Provides more powerful and agile capabilities for real-time supply chain visibility in military operations
Savi Technology and Intermec Technologies Corporation, two providers of real-time supply chain solutions for the US Department of Defense (DoD), recently introduced a new active RFID reader system designed specifically to read bar codes and active radio frequency identification (RFID) tags. The lightweight, highly functional RFID reader system enhances the ability of DoD logistics personnel to identify and keep track of in-transit military supplies marked with bar code and active RFID technologies.
First orders and shipments of the dual-frequency reader system already have been made to the US Department of Defense.
Savi Technology holds the DoD’s procurement contract for active RFID technologies and related software and services. Intermec, which develops, manufactures and integrates technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets, is the DoD’s prime contractor for mobile computing and related automatic identification technology (AIT) systems and services.
Drawing on a combined 30 years of DoD experience, the ruggedized reader system includes additional functionality and is lighter, smaller and more robust than previous generations of similar devices. It is able to read from and write to Savi’s active, data-rich RFID tags and also can scan and process data from standard linear, matrix, stacked and composite bar codes.
The RFID reader system integrates three key technology components:
o A special edition of Intermec’s powerful 700 Series colour mobile computer with a full alphanumeric keypad. It supports batch 802.11-standard wireless LAN and GSM/GPRS wide-area wireless capabilities and offers integrated bar code scanning options. The unit is ergonomically designed for a full day’s use in harsh environments. This special edition of the popular Intermec 700 Series is available only as part of the Savi/Intermec active RFID reader system.
o The Savi Mobile Reader (SMR-650), based on Savi’s EchoPoint’ technology, uses both 123MHz radio frequency for short-range transmissions and 433.92 MHz radio frequency for long-range radio transmissions up to 200 feet. The SMR is a low-profile, lightweight, battery-operated reader that commissions, reads and writes to Savi’s active, data-rich RFID tags. The SMR-650 mounts on the back of the Intermec mobile computer.
o Savi SmartChain’ Mobile Manager software, which is installed on the Intermec mobile computer, enables users to read, write and edit active RFID tag data through the SMR. SmartChain Mobile Manager also provides export features that allow data files to be transferred between the Savi Site Manager software and the handheld device.
The system provides capabilities previously unavailable in RFID handheld reader systems used by the DoD, including:
- More than 300MB of memory, compared with 32MB in a previous version.
- Omni directional RFID read ranges of up to 200 feet; prior handhelds used directional antennas that provided a read range of up to 100 feet.
- A bracket to mount the Savi SMR-650 onto the Intermec mobile computer, which allows the SMR to draw power from the handheld and eliminates the need for a separate charger. The SMR-650 also can be interfaced with other models of Intermec 700 Series mobile computers.
- A docking station to upload data collected by the Intermec mobile computer into the DoD’s information systems, including the Total Asset Visibility network.
“The new mobile computer and reader system developed by Savi and Intermec is a perfect example of how the private sector teamed up with the defense sector to advance critical technology that supports our most important asset ’ the war fighter,” said David Stephens, Savi Senior Vice President, Public Sector. “Partnering with Intermec has generated a multitude of new features and functions that have been integrated into this handheld computer to meet the needs of the DoD’s logistics operations.