Latest Publications Fri, 22 Jun 2018 21:35:54 +0200 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb An ambitious roadmap: Mercedes-Benz Vans counts on innovative complexity management The use of RFID relieves employees of routine tasks and at the same time gives them the security of having installed the right parts through automatic testing.

More transparency despite greater variety

Vehicles are increasingly becoming more individualised. Automobile manufacturing is fast approaching lot sizes of one – for passenger cars as well as for transporters. RFID project lead Michael Trunschke explains the increasing complexity of the worldwide Mercedes-Benz Vans production process: “There are 68 types of exterior mirrors alone, and once the new Sprinter model starts production, there will be nearly 100. For seats, the new model will expand the options by twenty percent.” These two example component groups illustrate the challenges for the production planners at Mercedes-Benz Vans when it comes to enabling a transparent manufacturing process.

The project started with an Industry 4.0 checkup

Holger SeidelHolger Seidel “All production processes must be transparent at all times – down to the level of every single part,” explains Holger Seidel, who led the team from Fraunhofer IFF supporting the Ludwigsfelde plant with a comprehensive Industry 4.0 checkup. “This transparency requires deploying an ideal combination of technology and IT. From here on forward, no application can be considered just by itself. The key elements for intelligent production are the combination of different technologies and the connection of data across processes and companies.”

Holger Seidel elaborates: “The checkup followed the principle 'I can't control what I can't identify'. This led to various recommended actions. For the identification of parts and documentation of assembly, RFID emerged as the best solution.”

Intensive preliminary studies for RFID use

The first phase of the checkup began in 2014 and focused on the definition of processes, the suitability of various technologies, and establishing a cost-benefit analysis. In the second phase, the solution was defined for specific processes with regards to their possible ROI. The next step was assessing its feasibility: ...

This article is part of the next issue of RFID & Wireless IoT Global published in the next days. Download your personal digital copy of the magazine and gain exclusive insight into more use cases and the potential of RFID & Wireless IoT technologies for process optimisation in different industries.

Take a look at our subscription offer as well and receive the newest issue of the magazine by mail or by e-mail.

]]> (PR RFID & Wireless IoT Global) Use Cases Tue, 06 Mar 2018 12:19:20 +0100
Orlando train tickets, a French success story French company successfully met the challenge, it is because his team dissected everything.

The customer satisfaction, a major concern.

Inaugurated in 2014, the first Sunrail lines have everything to prove to satisfy passengers in their daily rides. Yet, in only few months, the rail line company got a bad reputation about the one-way tickets. The reason? A reading problem at the automatic controlling machine to the point where riders were reluctant to use those machines.

In fact, many chips were not read and the paper was fragile, which generated a high scrap rate. And even if trains are comfortable and the staff is pleasant, the passenger experience was spoiled by those big lonely minutes wasted in front of a refractory machine. Inevitably, disappointed riders preferred to use other transport modes.

A true problem for Sunrail, especially since this dysfunction was a financial pit with high compensation costs. So they had to react.

Replace the machines ? Too expensive. It was better to concentrate on the consumables and find a new supplier serious and competent, able to supply reliable tickets. The riders trust was at stake.

Rethink the RFID ticket to ensure performance

If AXEM Technology has been contacted by his partner from the USA, it is because the whole ticket had to be rethought, while ensuring the compatibilities with the structures in place. In fact, the importance of the paper quality was clear, but they had to find a supplier also able to control and optimize the RFID performances.

And to get it done, AXEM Technology teams started by literally dissecting the former ticket to analyze it point by point.

Philippe MondonPhilippe Mondon “We then realized that some specifications could get optimized. Besides the paper quality, the chip and the antenna also had to get improved”, remembers Philippe MONDON, CEO of the company. “Few months only after the first contacts, we were sending samples to be tested on the field. Then in April 2017, the first 450.000 tickets were deployed in the Sunrail stations”.

Since then, the French supplier AXEM Technology, supplies all the commuter train tickets of the Orlando area. This contract, with a minimum duration of 5 years, represents around 1.5 million pieces/year.

