Over 200 people attended the second annual IDTechEx Active RFID Summit in Atlanta, Georgia in November. There were many positive remarks about the event and delegates expressed particular interest in Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) this year. The overall theme of the conference showed that Active RFID is already demonstrating significant business improvements and excellent returns on investment. These real world benefits were described by end users of the technology who have accumulated valuable experience in deploying active systems.
Industrial heavyweights British Petroleum and IBM shared how they have jointly installed a system within large BP facilities to greatly improve employee and contractor safety. Previous to an active RFID system, emergency situations could often involve great uncertainty as to employee whereabouts resulting in rescue teams being sent to where employees were thought to be, not to where they were. In industrial settings this involves great risk.
Dr. In Mun, of Aventura Hospital, part of one of the largest hospital groups in the country, detailed their analysis of just about every technology and every vendor of automatic identification. They have begun to accumulate valuable data to improve tracking of assets such as infusion pumps and stretchers, thus potentially being able to save millions of dollars per hospital per year!
The old adage about investing in real estate, because they're not making any more of it, certainly resonates with maritime ports. These facilities handle increasingly massive ships, thousands of containers and the trucks required to offload them and move goods through the supply chain. And unlike distribution centers, which can be placed anywhere there is a lot of land and access to highways, these ports tend to be in or adjacent to major cities, where land is neither inexpensive or expandable. Thus, conference delegates heard how active RFID is being used at several such facilities to keep up with the ever increasing growth of trade.
While the availability of land is not so much of an issue with a new distribution center, those already in existence are benefiting greatly from tracking trucks and trailers. Delegates learned about award winning logistics company NYK Logistics and how they have kept pace with some of the largest and fastest growing retailers in North America. By monitoring which shipments are ready and linking this data with arriving trucks, NYK has been able to meet the seasonal demands of their customers and greatly improve distribution center efficiency.
At the heart of successful active RFID implementations is the technology itself. Data is worthless if it doesn't reach its destination. By using different technologies there is an active solution to nearly every application. From 433 MHz to ultra wide band, and everything in between, delegates learned which technology might work for them. One delegate commented on the excitement that could be felt in the exhibition area given the highly fruitful discussions and business relationships being developed there. Another commented "Great speakers with case studies, real world implementations and great networking", all hallmarks of a great event.
Join us at the sixth annual RFID Smart Labels conference, now also with a full day dedicated to Active RFID and RTLS technologies. Anyone interested in participating in the event, as a speaker, sponsor, or delegate should contact Raghu Das firstname.lastname@example.org
to explore the great possibilities of another year of development in this technology or see www.idtechex.com/usa
(Feb 21-22, Boston, USA).