Magazine Article | September 21, 2007

Aggregate RFID, UID Data For DoD Compliance

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, October 2007

For this DoD supplier, the decision to enable RFID (radio frequency identification) tagging in its plant was made when it was awarded a contract from the Defense Logistics Agency. The DoD supplier was faced with many decisions. Primarily, it needed to decide if it could buy preprinted RFID tags or if a more involved system was needed. The supplier had very specific needs. The system had to fit into its current manufacturing, packing, and shipping practices, and, considering it was already tagging items with a UID (unique identifier) tag and adding RFID, the two UID and RFID mandates had to work together. Also, the data needed to be aggregated at packing so the data integration to the suppliers' wide area workflow (WAWF) would not overwhelm resources.

The company considered many options but eventually decided on a solution from Avery Printer Systems Division and Smart Label Solutions to print labels in-house. The supplier wasn't comfortable with the process of keeping track of the preprinted tags and decided taking control of that function provided the flexibility needed to minimize the negative impact on its operations. The DoD supplier also chose this solution because of the flexibility to change the software to the supplier's current manufacturing process, along with the vendors' data transfer knowledge and capabilities that would make the supplier compliant.

The solution is composed of Smart Label Solutions smartEPC DoD-edition software and Avery Printer Systems Division Monarch 9800 series printers and labels, as well as an RFID reader from Alien Technologies. The software suite, with its combined workstation and mobile applications, is able to aggregate the RFID data and the UID data, as well as aggregate RFID cases to a pallet RFID tag. All this data, along with contract information, is then used to build a file for transfer to the WAWF, eliminating any need to log in manually to the DoD's electronic data exchange portal.