As we move forward into 2017, future prospects look bright for both the RFID industry at large and for Xerafy specifically. There are a number of positive trends that will impact traditional RFID markets, and that will encourage the adoption of rugged, on-metal RFID applications.
These trends include:
Recovery in oil and gas markets. Oil prices have been at historic lows due to OPEC’s strategy to keep production high in order to curb competition from domestic producers in the United States. Those low prices have cut into profits, and in turn reduced technology investment by oil companies. With OPEC’s decision to cut production this year, oil prices will return to $60-$80 per barrel and spur investment in RFID use.
The digital transformation of healthcare. Healthcare digital transformation will be driven by greater demand for traceability and transparency across the entire supply chain as stakeholders attempt to reduce costs, to improve security and safety, and to meet new regulatory requirements in the United States and in Europe. Medical device traceability requirements in the U.S., in particular, will lead more manufacturers to invest in RFID.
Growth of the Internet of Things. The IoT market will continue to expand with better security, faster computing power and Big Data. Growth in smart equipment and in smart cities will spur even more investment in intelligent sensors and RFID tags in order to enable this universe of connected assets. Forbes has even more thoughts on this.
Analytics will be in more demand. With all of the data generated by IoT systems, more and more companies will turn to Big Data solutions to help generate meaningful business information and optimize operations. (You can read more about the importance of analytics in our previous blogs.)
On-metal applications will be in the spotlight. RFID read-on-metal tag applications will become more mainstream across most industries in the coming year. This will be driven, in part, by continued investments in the key markets of healthcare and oil and gas production, but also in other applications – automotive and aerospace traceability, smart cities, connected assets/maintenance, etc.
We at Xerafy are looking forward to a productive, exciting year of RFID expansion.
The industrial Internet of Things (IoT) relies on more than just RFID tags and smart sensors: An entire infrastructure of reliable networks and powerful analytics tools will be needed to make the industrial IoT work. In a recent article over at IoT blog site Readwrite, Jason Andersen, vice president of business line management at Stratus Technologies, has outlined some of the ways companies must respond to the complexity of the industrial IoT. As Andersen writes, “bigger problems with more expensive equipment require bigger solutions with more intricate, more connected technology.”
Challenges for Industrial IoT
Many manufacturing operations are running older operational equipment and new information technology separately, but that may be unsustainable. The industrial IoT brings those two worlds together, but requires a new type of infrastructure that is virtualized, easy to use, and always on. It also requires standards and better IT security. Continue reading
The creation, implementation, and enforcement of policies, processes and standards plays a critical role in safety and efficiency in the healthcare industry. For example, to improve patient safety and reduce medical device-related errors, injuries, and deaths, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has introduced a new requirement, Unique Device Identification (UDI), to improve identification and tracking of medical devices. Under UDI, every medical device in use in the U.S. will have a unique code embedded within it and displayed on its packaging. By tracking these codes in a central database and recording reports of adverse events, the FDA will be able to identify product problems faster, target recalls more accurately, and reduce related errors, injuries, and deaths. To comply with these new regulations, medical device manufacturers must be able to capture, enrich, and manage accurate device attributes from their enterprise databases so they can then submit accurate, consistent, complete, and timely data to the FDA Global Unique Device Identification Database (GUDID).
With the same objectives to strengthen the supervision and management of medical devices and the sterile process in China, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) has recently revised the Central Sterile Supply Department Management Regulations which will be released soon. These new guidelines will help define and ensure traceability and auditability of sterile medical devices as well as a system to ensure data accuracy and continuous process improvement of the sterilization management. Continue reading
Internet of Things (IoT) is the driver for digital transformation, the idea of increasing connectivity among people, devices, data and other various items has taken the digital world by storm over the past couple of years. IoT is fueled by the network of devices we use and their connection to each other — which enables access to an abundance of information. However, these fragmented pieces of data are of no value until rationalized.
As part of the device mesh, RFID has contributed greatly to the emergence of the IoT. And thanks to Xerafy, it’s innovative tags are constantly breaking boundaries to enable greater traceability of assets in various conditions and environments, allowing more businesses to adopt auto ID into their operational workflow.
To better capitalize on RFID technology, businesses need to stretch their perspective of RFID to view it as more than merely a physical tracking method. The enhanced ability to obtain up to the minute and historical data to make timely and precise decisions allows us to completely transform the industries and value chains.
The increased transparency reduces costly uncertainties through a greater ability to control or enhance business processes. More than just data collection, the entire solution is a source for data monitoring. With the interconnectivity between the device mesh, various fragments of information either be accessed locally or be can be stored within a centralized database whereby the pieces of data can be analogized and connected to rationalize various issues.
Here’s an infographic on how RFID benefits field service management.
We’ve written before about the need for more collaboration when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). Without more standardization around actually moving data from “things” to back-end databases, we could wind up with a tangle of siloed solutions.
RFID is already playing a major role in the development of the IoT. In the applications where Xerafy has the most experience – such as tagging assets and equipment in challenging environments like oil fields and operating rooms – RFID tags provide a way to collect and transmit real-time asset data that can then be turned into actionable business information, even when network availability is inconsistent or non-existent.
The IEEE 802 committee has begun work on one possible solution involving Time-Sensitive Networks (TSNs). Continue reading