Software integrates RFID tag information

Related tags Rfid Electronic product code

In a bid to cash in on the growing market for radio frequency
identification (RFID) software Peak has launched a suite of choices
adjusted according to a company's size and budget.

RFID has long been touted as the future of logistics for all companies by allowing retailers and suppliers to track goods throughout the supply chain. Radio frequency identification (RFID) is awireless form of automated identification technology. Analysts believe RFID will become critical to most supply chains within the next ten to 20 years, with the market projected to be worth $1bn by2006.

However many companies are only now realising that data management is key to the technology rather than the tags and readers, previously regarded as the "business end" of RFID.

Peak Technologies'​ new solution suite, Peak Compliance, will help consumer goods manufacturers and distributors meet retailers' RFIDrequirements, said the company's president and chief executive, Adrian Thomas. Companies like Wal-Mart have started requiring their top suppliers to use RFID in tracking products through the supplychain.

"Peak elected to launch a multi-option RFID offering because customers have different requirements and visions about where RFID will fit strategically within their organisations now and in thefuture,"​ Thomas said. "The Peak Compliance solution suite allows our customers to quickly achieve retailer RFID compliance without a significant up-front investment.​"

Peak has also built a special laboratory to allow potential allowing food processors and others to test the software on their products and make adjustments if necessary. One of the majordifficulties a company faces with new software is integrating it with their current systems.

Peak's technical team will test product and packaging composition in terms of RFID signal generation, tag placement, read validation and other parameters. The testing laboratory is located atPeak's headquarters in Columbia, Maryland.

Peak is offering the suite packaged in three versions, depending on the capacity of a company to handle the technology and its pocketbook. All three versions including software, hardware, labservices, professional services and support.

Peak Compliance Express ensures that major retailers' basic RFID tagging requirements are met. Another version of the software suite integrates the information provided by RFID mobile tagging andreading devices. Peak Compliance Gateway provides a means of portal validation.

Portal technology allows people from various companies along the supply chain to access information, collaborate and communicate across disparate applications via a single Web interface.

As part of the overall package each Peak system generates and manages Electronic Product Code (EPC), either as a standalone service or as a system integrated into an existing database or businesssystem. Peak can also provide the EPC-compliant tags. EPC is an electronically coded tag that is intended as an improvement on the UPC barcode system. The EPC is a 96-bit tag that uses what is calledthe global trade identification number (GTIN).

Unlike a UPC number, which only provides information specific to a group of products, the GTIN gives each product its own specific identifying number, giving greater accuracy in tracking.

"We believe this approach will enable customers to experience the capabilities of RFID technology and give them time to determine if or how RFID may be a long-term strategic solution tohelp them further improve operational efficiencies and reduce costs,"​ Thomas said.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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