Defense Department Schedules RFID Pilots - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
12/19/2003
03:46 PM
50%
50%

Defense Department Schedules RFID Pilots

Packaged meals, chemical and biological warfare suits, and more will be tracked

The Department of Defense is planning four pilots to test passive radio-frequency identification technology, which it's requiring suppliers to deploy on cases and pallets they deliver to the department by January 2005. The tests, some of which will take place with suppliers, are scheduled to begin in February.

One pilot, which will place RFID tags on pallets and cases containing packaged meals when they arrive at a military depot in California, will test more sophisticated sensor technology that can document what happens to the products as they move through the supply chain. The benefits can be far greater than simply knowing where a pallet of items is. "You don't want to have milk sitting out in the heat for too long," and this could tell you if that's happened, says Alan Estevez, assistant deputy undersecretary of defense for supply-chain integration. With more data, suppliers also could limit recalls to affected items, he says.

Such applications add to RFID's value because they go beyond applying the technology just to meet a mandate, says Meta Group analyst Bruce Hudson. Instead, RFID can be used to solve a particular problem.

The department also plans to test RFID tags on chemical and biological warfare suits, as well as on supplies moving from military distribution centers to tactical forces. Another pilot will be conducted with suppliers tagging as-yet-unidentified items. The department hasn't picked the locations for these pilots yet.

Estevez admits the department must clear several hurdles for suppliers to be RFID-ready by the deadline, including addressing issues such as standards, costs, and integrating real-time data with back-end systems. Still, says Estevez, "we owe it to the soldier, sailor, or marine on the battlefield" to give them the best supply chain possible.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll