A recent article in RFID Journal by Claire Swedberg cites a study conducted by the University of Florida and the University of South Florida Polytechnic which found that pharmaceuticals containing biologics (medicinal products with biological agents) were not negatively affected by exposure to RF signals. With assistance from Abbott Laboratories and other pharmaceutical companies, the researchers tested 100 different biologic products (such as vaccines), exposing them to five different RF bands commonly used by RF readers and tags.
The study found that none of the RF bands had any impact on the products’ protein structures. The researchers (Ismail Uysal and Jean-Pierre Emond of USFP) will present their findings at the RFID Journal Live conference being held in Orlando from April 12-14. They’re hopeful that these studies will lead to changes in the FDA’s rules regarding the use of RF technologies and pharmaceuticals. You can learn more about their session here.
RFID offers unique capabilities for helping to ensure the safety and integrity of biologics and biopharmaceuticals where temperature monitoring of the product throughout the shipping process is critical. The ability to wirelessly read and monitor the temperature of the product inside the package − without having to unpack − combined with the ability to deliver a record of the temperature to health care providers can reduce or eliminate doubts or concerns about the product’s efficacy as well as improve cold chain operations. You can learn more about how Intelleflex provides in-transit temperature monitoring here. You can also see a demonstration of this technology at the Intelleflex booth (#743) at RFID Journal Live.
I hope to meet you in Orlando!
Senior Director of Marketing
ConExpo is the largest industry trade show for construction equipment, solutions and services. The conference, held every three years, is massive and this year’s event spans the entire Las Vegas Convention Center, top-to-bottom and north-to-south, as well as several of the parking lots. The equipment on display ranged from chain saws to cement mixers to huge outdoor cranes.
I met with about a dozen vendors at the event who are trying to implement RFID for asset tracking and monitoring as part of their solution portfolios. While I found that many people are considering RFID, only a few have applied it so far. This is because the limited capabilities offered by the C1 passive RFID that they are familiar with doesn’t work in most construction environments where tags have to be mounted on metal surfaces, read ranges longer than 10-20 feet are required, and the general construction workplace environment itself.
When I introduced to these vendors to Intelleflex XC3 Technology, they were excited to learn that there is now a more powerful and cost-effective alternative for tracking assets besides the limited C1 RFID and very expensive GPS solutions. XC3 Technology is a fraction of the cost of GPS – with no recurring monthly GPS charges and, in addition to vehicles, XC3 Technology tags can also be used for tracking and monitoring equipment of all shapes and sizes.
At the next ConExpo, which will be held in 2014, it’s safe to say that there will be a much broader adoption of RFID.
For an upcoming magazine article, I was asked about emerging trends for RFID in the vehicle and equipment yard management markets. It’s an interesting question and, to me, the answer is directly tied to the emergence of the ISO/IEC standard for BAP RFID − sometimes referred to as “Class 3” RFID.
Products based on the ISO/IEC 18000-6:2010 (Class 3) standard for battery-assisted passive RFID (BAP) deliver longer range and enhanced capabilities for reading/writing to tags in RFID-unfriendly environments involving metals and liquids. These conditions that are commonly found at worksites and vehicle/equipment yards. While the ability to read/write at long distances has previously existed in some active RFID solutions, these solutions were typically very expensive – limiting deployment. Class 3 BAP RFID provides similar capabilities to the more expensive active RFID but at a significantly lower price point – a price point that cost-effectively enables large-scale adoption and deployments for yard management applications.
Because Class 3 BAP RFID has read ranges of 300 feet (approximately 100 meters) it is easy to deploy at worksites/yards without having to redesign workflows or create choke points or portals through which vehicles/equipment must pass at entry/exit. And, because the tags work around metals, they can be more easily utilized on trucks, tractors, trailers and other equipment to provide significantly improved visibility for improved asset management and utilization.
Class 3 BAP tags can also store information about an asset on the tag because of the on-tag memory capabilities. Sensors can also be added to monitor for temperature, humidity, vibration or other conditions.
But, it’s important to make the distinction between Class 3 and Class 1 BAP tags. While Class 1 tags can utilize a battery to enable some applications, their range, data transfer rates between the tag and reader, and their battery life don’t match the capabilities of Class 3 tags. Take away: not all BAP is created equal. Make sure you know what you’re looking at.
Senior Director of Marketing
Now you can see Intelleflex in action. KGO-TV, the San Francisco ABC affiliate, addressed how wireless RFID technology from Intelleflex is helping to reduce cold chain spoilage. KGO’s technology news reporter Richard Hart featured Intelleflex in his story about the perishable food and pharmaceutical cold chain. You can watch the video here. Richard describes the cost of spoilage and how temperature monitoring can improve cold chain operations.
Please let me know what you think of the story!
Senior Director of Marketing