Are You in Shape for the DoDs Marching Orders?

April 1, 2004
The Department of Defenses supplier mandate for RFID functionality came on the heels of Wal-Marts request that top suppliers adopt the technology. To

The Department of Defense’s supplier mandate for RFID functionality came on the heels of Wal-Mart’s request that top suppliers adopt the technology. To help companies affected learn how to meet these challenges, Material Handling Management held an RFID Update webinar in Cleveland. Tom Andel, chief editor of MHM, was the moderator. Participants included Joe Dunlap, supply chain solutions specialist, Siemens Dematic; Maurice Stewart, automatic identification technology, Department of Defense; Sue Hutchinson, product manager, EPCglobal U.S.; Guillermo Gutierrez, manager, International Paper’s Smart Packaging Group. This event was co-sponsored by Siemens Dematic, and co-produced by the Northeast Ohio WERCouncil.

The following are highlights from the webinar.

Joe Dunlap, Siemens Dematic: Regardless of the cost of becoming RFID compliant, you will also want to offset the cost of the tags and the integration and hardware and so forth by trying to use some of the same analysis to find those benefits in your own operations.

But recognize that benefits won’t come without process change, and that you need to begin to determine where those touch points are in your operations that will bring that value you are looking for in terms of additional visibility.

Additional visibility isn’t achievable without those touch points, whether it be in terms of inventory equipment, human intervention or information flows, and those touch points of information where RFID will create that visibility may predicate process change.

Consider the types of information that aren’t captured today that might add value and determine what it is worth to your operation. It might be a receiving process that has multiple touch points in receiving, particularly detailed receiving where you have to handle every carton, and depending upon other potential challenges can automate that function and do it faster and more efficiently.

Different tags today cost different price points based on the volume you buy. Tags also perform differently based on antennae design and the proximity of those tags to the density of the objects that they are placed on in the cartons.

Maurice Stewart: We were using RFID technology long before it became a fashion statement. We used the data-rich tag formerly known as the active RFID tag. This tag carries all the data of the assets on the tag.

We are going to expand the use of RFID with the passive technology to use it as a license plate. We are required a limited amount of information on the tag, and you will go into the computer systems to look up additional information. We will also use the semi-passive tag in the future.

RFID eliminates human error, improves data accuracy, gives us the asset visibility we are looking for, and we believe it will give us the performance down in the rugged and harsh environments that we operate in. It has the ability to increase our DoD processes, and it is key to transformation of the DoD supply chain.

We will immediately include RFID tags on all shipments, and we will use the passive technology, and we will start using that by January 2005 across the DoD supply chain.

We are an early adopter of the passive technology, and will start tagging at the case, pallet and the UID packaging level.

This will enable DoD to reduce the total cost of doing business in support of a weapons system in the way we support the war fighter.

We have planned implementation projects with the Marine Corps where we are looking at tagging assets from a strategic depot or from an original manufacturer all the way down to the operational unit, often referred to as the last tactical mile in the war zone.

Sue Hutchinson: We have now been launched as a full global entity known as EPCglobal. As a community, we are continuing to fund basic research at the Auto-ID labs, which are MIT and five other associated labs, so we can continue to keep pace with the basic research in RFID and the information system technologies we are all going to need to be able to implement this.

We are really the people who are in charge of managing integration and co-existence of the electronic product code and RFID with the current bar code technologies that are available in the commercial supply chain.

We got the tag down to something that looks a lot like a license plate. Well, if you have a license plate, you have to have a Department of Motor Vehicles somewhere to tell you what that license plate means, and that’s what the EPCglobal network vision is, to allow physical objects to communicate with us in the supply chain in real time, to use Internet technologies as a good foundation to allow this to happen, and to think about everything eventually being connected in what we envision as one of the world’s largest federated models.

Obviously, when we talk about an information service, we have to talk about how to provide security, authentication and authorization on the basis of trading partner relationships, how people are going to, in fact, share this very sensitive information of movement of material through the supply chain.

To date, we are now over 140 companies. These are technology and end-user companies worldwide that have chosen to sign, make their intellectual property available to the community as a way for us to jump-start and move the standards forward.

Guillermo Guiterrez: The implementation I will discuss is not on a pilot basis. It is operating 24/7. You can’t get dirtier than a paper mill when it comes to testing RFID and particularly passive EPC.

This facility does about 700,000 to a million rolls annually. We are consuming approximately a million EPC tags annually. Every product is tracked using EPC, and the biggest challenges were people, process and technology.

We handle one- to five-ton rolls of paper. We have bar scanning technology in use at our facilities, but the drivers may approach the rolls from different angles, different orientations, and that means if the labels are not aligned with your putaway locations, you certainly will not have an easy ergonomic approach to bar scanning.

You may remove two or three rolls, put them aside to one bay or two bays with the best intentions. If you do not replace those rolls in the appropriate bay, it is possible to lose a roll of paper.

We had to identify all our product. We recognized simply identifying what roll we were carrying wasn’t enough. We needed to track its precise location. We were actually tracking all product within 4.8 inches using passive RFID.

There are hidden benefits, but the true benefits for RFID are the ones we focused on, and again, for us, that required basically two levels. First was identifying its physical location within two feet, and, second, identifying its precise conveyance, be it rail car or truck disposition, in real time.

We are tracking all our product using our material handling equipment, our lift trucks, and all our lift trucks are reading the EPC tag upon clamping onto the product, and it is tracking its locations.

To view these presentations in their entirety, go to and click on RFID UPDATE: Are You in Shape for DoD’s Marching Orders? For a complete transcript of the RFID webinar, contact Chris Marinez at 216-931-9547 or by e-mail at [email protected].

AIM Honors Two with Dilling Award

AIM, the association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, has awarded its highest honor, the Richard R. Dilling Award, to two individuals who have made major contributions to the development and growth of the AIDC industry.

The 2003 Dilling Award was presented posthumously to George Goldberg. The 2004 Dilling Award was presented to Craig K. Harmon.

Goldberg, who died December 10, 2003, entered the AIDC industry in 1973 as a consultant to a company manufacturing bar code film masters. In 1975, he and his wife Teddy co-founded GGX Associates, a marketer of film masters and pressure-sensitive labels for UPC and other bar code applications.

Craig K. Harmon, president of QED Systems, is also a charter member of AIDC 100. Harmon’s contributions to the AIDC industry have spanned more than three decades. He founded Q.E. D. Systems in 1981 and serves as president of an organization that provides standards development, educational, advisory and system design services, focusing on electronic commerce/business technologies including bar code technology, two-dimensional symbols, EDI, radio frequency communications and RFID.

NAW Research Foundation Names Chairman

The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors’ Distribution Research and Education Foundation (DREF) announced the election of a new chairman and the addition of two members to its Board of Directors.

Moving into the chairman’s seat is Byron Potter, president/CEO, Dallas Wholesale Builders Supply Inc., DeSoto, Texas. He fills the position vacated by the retirement of J. Michael Moore, Applied Industrial Technologies, who was named Honorary DREF Director for Life.

Joining the DREF Board are Mark W. Kramer, CEO of Laird Plastics, West Palm Beach, Florida, and Randy Lindberg, president/CEO of Nature’s Best, Brea, California.

Albertsons Buys into RFID

Albertsons Inc., the $36 billion food and drug retailer, has joined Wal-Mart and the DoD in requiring suppliers to adopt radio frequency identification technology (RFID). Its compliance deadline: April 2005. Albertsons’ suppliers will need to tag all cases and pallets they ship to the retailer with RFID tags.

Albertsons has been an active member of EPCglobal, which is overseeing commercial and technical standards for RFID and the Electronic Product Code Network. The EPC Network will let companies share product data in real time.

RosettaNet Launches Global Logistics Council

RosettaNet, an e-business standards consortium, announced the formation of the Global Logistics Council. Cisco, DHL, Exel, FedEx, HP, IBM, Intel, Menlo Logistics, Portnet Singapore, Texas Instruments and UPS are among the first major industry players to join as founding member companies.

The primary goal of the council is to engage value-chain stakeholders in the development and deployment of RosettaNet e-business standards to reduce costs, increase velocity, improve data quality and accelerate trading partner connections. Other key areas of focus will include addressing compliance to governmental regulations, security considerations and reducing the variability inherent in complex supply chain models.

RosettaNet is a subsidiary of the Uniform Code Council Inc. (UCC).

DoD Official Wins Percival Award

AIM Inc., the association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, and "SCAN: The Data Capture Report," recently presented the 2004 Don Percival Award to Alan Estevez, assistant deputy undersecretary of Defense (Supply Chain Integration). Estevez was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of automatic identification and mobility solutions. The presentation was made during the AIM annual membership meeting in Atlanta.

Estevez is responsible for the development of global supply chain management and distribution policies and procedures to support the warfighters’ operational requirements in the 21st century. Estevez is currently leading the implementation efforts for the DoD radio frequency identification (RFID) policy issued on October 2, 2003, by Michael Wynne, the acting undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics). Estevez and the DoD are developing integrated logistics and support mechanisms, including the use of both passive and active RFID, which will improve readiness, streamline logistics and reduce costs.

