A Visual RFID Landscape Complements of Analytica
The NA 2008 Show, sponsored by The Material Handling Industry of America, occurred April 21-24 at Cleveland’s I-X Center, featuring manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, logistics and IT solutions for the supply chain. During the show, Tom Park, CTO for Rath Information Systems, Bellefontaine, Ohio, and Scott Silver, owner of Midwest Sales and Marketing, Springfield, Ohio, updated attendees on the latest RFID software and monitoring product developments from their partner, Analytica (www.analytica-usa.com/rath). Following are highlights of their report.
Any application of RFID needs to result in obvious business benefits. The last few years have seen several developments that have sped up the adoption of this technology:
• The emergence of major consumer applications that bring RFID from an experimental technology into the mainstream. As it gains understanding and credibility through highly visible consumer applications that prove its effectiveness, its place as a solution in supply chain automation also grows.
• The development of “smart labels,” a lower-cost, easily integratable version of RFID tags that is beginning to take off on paths where bar codes cannot travel. It has been used and developed by a variety of markets, including automotive, government, manufacturing and healthcare, utilizing it for inventory management, asset tagging and other process control information systems.
RFID systems communicate via radio signals that carry data either uni-directionally or bi-directionally. When a transponder enters a read zone, its data is captured by the reader and can then be transferred through standard interfaces to a host computer, printer or programmable logic controller for storage or action.
This is where Analytica’s unique software provides added value. Aries is a very sophisticated software program offering end-users a complete visual of their facilities and landscapes in accordance to the hardware installed on site. It is a rules-based middleware that gathers information, applies rules, directs information, provides visualization and integrates with existing ERP products.
Related story: Taking a Gamble on RFID