]]> (AXEM Technology) Use Cases Fri, 12 Jan 2018 10:29:37 +0100
Covering all bases in healthcare with RFID from Feig Electronic Feig Electronic provides RFID reader solutions for the healthcare industry to identify, track, locate, and authenticate medical equipment, healthcare supplies, and more.

By Andreas Löw, Marketing & Corporate Communication, Feig Electronic

Efficient inventory management

Enabling accurate tracking solutions for medical supplies and equipment allows hospitals to focus on what they do best: patient care. RFID-based inventory systems monitor the current stock levels of various assets which are used in hospitals and laboratories, such as medicine and reagents, blood and plasma bags, surgical instruments, textiles, and much more.

Typically, intelligent cabinets or smart shelves are the basis for such inventory systems. These systems use mid range or long range readers, multiplexers, and customised antennas which are installed on cabinets and shelves for permanent inventory of the assets. Access to these shelves or cabinets is managed by an additional access control system which is also based on RFID.

Feig readers support ClearStream software

Feig Electronic continues its drive for straightforward RFID reader configuration and operation by announcing native support for Portable Technology Solutions’ (PTS) ClearStream RFID software, the user configurable fixed RFID software that can be set up in minutes to track assets and inventory tags.

Now, Feig readers work out of the box with ClearStream’s updated version 4.1 software, allowing immediate use of fixed readers - from the simplest reader operations to flexible coverage for the most complex customised enterprise systems.

“PTS is expanding the portfolio of readers supported by ClearStream RFID, which recognises Feig’s growing role as a leading supplier of readers,” says Brad Horn, CEO and Co-Founder of PTS. “This is significant for us as it signals increasing use of the expanded portfolio of Feig HF and UHF readers which are available to the market.”

Since every Feig product utilises the common API, ClearStream is compatible with all Feig RFID readers. The full RFID portfolio paves the way for future product applications as use cases continue to grow.

“RFID Canada, the Canadian distributor for Feig Electronic, has worked with ClearStream for years and has provided solutions for healthcare and asset management,” reports Bob Moroz, President of RFID Canada. “We focus on making RFID easy for customers to use, and the combination of Feig and ClearSteam makes implementing an RFID system simple and straightforward.”

ClearStream’s RFID software supports the Feig UHF RFID reader portfolio, including the LRU1002, LRU3000, LRU3500, MRU102, and MU02 units.

Greater patient safety and care

The aim of the system is to provide accurate patient identification, monitor patients status, and provide alerts at the point of care. Every patient in hospital wants to leave as soon as possible, so every patient has to receive the best possible care in the shortest possible amount of time. Using RFID for patient identification helps to provide the best possible care thanks to optimised processes.

This begins with the 100 percent clear assignment of patient files to the corresponding patient as the basis for any treatment and ends with the arrangement of a perfect sequence of treatment steps for the patient. RFID monitored treatment steps flag up existing bottlenecks and show how the hospital can best make use of its own capacities to realise treatment which is both fast and secure.

Identification of medical equipment

An identification system allows users to easily comply with UDI, safety, and audit regulations, and to track medical equipment location, status, and utilisation. Just as you have to install an inventory management system for assets like medicine or blood bags, a management system for the identification of medical equipment like ventilators or beds is also necessary.

To achieve perfect patient safety and care, you have to know which medical equipment is really ready for use and where it is – whether it is in use, out for maintenance, or in stock. Optimisation of logistical processes like bed logistics is another scenario which benefits from using RFID technology.

Secure monitoring of consumables

Handling consumables is part of the daily work of a hospital, including providing the right consumables and ensuring the rejection of reagents which have expired their shelf life. For the use of medical equipment like ventilators or other devices in the operation room, several hoses, lasers, or other consumables have to be connected. These consumables have to be clean and of the right size in order to prevent treatment errors. Each consumable is equipped with a tag which is read by an RFID reader which is installed in the medical device. The reader identifies each consumable and sends an alert if an incorrect or already used consumable is connected.

Reagents for automatic diagnostics are controlled in the same way: when the expiration date of a reagent approaches, the RFID-based system sends a message informing the staff of this, and once the expiration date has been reached the system will no longer automatically dispense the reagent.

