I had the opportunity to attend and to speak at the RFID Journal LIVE Conference earlier this month and it proved to be a very worthy event. There was a host of new technologies and new applications of RFID that were being showcased at the event that will undoubtedly improve data capture and accuracy as well as enable a higher level of automation. RFID technology has come a long way in the past five years and if this conference is any indication there is a lot of momentum behind it.

But, more importantly than the technological advances is the increased adoption and confidence that organizations big and small were showing in RFID.

Not just for shipments any more …

It was exciting to see that the US Military and the Defense community is embracing RFID technology. For the past few years there has been a “Defense and Aerospace” conference track at RFID LIVE.  And most of the conversations in the past have revolved around the longstanding DoD policy of using RFID for military shipments.  But, this year the discussions also included the use of RFID in a wide array of Auto ID projects that showcased the efficiency of RFID in providing greater visibility of individual assets — and not just at the shipment level.

The conference started with an opening keynote from Brigadier General Patrick Burden who addressed the US DoD’s lead in the use of RFID to enable In-Transit Visibility of container movement speaking on behalf of the US Army PEO, Enterprise Information Systems.  Later that day, a US Military panel discussion that included US Transportation Command’s David Blackford, US Air Force’s Kenneth Morgan and US Navy’s Hal Casey plus some industry experts. This conversation revealed that RFID was not the only Auto ID technology that was critical to sustainable military logistics. It was made clear across the board that RFID along with 2-Dimensional barcodes (or IUID) were both critical to asset identification.

The use of both RFID and 2D barcodes enable a standardized approach across the military enterprise, that includes all branches of the Armed Services, to track assets and shipments. This also impacts the Defense contractor and supply community since it drives the need for source marking of asset and shipments with barcode and RFID at the start of the supply chain.

AIM Data Capture Workshop

AIM rounded-out the RFID Journal Conference with a very successful Data Capture Seminar. The seminar was designed to help attendees make sense of all of the new technologies available and provide face-to-face access to technical experts and RFID innovators that can help them find solutions that will work.

I was teamed up as a co-presenter with other industry experts that addressed how to navigate all Auto ID standards and systems integration options. This led us down the path of how to exchange data with controls and precision in order to provide value to internal systems that can benefit from these data capture technologies.

AIM did a great job at putting together this smaller, more intimate series of seminars that acknowledged that organizations all have their unique challenges and to take it one step further to explain that as powerful as RFID is — it’s not a silver bullet. Each organization needs to develop the appropriate Auto ID system that suits their organizational needs– possibly using both RFID and 2D barcodes, with emphasis on the importance of using Auto ID industry standards.

For over 20 years, A2B Tracking has been helping organizations find custom-fit Auto-ID solutions. Our professional services team at A2B Tracking is trained to work with your in-house asset management and logistics teams to custom design Auto ID technologies that integrate to your current workflow and enable military-grade asset tracking with barcode and RFID.  If you would like to speak with someone from our team you can contact us here.