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Enhancing Visibility and Traceability

RFID is the only automatic-identification technology that is truly automatic. It can, therefore, collect data at a far lower cost than bar codes and other systems, thereby providing an unprecedented level of product visibility and traceability. This track will focus on how companies are deploying visibility and traceability, as well as the benefits visibility provides.

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April 4, 2012

1:30 PM—Track Session
Using RFID to Identify and Track Livestock
Costa View Farms, located in Madera, Calif., first began employing RFID approximately four years ago, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began investigating the technology to monitor poultry and livestock populations so it could more quickly and effectively trace animal diseases to the source in the event of a breakout. Although the USDA has not yet mandated the use of an animal-identification system, Costa View Farms has tagged more than 6,000 dairy cows with passive RFID transponders encoded with unique ID numbers. Learn how the identification system has saved the farm's workers countless hours previously spent searching for and treating cows, while also improving its animal records and boosting milk production.
Larry Pietrowski, Co-Owner, Costa View Farms
• The benefits of utilizing RFID to replace a manual, paper-based system requiring workers to visually search for numbers printed on ear tags
• How radio frequency identification can be used in a breeding program
2:20 PM—Track Session
Web-based System for Monitoring the Location, Security and Status of Hazardous Material Movements
Dow Chemical is using a combination of the latest automatic-identification technologies, sensors and Web-based software to monitor the real-time location, security status and environmental conditions of in-transit shipments of highly hazardous materials. The system employs transponders that combine sensors, a two-way satellite communications modem and GPS positioning. Information transmitted by the device is forwarded to the asset-management platform, enabling the firm to receive regular location alerts and notifications in the event that something goes wrong or violates a defined business rule. This approach allows Dow to monitor thousands of shipments on an exception basis, and to share that information with any necessary agencies.
Craig Casto, Auto-ID Technology Leader, Dow Chemical
• Using the solution to satisfy multiple requirements, such as location, security and real-time data collection
• How the system has enabled Dow to have a common "version of the truth" that can be shared and acted on by numerous parties, including suppliers
3:10 PM—Track Session
Daimler Uses RFID to Track and Trace Vehicles
Daimler, the world's biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles—and one of the largest producers of premium cars—has embarked on a project to provide information transparency along the distribution chain. In this session, in partnership with BIBA—Bremer Institute of Production und Logistics, the automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will share the results of the RFID installation within its rework area. Hear why the use of the track-and-trace system is of central importance in the creation of industry standards for enterprise-wide deployment.
Dirk Werthmann, Research Scientist, Bremen Institute for Production (BIBA)
• How RFID technology is being used throughout the logistics network
• How the OEM overcame the challenge of installing the system within an area containing metal obstructions

April 5, 2012

12:00 PM—Track Session
Reducing Traffic Congestion With RFID
To better measure traffic flow, the Texas Transportation Institute and a private research-and-development organization have installed a solution that reads government-issued passive UHF tags attached to the windshields of northbound commercial traffic. Between 50 and 80 percent of trucks passing through the borders are equipped with some type of RFID transponder, and the use of those existing transponders for tracking traffic movement across the border enables the agencies to measure and store data about crossing times for commercial vehicles. Before the RFID-based solution was put in place, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) depended on anecdotal reports from drivers regarding wait times, as well as on visual inspections conducted by officers regarding queue lengths. Learn how truck drivers' existing transponders attached to their windshields for toll-payment or shipment-clearance identification are being utilized to ease the inspection process. This process does not include tracking individuals, but simply collecting an ID number and a timestamp as a transponder passes a reader location. Hear how the data is being used to help border-crossing agencies to strategize traffic solutions, such as opening extra lanes at specific times.
Rajat Rajbhandari, Ph.D., P.E., PMP, Research Engineer, Texas Transportation Institute
• Using RFID to analyze resulting data indicating wait times, as well as crossing times 
• Future uses, including a Web site that trucking companies, shippers and members of the public can log onto in order to access real-time congestion data, as well as reports containing historical information, such as the busiest and least busy times of day or days of the week
2:00 PM—Track Session
Using RFID at the Maryland Medical Examiner's Office
When employees at Maryland's Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) require paperwork pertaining to a human body being stored at the Baltimore facility, those files could be located at a variety of places. To better manage such files—of which the office currently has approximately 30,000—the organization employs ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID real-time location system (RTLS) technology, as well as a software platform that manages data from 11 different readers. Based on the system's success, the office plans to utilize it to track the bodies themselves. Armed with data regarding a corpse's location, the office will know if a body has been kept unrefrigerated, and for how long—an important piece of information, since many bodies provide organs for transplant procedures, and must thus be kept cooled in order for those organs to retain viability. Although a body remains on site for only about 72 hours, its file circulates from one floor to another, and often to a third or fourth floor. Hear how the RTLS solution enables the firm to quickly locate decedents, and find out why proof of tracking in the OCME system suggests that living patient uses will be significant for emergency medical services (EMS), as well as within a hospital's intensive-care unit, operating room and other areas.
Michael Eagle, Director of Information Technology, Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
• How the file-tracking system proved its ability to save time and help workers locate paperwork quickly if another staff member or visitor needs it
• How using the RFID solution to track decedents not only allows workers to have a more accurate record of how long a particular body remained unrefrigerated, but also provides that information to physicians
2:50 PM—Track Session
Using RFID to Track the Movements of High-Value Materials
The Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), with assistance from the University of Alaska, recently completed a pilot that tracked asphalt-filled dump trucks from a weigh station in Anchorage to the Glenn Highway construction site, located about an hour's drive away. This involved utilizing an RFID solution that includes 900 MHz active tags attached to trucks, as well as readers installed at the weigh station and attached to a paver—a vehicle that applies hot-mix asphalt to a new road surface—on the construction site. Asphalt, which costs approximately $115 per ton, must be laid while still warm in order for it to set properly, or else a road could experience cracks or other problems down the line. Hear how the pilot utilized radio frequency identification to track a total of 50,000 tons of asphalt, laid along a 10-mile-long section of a six-lane roadway under construction.
Jim Sweeney, P.E., Research Engineer, Statewide Research Section, Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT)
• How the project provided accurate and reliable data, including an exact record of when each truck was at a particular location, as well as how long it remained there
• Using RFID to reduce the amount of labor hours spent inputting handwritten paperwork regarding delivery

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RFID Journal LIVE! 2012 is produced by RFID Journal, the World's RFID Authority.

All conference sessions are subject to change, and RFID Journal reserves the right to alter dates, programs and speakers at any time, as circumstances dictate. Sessions without assigned speakers indicate a target topic; every effort will be made to ensure that a program of equivalent standard and value is available.

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