Archive for the ‘Defense & military’ Category

Global demand for RFID tags nears $2B in 2010; 47 billion tags will be in use by 2015

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Global demand for RFID tags exceeded $1.9 billion in 2010, a value that is expected to more than triple within the next five years. Unit volumes are anticipated to increase more than 10-fold during the same forecast period, growing from 4.3 billion tags in 2010 to more than 47 billion by 2015.

According to VDC Research, the trends behind this market growth include, but are not limited to:

  • Scaling of existing projects in a diversity of markets and applications
  • Decreased pilot-to-deployment time and an increased level of commitment
  • A deeper understanding of the technology’s value propositions and limitations
  • More attractive price/performance levels and simplified investment justification
  • Deep integration and continued convergence with legacy systems
  • A continued push for adoption throughout value chains

Although approximately 50 percent of all global transponder revenues are derived from two verticals — transportation and government (primary applications are supply chain, asset tracking, security/access control and ID) — the rapid evolution and scaling within the retail sector is expected to dramatically alter the vertical landscape.

Retail accounted for less than 10 percent of all tag revenues in 2010; however, by 2015, the retail sector is expected to represent nearly 30 percent of total global revenues. Click here to read RFID 24-’s previous coverage on RFID and retail.

Click here to read the full VDC executive summary.

U.S. DoD tests RFID to get food rations to troops in Afghanistan battlefields

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

In case you missed this week’s lead story, we’ve posted it here for you:

The U.S. Department of Defense is testing RFID with the hope of using the technology to get more nutritious foods into the hands of U.S. troops involved in critical missions overseas.

Long an innovator when it comes to RFID, the DOD’s latest use case involves tagging First Strike Rations, a compact, eat-on-the-move assault ration designed for use by soldiers during periods of highly intense and mobile combat operations, such as those in Afghanistan.

The DOD has enlisted a team of researchers at the University of South Florida Polytechnic’s College of Technology and Innovation Lab to develop a system to predict the shelf life of packaged FSR meals and to monitor their quality during shipment and storage. Eventually, more than 5,000 pallets of FSRs could carry RFID tags. The DOD will also consider tagging more than a million pallets of MREs.

Phase two of the project, which began in April and will run for 18 months, will study food science issues like how high temperatures in storage depots break down the nutritional value of FSR’s. During phase one, which began in 2009, researchers tested hundreds of temperature sensitive tags and developed a system that uses a Motorola hand-held reader and software to interrogate an RFID tag and determine the quality of food items and its remaining shelf life. Researchers have recommended a tag from Intelleflex for the project, although they will continue to study new tag technologies that emerge over the next 18 months.

“Shelf life is dynamic. It depends on the temperature of storage,” says Dr. Ismail Uysal, a post-doctoral researcher and one of 10 CTI researchers working on the project. “Some of these products will be stored in Iraq or Afghanistan, where warehouse temperatures can reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter the temperature, the quicker the food quality declines.”

The research team is conducting tests by tagging pallets of First Strike Rations (FSRs), which were first developed in 2002 and began shipping to troops in 2007. A single FSR, which contains 24 hours worth of food, is approximately half the size and weight of three MREs. The typical shelf life for FSRs is two years, stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Seven cases of FSRs — which include items like pocket sandwiches, cereal bars, applesauce and beef jerky — provide a one day supply of food for 63 soldiers.

Uysal says that the system has been developed to the point where the DOD could put a pilot into place at any time if it chooses to do so. “If they wanted to implement a pilot tomorrow in the actual FSR supply chain they could,” he says. “The technology is there. It’s a closed loop system. We are just on the research side of this. But the technology is there.”

The CTI Lab continues to test the technology within its internal labs. The research doesn’t involve shipping actual product through the DOD supply chain, but utilizes the lab’s temperature chambers to simulate temperature conditions that FSRs will likely be stored in.

The DOD, meanwhile, will benefit from increased food quality and safety, which can translate into peak performance for soldiers. Away from the battle lines, the DOD’s current quality control system requires a person to spend 10 to 15 minutes inspecting each pallet for food quality. RFID technology can cut the time to 10 to 15 seconds, reducing labor time and eliminating waste.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Emond, dean of the College of Technology and Innovation, says that the research being conducted for the DOD will also benefit consumer food safety and supply chains in the future.

“The knowledge gained can be readily transferred to the commercial sector with consequent benefits to the nation’s food supply,” he says, “from fewer rejected deliveries and availability of better quality food to consumers. In any commercial supply chain using temperature-sensitive products ranging from fresh produce to pharmaceuticals, the proposed solution will be invaluable to prevent losses, increase customer satisfaction, and promote smart transportation practices for improved product distribution and management.”