Battery-less temperature monitoring

Passive battery-less RFID technology has led to adoption by a wide range of industries ranging from asset management and automation, to process and production control, to supply chain management. However, sensor data collection applications have traditionally always required battery power.

Recently, RFMicron, a Texas-based technology company which developes smart passive sensors, has created a battery-free, single-chip RFID sensor IC to support temperature, pressure, and moisture sensing data capture solutions. Feig’s UHF readers support the RFMicron Magnus S family of ICs for RFID tags. The new temperature- sensing chip features RFMicron’s patented Chameleon technology that enables a single-chip solution without the need for a battery, microcontroller, or wiring, which is ideal for lower cost, reduced maintenance applications.

Working together, Feig UHF RFID readers and RFMicron temperature sensors enable an ideal RFID temperature monitoring solution for advanced wireless data capture applications in the emerging IoT. For example, in the healthcare industry, data can be captured and stored in the RFID tag memory and uploaded to online medical records. Similarly, automated, real-time temperature monitoring is suitable for improved cold supply chain management.

Case Study: Sunnybrook Hospital relies on RFID in the OR

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, based in Toronto, Canada, uses RFID technology to safely identify patients, to avoid confusion, and to optimise management processes. In 2015, system integrator RFID Canada installed UHF long range readers from Feig Electronic in the adjacent areas and transitions of 19 operating rooms. There are two transponders attached to the cover of each patient's file for identification. The aim is to track the approximately 13,500 annual surgical patients on their way to surgical preparation, to the operating theater, to the recovery room, and subsequently back to the ward.

RFID makes it possible to locate patients in the operating room in real time – so numerous improvements to patient care are feasible. In addition, family members are quickly informed of the status of the operation without having to involve additional human resources.

This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of RFID & Wireless IoT GlobalDownload your personal digital copy of the magazine now and gain exclusive insight into more use cases and the potential of RFID & Wireless IoT technologies for process optimisation in different industries.

Take a look at our subscription offer as well and receive the newest issue of the magazine by mail or by e-mail.

]]> (FEIG ELECTRONIC) Articles Thu, 04 Jan 2018 09:13:59 +0100
Managing 4 million health records with RFID by Kathrein Solutions The RFID-based IoT solution allows the Health Records staff to retrieve and file records at a faster rate.

Written by Joanne O‘Doherty, Manager, Kinsetsu

The Trust maintains many IT systems which hold patient health information – however its overarching patient record is in paper form. By improving medical records management the Trust could reduce the time and cost associated with storing records and locating lost records. When medical records are not available, patient care is delayed and hence timely access to records enables improved patient safety and patient outcomes for the Trust.

Scanning 66,000 barcodes manually is time consuming and labour intensive

One of the Trust's largest acute sites, the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast, was managing 180,000 active records using barcode technology. With some 22,000 records in active flow every month the process was manually intensive – when a record was requested staff would locate it, scan its barcode and upon return the record and its corresponding location/shelf barcodes were scanned again.

Records were also filed alpha-numerically adding to the time taken to store and retrieve records. On this site staff were manually scanning around 66,000 barcodes per month. As the number and size of patient records increased over time the manual process of locating and managing records using barcodes had become increasingly unproductive and time consuming and the Trust saw a significant increase in staff time spent searching for records.

Want to know more? Read the full use case published in the December 2017 issue of RFID & Wireless IoT GlobalDownload your personal digital copy of the magazine now and gain exclusive insight into more use cases and the potential of RFID & Wireless IoT technologies for process optimisation in different industries.

Take a look at our subscription offer as well and receive the newest issue of the magazine by mail or by e-mail.

]]> (Kathrein) Use Cases Tue, 02 Jan 2018 08:48:07 +0100
End-to-End IoT Ecosystems for Localisation and Condition Monitoring The entire facility is outfitted using the same wireless infrastructure, thereby keeping implementation costs low and optimizing the entire operation.

