RFID project launched to test electronic product code

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply chain Electronic product code

UK processors and others are being asked to participate in a pilot
project to test the use of the international electronic product
code standard in conjunction with radio frequency identification
(RFID) technology.

RFID technology is helping to transform logistics by providing a means of tracking and tracing individual products throughout the supply chain. Regulations on traceability and mandates from such giant retailers as Wal-Mart and Metro are slowly forcing processors to make investments in the technology. GS1 UK, an independent global supply chain standards organisation, is launching the test project together with BT Auto-ID Services. The pilot will test the GS1's Electronic Product Code Information Service (EPCIS), a standard developed at the international stage for identifying specific products. EPC is an international trade standard designed to drive RFID use forward in the UHF (ultra high frequency) range. The standard was developed so that manufacturers are using compatible devices and RFID technologies. The EPCIS service enables organisations to track the progress of their goods as they move through the supply chain in real time. The pilot project aims to prove the concept of managing and exchanging RFID-sourced data between trading partners and the quantifiable benefits this brings, GS1 stated. Trading partners participating in the pilot will be able to exchange Electronic Product Code (EPC), RFID and sensor data carried on an RFID tag within and between their organisations. "They will be among the first organisations worldwide to prove the value of a fundamental element of the business case for RFID,"​ GS1 UK stated. The GS1 UK EPCIS pilot will be based on the EPC global EPCIS industry standard. Applications could include container tracking, product authentication, promotions management, baggage tracking, electronic proof of delivery, chain of custody, returns management, and operations management, GS1 UK stated. Data such as what, when, where and why can be captured, stored and exchanged during any event in the supply chain allowing trading partners to exchange real-time progress information of their products, the organisation stated. "Significant business benefits can be leveraged, such as reduced out-of-stocks, improved handling of promotions, counterfeit detection, location tracking, reduced shrinkage and electronic proof-of-delivery,"​ GS1 stated. Organisations participating in the pilot would also be able to store additional real-world supply chain data, such as the precise, real time co-ordinates of items and the storage of events and data from sensor networks such as temperature, humidity, light and vibration. GS1 UK and BT Auto-I.D will be providing the pilot service at no charge, and are calling for organisations to take part in the project.

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