The government has long been one of the biggest and most innovative users of RFID. According to VDC Research, the government — led by the DOD — accounted for tag sale revenue of $457.5 million in 2010, a number that is expected to reach $520 million this year. (VDC also includes figures from the aerospace industry in the government category). Government and aerospace use of EPC UHF tags is expected to increase at an annual rate of nearly 70 percent between now and 2015. In 2010, 136 million units were sold into the sector, totaling $19.3 million in revenue for tag suppliers. Unit volume will increase to 244.5 units this year, reaching 1.5 billion in 2015.

Additional activity in supply chain and asset tracking is driving much of the growth, as is the fact that more suppliers are tagging product. Roughly 70 percent of the products received by DOD depots carry RFID tags, although that doesn’t mean that 70 percent of suppliers are tagging products.

Drew Nathanson, director of research operations at VDC, says that the government market is moving quickly into Gen 2 UHF tags. “The government market has been big for active tags,” he says, “but there is a big movement to use more passive, so you are starting to see Gen 2 passive tags coming into play in lot of areas where its been active in the past. The government is one of the leading sectors when it comes to innovation. They are a pioneer and have a lot of money, so it’s easy for them to develop new applications. The DOD has been a hotbed of innovation, and when you support a military or government contract there are incentives to have that commercialized as well.”

Speaking at RFID Journal last month, Paul Peters, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Supply Chain Integration for DOD, said he expects the use of RFID will continue to accelerate. “I believe the expansion of RFID in the DOD will in fact accelerate similar to what it did through the first five years of this journey,” he said.

 

DoD tests RFID to monitor food items shipped to troops during combat

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

The U.S. Department of Defense is testing RFID with the hope of using the technology to get more nutritious foods into the hands of U.S. troops involved in critical missions overseas.

 

Long an innovator when it comes to RFID, the DOD’s latest use case involves tagging First Strike Rations, a compact, eat-on-the-move assault ration designed for use by soldiers during periods of highly intense and mobile combat operations, such as those in Afghanistan. The DOD has enlisted a team of researchers at the University of South Florida Polytechnic’s College of Technology and Innovation Lab to develop a system to predict the shelf life of packaged FSR meals and to monitor their quality during shipment and storage.

To read the rest of the story, click here to sign up for the RFID 24-7 newsletter. RFID 24-7 will carry the rest of the story in tomorrow’s issue.

 

International RFID Congress on tap for Sept. 14-15 in Toulouse

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Toulouse in September? Fall is a beautiful time to visit France. Throw in the International RFID Congress being held Sept. 14-15 and what’s not to like? The Congress is billing this event as the first event focused on RFID applications in the aeronautical, shipping, railway and automotive industries.

The event will include keynote speeches by decision makers and world leaders in the aeronautical, automotive, railway and shipping industries; business meetings and demos from providers of innovative RFID solutions; and a unique opportunity to meet and mingle with international experts and ISO officials, and to find out the latest news on ongoing work. The event will also feature a tour of the Airbus Industrial Showroom & Innovation Centre, which will demonstrate the use of Auto-ID technologies in the aeronautical industry.

The following specific topics will be discussed for each vertical:

Aeronautics

  • In-service parts monitoring and maintenance with reliable, hard-wearing tags specially designed for harsh environments
  • Development of human and material solutions that can be adapted for either in-house or outsourced maintenance operations

Automotive

  • Vehicle fleet management
  • Optimisation of assembly line flows
  • Prevention of parts counterfeiting
  • Assembly line automation

Railways

  • Automatic wagon scanning for stock-taking purposes
  • Ensuring safe management of train journeys through sensing controls
  • Maintenance of sensitive part

Shipping

  • Securing containers
  • Assistance for transferring responsibilities in maintenance operations

Lockheed realigns Savi division

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Interesting news out of Lockheed Martin today. The firm initiated several actions designed to reshape its portfolio and strengthen its performance over the long term, including realigning its Readiness & Stability Operations (RSO) and Savi Technology with Lockheed’s Simulation, Training and Support (STS) unit under Electronic Systems. The new line of business will be named Global Training and Logistics, a closer fit for the breadth of its products and services and the international scope of its business.

Read the full press release here.

RFID’s role in the U.S. pullout of Iraq

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Great story here from the Digital Video & Imagery Distribution System on the role that RFID technology is playing as the U.S. begins to withdraw equipment from Iraq in preparation for this summer’s withdrawal of U.S troops. Read the story here