By Richard Aufreiter, Director of Product Management, HID Global

Increasing connectivity of both everyday life and working life

There are key drivers to making a true IoT ecosystem a reality, and an increase in internet connectivity is one of them. Our daily lives at home and at work are online – connectivity is everywhere. Power source density is increasing. Battery life is improving year on year. Electronics are using less power. Miniaturization is dominating manufacturing. Furthermore, sensor technology which can detect temperature, motion pressure, and force is powering new productivity solutions. Lastly, data is king. Organizations are using analytics to make definitive business decisions.

Visibility of assets in real-time supports decision making

Passive RFID will continue to be a valuable option for many industrial applications. As industry operations evolve, demands arise for the real-time visibility of assets and items to optimize the workplace by understanding an item’s current location as well as the past, present or future condition of critical equipment. To fulfill these needs, active tags based on Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) and other technologies are being adopted. Organizations need an end-to-end ecosystem to collect, aggregate, and manage real-time data into useful information to drive mission critical decisions.

Easily locate and manage assets

Companies like HID Global address a growing demand for accurate, real-time visibility of the location of an organization’s assets and item management to improve operational efficiency across different functions – such as the ability to track assets including their historical path location to within one-meter accuracy. Industrial or healthcare organizations need to find tools in a factory, hangar, or expansive work areas throughout a building or across multi-building facilities.

From ladders and carts to emergency hospital equipment, implementing a simplified robust RTLS can save valuable time by locating the required items and having the right tools available to be productive. Production and inventory management processes are automated to gauge equipment utilization and personnel accountability, and to increase locational awareness of products and tools. Location services can also be used to optimize building utilization and management.

Organizations can quickly analyze occupancy rates for health and safety compliance, or empower facility & security personnel to react quickly during emergencies with immediate occupancy data.

Achieve optimal performance and equipment health

Lost capacity and equipment downtime are the biggest threats to a manufacturing operation. In many cases, organizations need increased visibility of equipment performance using multiple data points to monitor and react quickly to critical events. Using instant information, creating predictive and actionable analysis in a meaningful format is achievable. Armed with valuable equipment data, operators immediately know when equipment fails, therefore improving the operational workflows and performance efficiencies across the organization.

A one system seamless experience is achievable

The entire facility is outfitted using the same wireless infrastructure, thereby keeping implementation costs low and optimizing the entire operation. The HID Location Services and Condition Monitoring system, enabled by Bluvision, combines the power of Bluetooth Smart (BLE) beacons, BLE to Wi-Fi gateways, and a cloud service portal. Together, these technologies deliver a seamless operational experience across the organization and turn beacons into true Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

  • Seamless experience – Sensor Beacons (Beeks™) are available in multiple form factors to deploy across many applications. They support multiple beacon protocols including both iBeacon and Eddystone and use cases, with the longest battery life on the market.
  • Easy to deploy – the cloud service platform easily integrates into existing business application systems using REST APIs to customize data streams, dashboards, and reports. The complete system requires minimal infrastructure that is compact, easy, and quick to install. Additional investment in costly complex servers, antennas, or other ancillary equipment is no longer required.
  • Superior accuracy – streamlined proprietary technology is architected into compact components to provide industry-leading precision, despite challenging environments. Blufi Gateways are used to communicate the beacon location and sensor data directly to the HID Bluzone Cloud Service portal via BLE and Wi-Fi. Experience powerful performance and accuracy without the complexity.
  • Highly secure – leveraging end-toend AES encryption, data transferred within the platform is kept secure. Communication between beacons, BluFi, and the Bluzone cloud portal is encrypted with strong AES 256 bit and SSL/TLS algorithms. Additionally, strict policies are set to aggregate and create autonomous tag data to prevent personal traceability.

This article was originally published in the December 2017 issue of RFID & Wireless IoT Global. Download your personal digital copy of the magazine now and gain exclusive insight into more use cases and the potential of RFID & Wireless IoT technologies for process optimisation in different industries.

Take a look at our subscription offer as well and receive the newest issue of the magazine by mail or by e-mail.

]]> (HID Global) Articles Thu, 21 Dec 2017 08:30:10 +0100