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Northland completes RFID live trial with application by RF-iT
Jan '08
The Graz, Austria-based technology experts have succeeded once more in demonstrating that RFID implementation opens the door to potential solutions not only in theory but also results in tangible economic benefits.

In the frame of the BRIDGE project, partly funded by the EU, Northland with the support of the Graz, Austria-based software and technology consultant RF-iT Solutions are investigating how the use of radio tags on clothing is able to improve the efficiency of the entire logistics chain and shop process as well as to optimise handling. In the Graz shop, where the trial took place, about 800 different outdoor products were fitted with RFID tags, including jackets, trousers, pullovers as well as backpacks and thermos bottles.

RFID tags: 100% reliable:
At the Northland shop, the manufacturer of extreme sport textiles provided convincing proof of how RFID technology outdistances by far conventional solutions in terms of efficiency and transparency. With a base of 1,000 UHF tags, a test was done of the effort required in taking inventory with the aid of RFID tags as compared to the conventional, “manual” method.

Beforehand, the solution, based on You- R OPEN (RFID middleware), was optimised through a number of test series at the RFID/EPCglobal Test Center at the Graz location. “Manual inventory at the Northland shop takes 1.5 hours, whereas we don't obtain complete details about any missing articles,” Otto Url, responsible for RFID projects at Northland GmbH, stated, explaining the test procedure. In contrast, the automated process based on RFID technology required only four minutes and 30 seconds to process a total of 651 articles from the specific range.

“In addition, we obtained precise information about missing articles,” Url added. The reading rate was 100%, despite the variety of products and the challenging conditions for the tags, i.e. when used with metal thermos bottles. Some of the products were packed in transport cases during the test, these too were able to be read out without fault. “I had expected RFID inventory to be four times as fast. A factor of 20 opens up new perspectives for optimising shop management,” Mr Url concluded, expressing his enthusiasm.

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