right_division Green SCM Distribution
Bookmark us
SCDigest Logo

Focus: RFID and Automated Identification and Data Collection (AIDC)

Feature Article from Our RFID and AIDC Subject Area - See All

From SCDigest's OnTarget e-Magazine

Feb. 16, 2011

RFID News Summary for Week of Feb. 16, 2011

Watch your RFID Wallet; Tag Consumption for Apparel Apps Nearing a Billion per Year, ABI Says; Avery Dennison CEO Bullish on RFID Too; GM Plant Tracks Pallets


SCDigest Editorial Staff

Below you will find SCDigest's summary of the top stories in RFID for the week of February 16, 2011.

SCDigest Says:

The researchers at ABI say that about 750 million RFID tags will be used in apparel and soft goods applications for item level tagging worldwide in 2011. .
What Do You Say?
Click Here to Send Us Your Comments
Click Here to See Reader Feedback

GM Increases Productivity at Transmission Plant Using Decentralized IT System Using RFID

GM has made major changes to its Toledo, OH transmisson plant that are based in part on RFID tracking and communications.

As a transmission  being built through numerous steps in the production process, each pallet carrying the work-in-process ist tracked via an RFID tag.

"The key here is the data throughput in the system, as it directly impacts the cycle time or takt of the line," says Reinhold Niesing, engineering manager on the project for Siemensm which developed the system. "The tags must be able to function in static mode, whereby the data on the part must be read before the process begins. Model number, serial number and build status information are all contained in the tag. The faster we read the information, the faster the process begins."

The information at subsequent line stations must be read "on the fly" without any line stoppage, as is often seen in conventional packaging, shipping or otherproduction line applications for RFID. In this application, all data is read as the tag passes by the antenna.

The heart of the system, however, is an advanced Siemens control system.

"We've seen great results, with activities that took months reduced to weeks and what took weeks reduced to hours," says Jewell. "There's less ramp-up time, plus the changeover and line balancing upsides are already proving this was a beneficial investment."


RFID Credits Cards a Security Risk, One Expert Says

New RFID-based credit cards are increasingly popular and allow the consumer to simply wave the card passed a reader, rather than through a magnetic swipe readers as has been used almost since credit cards were invented.

But can a consumer feel confident their credit card data is secure?

Maybe not, say some experts, though the level of risk is unclear.

Recently, one expert, Walt Augustinowicz of Identity Stronghold, recently took a portable scanner costing less than $100 and a laptop computer out onto Beale Street in Memphis with local television station WREG. Over the course of an hour, he managed to skim the credit card info from five people passing by merely by brushing the reader, hidden in a zippered valise, near the pocket of the person holding the card, as shown in the image nearby. (To see the full video on YouTube, go here: RFID Credit Card Skimming.)

While such skimming is certainly technically possible or even easy, that does not mean the data thieves could use the data for theft. Credit card companies say the scan would only yield the card number and expiration date, not the printed security number on the card or a user's PIN number. The user's name, address or other information would not be available for on-line purchases, which usually require the security number to be entered as well.

The credit card companies are said to be taking further action, such as American Express, which says that it uses an unbreakable encryption process for decoding the numbers read at ppoint of sale, meaning the skimming would not work. Discover told CBS that its verification code changes each time it is used, so the information gleaned by skimming could not be used for their cards either, though how that works is not clear (how is the consumer to know the new number?).


(RFID and AIDC Story Continued Below)




RFID Item-Level Tagging in Apparel Growing Rapidly, Says ABI

The researchers at ABI say that about 750 million RFID tags will be used in apparel and soft goods applications for item level tagging worldwide in 2011.

"RFID systems allow apparel retailers to get a better handle on inventory, reducing costs and preventing out of stock situations that result in loss of sales," says ABI Research principal analyst Bill Arnold. "The growth in retail item-level tagging is huge, both in shipments and in total spending. The average growth rate is close to 60% for the next three years. In fact, the number of tags that will be used for retail ILT [Item-Level Tagging] in apparel alone is likely to exceed the total number consumed over the past five years for all RFID markets combined."

ABI research director Michael Liard added: "Retail adoption of RFID at the item level parallels the course barcodes took about 30 years ago. The main difference this time is that retail department stores, not grocers, are leading the charge."

Avery Dennison CEO also Bullish on RFID Outlook, especially Apparel

During Avery Dennison's Q4 earnings call, CEO Dean Scarborough said that "We are starting to deliver on our value proposition to retailers and brand owners who responded very positively to the products and solutions we launched last year. RIS [the company's Retail Information Services Group] has further to go, but it's starting to realize its potential for sales growth and margin expansion. And although small, an important part of the long-term RIS success story is RFID. Shipments in the year of RFID inlaying for apparel nearly doubled over last year, and we expect continued strong growth in 2011."

He later added that " "It's certainly a big part of the growth in apparel RFID tags. We also had growth in other segments where we sell RFID inlays. So from that perspective, it was pretty broad-based. And we did have a couple of customers in the U.S. ramp up their RFID programs."

This is leading some to speculate that there may be a lot of programs going on that haven't yet found their way to the press.

Any comments on this week's RFID News? Let us know your comments at the Feedback button below.

ur feedback

Recent Feedback


No Feedback on this article yet