Update on RFID developments at Tesco
Speaking at the IDTechEx Intelligent & Smart Packaging USA conference this week, Simon Palinkas, RFID Project Manager of Tesco, UK, gave an update of their activities.
Further to popular belief, Simon confirmed that Tesco have not issued a mandate to their suppliers to implement RFID on pallet or cases within a set time frame. They are encouraging their suppliers to begin piloting and testing the technology. Simon did not believe such a mandate would be helpful for them - their objective is to add value to customers, but also keep things simple for staff. They do not want some suppliers, for example of canned beans, to be using RFID while others who are not one of their bigger suppliers to not use it on canned beans, which would make it confusing for staff. Instead, they intend to focus on product categories at a time.
Tesco have successfully run trials using RFID between their depots and they now intend to fully roll this out. They have ordered 4,000 readers and 16,000 reader antennas from Tyco ADT to be delivered this year. They will need about 20 million tags to complete this project, which will all be generation 2.
Simon referred to RFID as "radio barcodes" - pointing out that RFID was a term that their customers did not understand, but this phrase was simpler and clearer.