The Percival Award was established in 1982 to honor Don Percival, an early founder and pioneer in the development of bar code scanning.

Online Registration Available for Pack Expo

Packaging professionals from around the world can avoid long on-site registration lines and save 50 percent on entry fees for Pack Expo International 2004 (November 7-11 at Chicago’s McCormick Place) by visiting the show’s official Web site.

Registration for the show via on or before October 15 will cost $25 per person. Those registering at McCormick Place or online after October 15 will be charged the full admission rate of $50. This single admission fee allows access to exhibits for the five-day exposition and includes entrance to the co-located Food Processing Machinery EXPO (formerly IEFP), sponsored and produced by Food Processing Machinery Association (FPMA).

Attendees will also have access to several new pavilions. The Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Pavilion will feature solutions that meet the requirements of the entire supply chain, while the Packaging Security Resource Center will highlight new product protection solutions offering a range of added safety measures. The Showcase of Packaging Innovations is also covered by the entry fee.

Sponsored and produced by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), Pack Expo International 2004 will feature more than 1,900 machinery, material, components and containers exhibitors.

PMMI is a trade association whose more than 500 members manufacture packaging and packaging-related converting machinery in the United States and Canada. PMMI’s mission is to improve and promote members’ abilities to meet their customers’ needs.

Toyota Turns Out 200,000th Lift Truck

Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM), Columbus, Indiana, produced its 200,000th lift truck and broke ground for an expansion of its facility. The expansion will increase TIEM’s square footage from 750,223 to 859,023 and create an impressive new site for Toyota customers, dealers, associates and other guests. Completion is scheduled for early 2005.

TIEM manufactures 87 percent of the electric and internal combustion engine lift trucks sold in the United States by Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (TMHU). The Columbus facility employs 626 associates. The new facility will feature a round showroom designed to display 15 Toyota lift trucks, and a theater with stadium seating to accommodate more than 40 guests. A demonstration room will have adjustable bleacher seating for an audience of 100 guests, and a training facility is planned for dealers, customers and associates.

TIEM celebrated its 200,000th truck with a ceremony attended by Yoshimitsu Ogihara, president of TIEM, Dr. Shankar Basu, president and CEO of TMHU, representatives from Toyota operations in Canada and all TIEM associates.

New Safety Training Programs Available

J.J. Keller & Associates Inc. has introduced The Ins and Outs of Loading Dock and Warehouse Safety and The Ups and Downs of Material Handling Equipment Safety.

These video-based programs provide training for those who load, unload or move freight between trailer and warehouse. Each program includes a trainer’s guide, action cards that reinforce key concepts, an awareness poster, and a log to document training. For more information, call 800-327-6868 or visit

Irista Updates WMS Software

Irista Inc., developer of logistics applications, has released iristaWarehouse 8.5. The latest version of this warehouse management system is a core component within Irista’s logistics management execution solution. In response to direct input from users, the latest version increases user configurability while providing enhancements across multiple functional lines including product attributes, inbound material processing, ASN receiving, allocation rules, order process tasking, shipment execution, inventory management, and Web-based accessibility.

In keeping with Irista’s product development strategy, the iristaWare suite of supply chain products is developed to run in both UNIX and Windows operating system environments. This single source architecture offers companies scalability and multi-platform flexibility to match their growth requirements. Major enhancements to the iristaWarehouse 8.5 release include:

• Multiple units of measure;

• Dynamic inventory attributes;

• Rules-based ASN processing;

• Enhanced receiving process;

• User-enabled picking strategies;

• CPG shipping capabilities;

• Increased inventory management efficiency;

• Web user interface.

IconNicholson Leads ‘Living’ RFID Lab

Engaged by Tibbett & Britten Americas in a four-way partnership, IconNicholson, the New York-based IT professional services firm, is leading the design and implementation of a "living" RFID lab at Tibbett & Britten’s member company, Connect Logistics Inc., in Edmonton, Alberta. Connect Logistics is the third-party logistics provider for the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission.

The project will validate the return on investment, demonstrate the power of RFID in a complex operation, illuminate application areas and optimal configuration for warehouse equipment, and uncover any practical limitations in current RFID technology. The lab will be subjected to conditions and factors in a working distribution center, including equipment shocks and vibrations.

Guide Looks at Pedestrian Accidents

Yale Materials Handling Corp., manufacturer of lift trucks, has published a comprehensive study of accidents in the workplace for the material handling industry. "Forklift/Pedestrian Accidents — Cause and Prevention" offers new findings and statistics on pedestrian safety in the warehouse and lift truck operation area, and recommendations for a safer workplace. The guide offers:

• Study data on pedestrian/lift truck accident conducted by Yale and independent organizations;

• General guidelines on operator and pedestrian training, and separation of lift truck and pedestrian traffic;

• Causes of lift truck/pedestrian accidents;

• Workplace rules for pedestrian safety;

• Guide to optional audible and visible alarms;

• Resources for detailed information on pedestrian/lift truck safety.

