RFID project launched to test electronic product codehttp://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Supply-Chain/RFID-project-launched-to-test-electronic-product-code
UK processors and others are being asked to participate in a pilot project to test the use of the international electronic product code standard in conjunction with radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
RFID technology is helping to transform logistics by providing a means of tracking and tracing individual products throughout the supply chain.
Regulations on traceability and mandates from such giant retailers as Wal-Mart and Metro are slowing forcing processors to make investments in the technology.
GS1 UK, an independent global supply chain standards organisation, is launching the test project together with BT Auto-ID Services.
The pilot will test the GS1's Electronic Product Code Information Service (EPCIS), a standard developed at the international stage for identifying specific products.
EPC is an international trade standard designed to drive RFID use forward in the UHF (ultra high frequency) range. The standard was developed so that manufacturers are using compatible devices and RFID technologies.
The EPCIS service enables organisations to track the progress of their goods as they move through the supply chain in real time.
The pilot project aims to prove the concept of managing and exchanging RFID-sourced data between trading partners and the quantifiable benefits this brings, GS1 stated.
Trading partners participating in the pilot will be able to exchange Electronic Product Code (EPC), RFID and sensor data carried on an RFID tag within and between their organisations.
"They will be among the first organisations worldwide to prove the value of a fundamental element of the business case for RFID," GS1 UK stated.
The GS1 UK EPCIS pilot will be based on the EPCglobal EPCIS industry standard.
Applications could include container tracking, product authentication, promotions management, baggage tracking, electronic proof of delivery, chain of custody, returns management, and operations management, GS1 UK stated.
Data such as what, when, where and why can be captured, stored and exchanged during any event in the supply chain allowing trading partners to exchange real-time progress information of their products, the organisation stated.
"Significant business benefits can be leveraged, such as reduced out-of-stocks, improved handling of promotions, counterfeit detection, location tracking, reduced shrinkage and electronic proof-of-delivery," GS1 stated.
Organisations participating in the pilot would also be able to store additional real-world supply chain data, such as the precise, real time co-ordinates of items and the storage of events and data from sensor networks such as temperature, humidity, light and vibration.
EPCIS is already being used in a major trial being undertaken in the Far East involving the management of sea containers between Hong Kong and Japan and China and the US.
GS1 UK and BT Auto-ID will be providing the pilot service at no charge.
GS1 UK helps promotes the use of the data standards through the use of bar codes, RFID, Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) and electronic business messaging.
EPCglobal, part of GS1, has been designed to support the use of RFID.
RFID uses a wireless system that helps enterprises track products, parts, expensive items and temperature-and time-sensitive goods.
Transponders, or RFID tags, are attached to objects. The tag will identify itself when it detects a signal from a reader that emits a radio frequency transmission.
Each RFID tag carries information on it such as a serial number, model number, colour, place of assembly or other types of data.
When these tags pass through a field generated by a compatible reader, they transmit this information back, thereby identifying the object.
EPC's global standards set out the device and software interfaces for gathering supply chain data.
It provides users with a single way to capture and share information with supply chain partners, even though they may be using different devices and software to read RFID tags.
The royalty-free standards are the foundations in the continuing construction of a global supply chain information network that combines RFID technology, existing communications network infrastructure and EPC, a number for uniquely identifying an item.
A unified data system would allow changes in information about product sizes, weight, name, price, classification, transport requirements and volumes to be immediately transmitted along the supply chain.
For example it would allow shippers to immediately know if the amount of product stacked on a pallet had changed, or give a retailer time to adjust display space.
The system is being built to help companies save money throughout the supply chain by using the Global Data Synchronization Network (GDSN).
Nestle, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Hormel Foods, Kraft
, Unilever, Wegmans Food Markets and Sara Lee are among the food companies that have signed up to implement the system
The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology along the food supply chain is set to rise dramatically to $5.8bn (€4.3bn) in 2017, according to a new report by IDTechEx.
The amount includes the money spent on on RFID systems plus the tags in 2017. RFID use in the food sector will become more important than any other application of the technology the analyst firm forecasts.