Active RFID Tag Debuts for Shipments in Harsh Supply Chain Environments

Low-profile U-shaped form factor in Savi's new offering protects components inside container

Low-profile U-shaped form factor in Savi's new offering protects components inside container

Washington, DC — March 7, 2006 — RFID specialist Savi Technology has released a new low-profile version of its flagship active radio frequency identification tag for military and commercial container shipments in particularly harsh supply chain operating environments.

Called the Savi Tag ST-656, the ISO container door tag comes in a new U-shaped form factor that clamps tightly onto the left door of the container, enabling the RFID electronics to be protected on the inside of the container while a low-profile plate on the outside contains an antennae that communicates with fixed or mobile reader networks. The flat external plate also contains a beeper for audio alerts of the tag's location and status.

Savi said that it developed the ST-656 in collaboration with a number of its customers, including multiple organizations in the U.S. Department of Defense, such as the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Logistics Agency and the Product Manager for Joint Automatic Identification Technologies.

Reducing Risk of Damage

The combination of a low external profile and the protected RFID components reduces the risk of damage to tags in harsh operating environments while retaining the same performance and features of the Savi Tag ST-654, which has become the standard active, data-rich tag providing real-time visibility of military supplies for the DoD and other allied defense organizations, according to Savi.

"The ST-656 augments our RFID tag solutions because the mounting procedure provides an extra measure of reliability that's required when shipments enter the most harsh military environments," said David Stephens, Savi's senior vice president for the public sector at Savi. "We're pleased to have provided a quick-response solution to new military requirements by working closely with our partners in the DoD."

Additional benefits of the ST-656 that Savi highlighted include:

  • The battery and RFID components include on-board processor, memory and radio transmit and receive capability. These RFID components are protected on the inside of the container, enabling users to recover critical manifest data even if the outside is damaged.

  • The mounting procedure further secures the tag on the container.

  • New RFID antennae technology that's embedded in a ruggedized, low-profile flat plate that's on the outside of the container. The external component also contains a beeper for audio alerts.

  • Further, the ST-656 has the same functionality as the ST-654, which is widely used throughout defense supply chains and affixes to the outside of containers, large mobile equipment and air pallets. These features include 128Kbytes of user memory, read ranges of up to 300 feet, beepers for audio location, and small and rugged designs that can withstand extremely low and high temperatures.
Savi said its active tags are based on ISO 18000-7 standards operating at 433.92 MHz, which has proven to be the most effective RFID frequency for bending around metal objects such as large ISO containers that are tracked and stored.

In addition, Savi's family of active RFID tags are based on the enabler's EchoPoint technology, which uses ultra high frequency (433.92 MHz) and low frequency (123 KHz) for both long-range and more precise spot-level location. This technology also enables data to be written to the tags while it's in-transit, as well as to capture important data about the shipment from mobile readers, Savi said.

Additional Articles of Interest

— A recent independent study revealed that Wal-Mart customers are finding the items they wanted in stock more often due to the retailer's use of RFID technologies when compared to control stores. Read more in "Wal-Mart Achieving Improved On-shelf Availability with RFID, Study Finds" on

— RFID technology has the potential to change the way supply chains are managed, but in order to be effective businesses need to take a holistic look at the deployment. Read more in the article "Time for RFID: Applying RFID in the Supply Chain."