Winckel

"The EPC Standard Provides Everything Needed" | Interview with Jörg Bald, Waldemar Winckel

Articles | By Winckel | 14 May 2014

Automotive: Market Evaluation

Harmonization Provides the Basis for Effective and Successful Cooperation

The EPC standard meets all requirements for all supply chain participants to work together successfully and effectively, says Jörg Bald, Managing Director, Winckel. The settlement would, however, not proceed without discussion, he adds.

Jörg Bald, Managing Director, Winckel, in an interview with Anja Van Bocxlaer, „RFID im Blick“

You claim that EPC will be the new standard which other companies in the automobile industry will follow. What led you to that conclusion?

Jörg BaldJörg Bald The company Winckel has already been active in the automobile industry for many years. We have been part of the team that developed the specifications. EPC is a global standard which the mass-market will follow. Many other industrial branches have agreed on the EPC standard as well. That is simply because it ensures the RFID systems' interoperability within the value chain. The majority of today's RFID readers are developed accoring to EPC specifications. That is the reason for me to believe that an agreement can be achieved in the automobile industry, as well. Still this settlement will not proceed without discussion.

„The debate on standardization is set to become even more impassionate when suppliers increasingly want to use RFID for their own processes.“

How long do you think will it take until a universal standard is established in this field?

It will take some years for sure. The debate is set to become even more impassionate when suppliers increasingly want to use RFID for their own processes. This wish can clearly be seen. Furthermore, there are technical requirements resulting from the process, for mounting the transponders, for instance. This is going to raise the pressure to deal with standardization on the application side. A standardized approach means that suppliers do not have to mount different transponders on different places of one contruction part because they use one tag compatible with all systems.

Which advice do you give your customers?

We give our customers the advice to use the EPC standard, if possible, or to orient towards it, at least. Basically, it is very useful to deal with RFID at an early stage. Those companies are in a good starting position that sit around a table and discuss: How can both, suppliers and manufacturers, use the same transponder?

How many percent of the suppliers are already dealing with RFID?

According to our experience, the vast majority of the suppliers already deals with RFID. Yet not all of the projects planned two or three years ago, were also realized. I guess, about 15 percent are working on concrete project implementations. I think that the market is only now picking up.

Besides compatibility, the chip price is probably also a subject of discussion during consultations...

Almost all EPC schemes provide for 96 bit coding for the basic version. Thus, the mass market uses chips with 128 bit EPC – without or at most with a few bit of user memory. This is what chip and inlay manufacturers align their product program to. As a result, these are of course the cheapest products available in the market, too. 256 and more bit EPC memory and/or a bigger user memory are more expensive, of course. Yet, this memory size is only needed in certain applications.

What factors does the price of an RFID transponder depend upon?

The price is significantly influenced by the requirements of the application technology. An inlay which costs five Cents cannot be compared with a product suitable for industrial use, characterized by special material, special adhesives, or an On-metal version. In many cases we have to realize that the issues of an optimized production are barely considered in the consumables' concept. Yet this is particularly a factor that can reduce the price considerably. When an RFID system is newly purchased, I would like the consumables producer to be included when the question is discussed: How can production be done in a technically and economically reasonable way?

How does Winckel want to address the automobile supplier market?

We are already well on our way in the automotive sector, which is about 20 to 25 percent of our business. It is an aim of high priority to further expand our role as leading full-service provider of RFID based information solutions focussing on this sector. Last but not least this is where the strategic cooperation with our partner Nofilis is aligned to. By using the component 'CrossTalk', we can communicate exceptionally interesting offers for suppliers thanks to additional compatibility and synergy effects. Furthermore, we intensively use the common potential as we can take advantage of about 70 employees' know how and their different competences.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 May 2014 12:27
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