A group of RFID (radio frequency identification) expert advisers initially chartered by the U.S. Department of Defense will become an expert advisory group within AIM Global, the industry trade association for RFID and the automatic identification industry.
The group, known as the RFID Experts Group (REG), has been working with the Defense Department to address implementation issues related to supply chain adoption of RFID systems. The department and a number of global retailers are beginning to require suppliers to implement RFID automatic data identification systems to track cases and pallets of goods.
RFID uses tiny computer chips on various substrates that can be attached to cases and pallets. Information about the contents of the cases and pallets can be recorded on the chips, allowing companies to track inventory and goods through an entire supply chain.
“The Defense Department recognized that issues such as tag/label issues, reader operations, and bar code back-up data structures reach beyond its own RFID initiatives and are, in fact, common to all companies implementing RFID,” said AIM Global President Dan Mullen. “AIM, as the industry trade association for RFID and other automatic identification and data collection technologies, was the logical home for the REG.”
REG membership currently includes early implementers, technology vendors, integrators and research institutions. Many REG members also are members of AIM.
Craig K. Harmon, president, QED Systems, who brought the REG together in February 2004, said the REG is making progress on a number of projects on its agenda and that several projects are already nearing completion.
“There are many organizations out there that regularly hype the technology of RFID,” Harmon said. “REG was formed to address the tough issues, providing a foundation of realistic expectations. With the ever-growing applications of RFID, the group’s transition from the Defense Department to AIM provides a logical path for continuing this work.”
"We see the RFID Experts Group as a logical extension of the work AIM historically has done to develop standards and provide implementation guidance for the range of automatic identification technologies,” Mullen said. “We are looking forward to working with these talented individuals to address the real-world issues companies face when implementing RFID."
"The REG will be a working group open to individuals and organizations willing to put in the time and effort to develop solutions,” said AIM Global Chairman Tom Miller. “Their input will benefit the entire field of RFID development and implementation."
AIM expects to open the group to international participation through its worldwide network of global members and chapters.
“Increasing the international dialog about RFID implementation is a critical step,” Mullen said. “Because of the international nature of today’s supply chains, RFID is not a regional or national issue. We need to find global solutions, and we can certainly benefit from the experience and expertise of companies around the world."
To learn more about AIM and its RFID initiatives, visit www.rfid.org. For more information on the REG and its activities, see http://www.aimglobal.org/members/news/templates/rfid.asp?articleid=158&zoneid=3.