For a free copy of the guide, phone Peter Setaro at 609-452-8500 or e-mail [email protected].

Robert V. Delaney, CLM Consultant, Dies

Robert V. Delaney, consultant to the Council of Logistics Management (CLM), and originator and co-author of the annual State of Logistics Report died April 2.

"We are saddened to learn of Bob’s death," said Maria McIntyre, CLM’s executive vice president. "He has been an icon to the logistics profession. Bob’s contributions have been enormous, and conducted with great passion. We enjoyed working with him as an organization, and he will be greatly missed."

Mr. Delaney worked in the logistics profession for more than 40 years. He began serving as a consultant to CLM in January 2004. Prior to that, he was vice president for Cass Information Systems, a provider of information services and systems to the logistics and transportation community in North America.

Mr. Delaney was also a consultant to ProLogis, a large publicly held global owner and operator of distribution properties in North America, Europe and Asia.

He received his bachelor and master degrees in business administration from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and did post-graduate work in economics at St. Louis University and American University.

Mr. Delaney contributed to writing legislation that reformed the economic regulation of the motor carrier and railroad industries. He also played a leading role in the passage of the Aviation Act of 1994, which ended economic regulation of the trucking industry by the states.

He received many industry honors including the Council of Logistics Management’s Distinguished Service Award in 1981, the Salzberg Parishioners Medallion from Syracuse University in 1988, and the Scheleen Award for Excellence from the American Society of Transportation and Logistics in 1992.

Associations Making News

James F. Lamb, vice president, marketing and sales, Drives Inc., was elected president of the Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association (CEMA). Other officers elected were: vice president, Marc Jorgensen, president, Jorgensen Conveyors Inc.; secretary, Thomas Easterhouse, OPCO sales manager, Lubriquip Inc.; and treasurer, Fred Thimmel, president, Bryant Products Inc. Dan Gualtieri, Don Hudak, Bill Pugh and Lee Schomberg were elected to the Board of Directors.

The Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) recently made change in staff responsibilities. Matt Croson was appointed director of member services and Sara Kryder was promoted to manager of communications.

Managers Making News

Dr. Harley Heinrich, RFID chief technologist for Intermec Technologies Corp., has been named to co-chair the EPCglobal Inc. work group charged with completing a draft RFID standard for a generation of RFID technology known as C1G2 or UHF Generation 2. This draft standard is scheduled to be ratified in September 2004.

Integrated Warehousing Solutions LLC has named Joel Epstein its new chief technology officer. Epstein has been with the company four years.

FKI Logistex Automation Division has hired George Parr as national accounts manager, East Coast, for its Custom Engineered Systems group. Parr will be responsible for key corporate system sales along the Eastern Seaboard. He will report to Dick Montague director of industrial sales.

Scott Tappan has been named president of Advanced Handling Systems, Lakeland, Florida. The company was this year’s winner of the MHM Value-Added Award. Jack Phelan remains as chairman.

Companies Making News

Magnetek Power Control Systems is relocating its Telemotive Industrial Controls division to its Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, facility. Magnetek designs and manufactures power control products and systems for many industries.

SK Daifuku Corp. has merged with Daifuku America Corp. The merger brings together three major product groups as one wholly owned North American subsidiary of Daifuku Co. Ltd.

Matrics Inc. has moved its corporate headquarters to Rockville, Maryland. The new facility is located in the I-270 technology corridor. It will accommodate the company’s Executive Briefing Center, RFID technology and engineering lab, and sales, marketing and administrative personnel.

MagneMotion Inc. has teamed with Federal Equipment Co. to work with Northrup Grumman Newport News on the Advanced Weapons Elevator for the U.S. Navy’s CVN21, the first new-generation aircraft carrier. Construction is slated to begin in 2007.

Inther Logistics Engineering, a systems integrator with headquarters in the Netherlands, has opened an office in Chicago. The new branch is responsible for sales and customer support in North America. Inther specializes in pick-and-put solutions for paperless picking and sorting.

The Container Store has opened its new headquarters and distribution center at Freeport North Industrial Park, Coppell, Texas. The facility covers more than 30 acres.

Mecalux has moved from its location in Farmers Branch, Texas, to Carrollton, Texas. The new facility has 26,000 square feet of warehouse and office space. It is about 20 minutes from DFW International airport, and close to Interstate 35.

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