Software enables companies to meet the DoD's basic "tag and ship" requirements
Baltimore, MD — September 30, 2004 — With fewer than 65 working days to meet strict deadlines for their shipments to be tracked automatically by radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have the choice of another solution to meet the new RFID Policy requirements. Savi Technology introduced today at the EPC Global U.S. Conference a solution that can be integrated with existing systems to meet the DoD's basic "tag and ship" requirements for suppliers to use RFID technology by January 1, 2005.
Called RFID-ACT: Assured Compliance Today, the turnkey solution can be installed and operational within several hours, according to Savi. The company said it enables suppliers to use RFID solutions that automatically link information about their outbound shipments to DoD supply chain management systems to better prepare and plan for incoming supplies.
Savi said the solution is based on the company's 15-year experience building RFID cargo tracking networks by working with automatic identification and data collection (AIDC) technology companies. Through three procurement contracts with the DoD during the past decade, Savi also has provided a range of AIDC/RFID solutions, including for closed-loop and point-to-point operations. It has also provided network-wide implementations, such as the In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network that was extended in support of conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and today tracks an average of 37,000 multi-modal shipments per day over land, ocean and air transport modes. ITV is the world's largest RFID shipment tracking system.
Savi said RFID-ACT is designed to help suppliers comply with the initial minimum requirements of DoD's new RFID Policy to have passive (electronic product code (EPC)-compliant when available) RFID labels on cases, pallets and item packaging for certain types of supplies by January. Specifically, this includes Packaged Operational Rations (Class I); Clothing, Individual Equipment, Tools (Class II); Personal Demand Items (Class VI); and Weapon System Repair Parts and Components (Class IX).
Savi's packaged solution uses partnerships with a number of AIDC solution providers, including Symbol Technologies, which is helping to develop the first EPC-compliant labels and readers to track them, as well as Zebra Technologies, a manufacturer of bar code printers that also is developing printers for EPC-compliant passive RFID tags.
RFID-ACT comes in three different packaged offerings, which range in terms of price and functionality depending on the scope of the customer's implementation needs. All components, business rules and processes for both passive and active RFID necessary for compliance are built into the solution, which, depending on the solution level, can incorporate all or some of the following:
* Appropriate passive RFID labels or active RFID tags, encompassing Class 0, Class 0+, Class 1 and UHF Gen 2 labels (when available), as well as Savi's existing active RFID tags, which are required for other specified supplier classes shipping products via containers and air pallets, as well as for large mobile equipment.
* Savi SmartChain Site Manager, which is the basis of the solution that translates barcode IDs into Electronic Product Codes (EPC) and validates passive RFID data. Savi SmartChain Site Manager also is the platform linking real-time data from readers to existing software systems.
* DoD Supplier Shipping Application, which integrates data from existing systems, and manages, prints and associates passive RFID labels with DoD-compliant Advanced Shipment Notices using the required 856 format.
* EPC-compliant passive RFID label printer, by integrating the reader/encoder into the printer design, which has flexibility in tag placement and label size.
"Because DoD suppliers whose contracts are renewed in October have precious little time to comply with the military's new RFID policy, Savi architected this solution for basic compliance," said David Stephens, Savi's senior vice president, Public Sector. "Savi RFID-ACT provides the tools necessary to ensure compliance from pilot to production, and provides the flexibility to expand the tool set to meet growing needs."
There are approximately 43,000 suppliers to the DoD required to comply with the new RFID Policy in stages over the next couple of years, Savi said. A percentage of them whose contracts are being renewed the remainder of this year are facing minimal requirements by January, which include certain suppliers shipping into Defense Distribution Depots in Pennsylvania and California. The RFID Policy calls for additional suppliers to be compliant in graduated stages up until 2007, when the shipments of all suppliers will have to be RFID-linked.
Last week, Savi also announced the rollout of its "RFID Value Assessment" consulting services package, which the company said is a methodology to analyze, customize and implement solutions for customers trying to meet or go beyond recent RFID requirements from government and commercial organizations, including the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and Wal-Mart.