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How RFID will transform Healthcare, farming, food, transport, payments, military and more

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RFID Masterclass

New Zealand

"It's great to actually get real information on where RFID is going INDEPENDENTLY without someone trying to sell their particular product"
Jim Chatz, Labelmakers Australia
A complete introduction to RFID systems, markets and trends, for both beginners and experts.
Also hear The Warehouse speak about their activities with RFID
26 July 2006 10:00am - 4:00pm
Langham Hotel
83 Symonds Street
Presented by world acclaimed expert Dr Peter Harrop FIEE flying in from the UK, it covers:
  • How RFID is transforming industries in retailing, manufacturing, transportation, livestock, healthcare and others
  • An introduction to RFID systems and hardware choices
  • How to prevent errors, reduce costs and increase sales
  • Assessment of choices of making RFID smart labels
  • Examples of RFID being used, how many have been sold and into which markets
  • Leveraging Wi-Fi, Zigbee, UWB, etc
  • Markets driving volumn use of RFID to 2016
  • New applications and advice on entry to market as a user or supplier
  • Comparison of RFID frequencies
  • The RFID value chain, major players and opportunities
  • Failures and successes; RFID forecasts and trends 2006-2016

Hear Caleb Nicholson, Programme Manager – Supply Chain, The Warehouse speak about their activities with RFID which include:

  • How to approach RFID - Proof of concept, pilot, rollout
  • How to go about setting up a Proof of Concept
  • Costs involved setting up Proof of Concept
  • How RFID can be used to improve stock availability for customers through enhancing its supply chain processes
  • Potential costs and ROI using RFID
  • How many tags will be required
  • The next stage of using RFID

RFID in New Zealand and Australia

By Dr Peter Harrop IDTechEx

The global use of RFID is increasing very rapidly from a US$2.7 billion business in 2006 to $26 billion in 2017. As an enabling technology, it is already being widely used, including on penguins in the Antarctic, for research. Australia has the world's leading producer of RFID chips for a form of RFID called Real Time Locating Systems RTLS - a company called G2 Microsystems. Magellan of Australia has the key to reading hundreds of tags at a time at the favourite frequency - HF. This was previously thought impossible. For the highest volumes in RFID application across the world, attention is on tagging pallets and cases delivered to the leading US retailers and to the US Military (which has the world's largest supply chain - not Wal-Mart) and all Australasian producers will be mandated to do this soon.

Australia and New Zealand have some leadership positions in adopting RFID, cattle in Australia (by law) and milk samples in New Zealand being examples of this. In some other respects, these countries are laggards in adopting RFID and need to benchmark against best practice elsewhere and catch up. Only in that way will the benefits of cost, increased sales and improved security and safety be enjoyed and competitive position boosted.

For example, New Zealand is well behind Botswana, Uruguay, Australia and Canada in tagging cattle and it is showing no urgency to catch up despite the fact that farmers mandated to use RFID on livestock usually enjoy benefits beyond the desired traceability during disease outbreaks. Automated optimal feeding, administration of drugs and supplements and automated record keeping are possible and some RFID tags monitor the temperature in the ear canal or the body which correlates with health. Needless to say, traceability and optimal management are competitive weapons in the livestock industry. The European Community, despite its slow and bureaucratic decision making, requires RFID tagging of herds of sheep, goats and pigs by 2008 and cattle by 2010, only small herds being exempted. When the big food importers behave in this way, they require nothing less from their foreign sources of food.

The tagging of books, DVDs CDs etc in libraries automates stocktaking, finding of lost books, checking in and out and even theft prevention. Despite this, it is relatively rare in Australasia, where military use of RFID is minimal as well. That is about to change.

The IDTechEx Knowledgebase of over 2000 case studies of RFID in 76 countries lists 41 case studies in Australia and eight in New Zealand but the number in both countries is now rising rapidly as new data are entered. They will increasingly reflect the increase in item level tagging as it moves up to overtake pallet and case tagging. This is good news, because producers and shippers stand to gain excellent paybacks from item level tagging whereas pallet and case tagging is often done under sufferance without payback, rather in the way that anti-theft tagging is fitted at the request of retailers that do not contribute to the cost. Indeed item level tagging is tackling other challenges such as the 15% of hospital assets, by value, that are lost or disappear every year. The illustration below shows the current position with tag location across all the case studies worldwide. New Zealanders will pay with contactless smart cards, including those for transport and the major credit card brands because payment is faster when you just hold them near the terminal. The new RFID passports will improve security. Aircraft parts, covneyances and more will be tagged, creating a wealth of business opportunities for both suppliers and users. Keep up or regret it!

Australian Case Studies breakdown
Source IDTechEx

Australia comes tenth in the number of case studies of RFID worldwide as shown below.

Case Studies breakdown by country
Source IDTechEx

In Australia there is one case in an airport but fourteen in animals and farming, covering tagging of cattle, fish, horses and sheep. There are only two cases of books, libraries and archiving involving RFID but nine in financial, security and safety applications. These are fascinating in their imagination and diversity from pipeline location, forensic samples tracking, police car tracking, visitor tagging and e-passports to tagging sex offenders and boats. If the database is anything to go by, healthcare facilities, land and sea logistics and postal are laggards in using RFID in Australia, there being only three such cases recorded. Similarly there are only four cases of RFID in action in leisure, sports, military and manufacturing taken together. The retail and consumer goods industries in Australia are on the move in RFID but only three significant cases can be documented so far, all involving conveyances and cases. However, there is real leadership in the passenger transport/ automotive sector with eight major schemes covering car immobilisers, transit ticketing and non-stop road tolling.

New Zealand has two cases of RFID in libraries, one each in financial/ security/ safety, there are seven in leisure/ sports and two in retail/ consumer goods and passenger transport/ automotive - in this case rail. Fonterra, the world's largest milk cooperative, has appointed system integrators for a major use of RFID for error prevention, record keeping and efficiency in New Zealand. 16000 tags will be used for the vats. Another 500 000 will be on sample vials and a total of 3000 readers are being purchased. This size of business rivals some of the biggest RFID orders in the world and there is more to come as Fonterra replaces all barcodes with the more reliable and versatile RFID. The tag suppliers have not been confirmed yet as there are a few problems to be ironed out. Implementation of the project should be complete by 30 September 2006.

RFID business opportunity in New Zealand

Botany Library in Manukau City opened in October 2004 as a pilot site for RFID. Since opening, the Library has been visited by numerous personnel from other libraries in NZ who are interested to see the technology in action. The Library went on to win the Computerworld Award for use of IT by Government.

The RFID interface protocol used to integrate with the Library Management System (LMS) was already in place (patented by 3M a number of years ago), to enable electromagnetic based technologies -used in self check machines - to integrate directly with most LMSs (It's called SIP - Standard Interface Protocol). Checkpoint who supplied the RFID application at Botany also supplied 13.56Mhz passive tags.

Manukau Libraries is currently undertaking a library-wide process review to identify where they can improve everything they do and make the most effective use of their limited resources. They have already achieved 20% longer opening hours at Botany Library with the same FTE (compared with nearby branches) as a result of the RFID pilot there. The system wide rollout is planned over 4 years commencing late this fiscal year (approx. April 2007 onwards). It will involve equipping 14 sites and tagging over 670,000 items. Tenders are also expected to go out by December for sorting equipment.

Checkpoint Scanners Scanning books to take out at Botany Library

Source IDTechEx

It's your chance to have independent experts update you on the global progress, trends and how you can benefit from RFID.

For more read RFID Forecasts, Players, Opportunities and, for New Zealand contact Teresa Henry t.henry@idtechex.com.

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