID in ATA SPEC2000 for permanent parts marking.
The application of RFID technology in the aviation industry has many proven benefits, with the ultimate objective of continued air safety. By storing information about a component part directly in an RFID tag that stays with the part, its history is always readily available at any point in the part’s service life. This is particularly important for maintenance, repair and overhaul organizations (MROs) which may not have Internet connectivity at the point of service. Traditional data collection systems (clipboard-based inspections, manually entering serial numbers, bar coding) are too slow and inaccurate. Part serial numbers are often inaccessible to workers, a problem that RFID solves with its long read range. Continue reading