March 13, 2019 – Seattle – Swiftsure Group executive Bruno Riegl will host a panel discussion about sensor-based resource management March 22 at Data Center World in Phoenix. Also leading the panel will be Tim Buckley from Swiftsure affiliate company rfidCollect and Andrew Jimenez, VP Technology at Anixter.
In a breakout session Riegl and Buckley will also demonstrate rfidCollect’s sensor-based temperature tracking solution for data centers and other enterprises.
Data centers are power hungry
More than 1,800 data center, facilities and IT infrastructure professionals are expected to attend the exhibition and conference March 19-22 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Topics will include cutting edge trends, security, operations and risk management. Also covered will be IT infrastructure technologies, data center strategies/delivery models, resource efficiency and cost control, professional development and design, build, operate and control.
“The compelling business reason for data centers to use sensors is better visibility into facilities and asset management,” Riegl said. “Data centers use an enormous amount of power. Our solutions track and monitor temperatures to optimize energy utilization, lower costs and help meet federally mandated greenhouse gas emission-reduction goals.”
In addition to leading the panel and demo, Riegl and Buckley will be available for follow-up conversations at partner Anixter’s booth #319.
For a retrospective on big data, data centers and sensor-based asset tracking, read Bruno Riegl’s LinkedIn article.
Watch a short video with highlights from last year’s Data Center World:
April 4, 2018 – Swiftsure Group will be at RFID Journal Live as the event marks its 16th year next week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The expo is an opportunity to learn about and promote RFID innovations, including Swiftsure Group’s cold chain solutions for food, pharma and healthcare.
Billed as the world’s largest and most important RFID event, the conference and exhibition runs April 10-12. It showcases RFID-related products and real-world end user applications. Visitors can expect information about hardware and solutions that cut costs, boost sales and improve efficiency, operations and business processes.
RFID captures data – even amid flying sparks and metal
This year’s RFID Journal Live features more than 200 exhibitors from 26 countries. It offers over 100 breakout sessions highlighting more than 50 new end user case studies.
The event hosts pre-conference seminars, the main conference – with keynotes and tracks – and post-conference master classes and workshops.
Pharma requires an unbroken cold chain
Swiftsure Group’s Solutions
Swiftsure Group is a systems developer and integrator specializing in RFID- and sensor-based solutions for healthcare, pharma, manufacturing, government, transportation, construction and other markets that require effective, reliable compliance, audit and safety management.
Swiftsure Group’s proprietary software and hardware products include time out of environment (TOE) solutions for cold chain as well as automatic data collection for tracking and verifying equipment inventory, condition and maintenance.
This is a 1 mm cube. New RFID chip is .6mm x .3 mm.
It’s not uncommon to see press releases touting the newest “smallest” chip, and size has definitely shrunk over the last few years, making RFID a less cumbersome, more affordable asset management solution.
The NCSU chip, though, promises to take design a step further with technology that eliminates the hardware an RFID tag needs to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC).
The new chip is .6 mm x .3 mm.
That’s smaller than a slice of a grain of sand. A sliver of half a honeybee brain. Tinier than a fruit fly egg.
New RFID chips are smaller than a fruit fly egg
Perhaps easier to picture, it’s the size of a lower case “o” printed in Times New Roman 5.
Passive RFID tags use rectifiers to convert AC power to DC. NCSU’s innovation enables the tag’s logic to run directly from a radio signal, with circuits operating from AC power. The redesign makes a rectifier unnecessary.
“By eliminating the hardware that is used to convert the AC signal to DC for powering the circuit, we are able to make the RFID tag much smaller and less expensive,” said Paul Franzon, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at NCSU and the paper’s senior author.
The chips, with technology dubbed RF-only logic, have less range than a conventional EPC Class 1 Gen-2 passive RFID tag.
Minute tags could improve high-speed automation processes and enable affordable sensor applications.
Reduced tag size often comes at the expense of read range. That works for some situations, such as near field communication (NFC) for access control and pay-by-phone. But tracking and managing assets in many environments – such as retail, data centers, manufacturing and supply chains – require read ranges of up to 20 feet.
The NCSU engineering team expects to develop RFID tags with similar range. If its technology evolves to allow minute tags with sufficient read range, it could dramatically improve high-speed automation processes and enable sensor applications with relatively small investments.
NCSU presented its paper on the miniaturized RFID chip May 5 at the IEEE RFID 2016 conference in Orlando, Florida.
Swiftsure’s Bruno Riegl discussed with RFID Journal the planning and implementation of Qatar University’s RFID-based asset tracking and management system. Read below about the challenges and successes in meeting the university’s ever-growing resource management needs:
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 06, 2013—
Qatar University is already employing passiveEPCGen 2 ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags and readers to track 30,000 assets across most of the 40 buildings comprising its campus in Doha. This fall, the university plans to extend its use of the technology to track individuals and mail deliveries.
The RFID deployment includes the installation of Impinj xPortal readers on stairways and doorways.
Initially, the school purchased the system—supplied and installed in 2011 by Verasset, a U.S.-based RFID solutions provider—to identify such assets as computer equipment and furnishings during audits. The solution not only ensures that the university maintains an accurate record of which assets are located in which areas, but also reduces the amount of time required to carry out an audit process, from several months down to approximately one week. The college’s business operations department will also use the solution to manage the equipment’s maintenance schedules.
Now the school hopes to utilize the technology to ensure that the proper mail is delivered quickly, and to provide location data regarding personnel passing through portals for safety purposes. In that way, the university will be able to track which individual takes which asset into or out of a particular building, as well as warn a person before he or she inadvertently enters a segregated area occupied by members of the opposite sex.
Initially, the school brought Verasset a list of assets to that included about 100,000 items, according to Adam Vinecombe, Verasset’s director of service delivery. The firm then worked with the university to reduce that number to 30,000 of the highest-value items, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units, in addition to laptops and other computers. A variety of EPCGen 2UHFRFID tags—provided by such vendors as Confidex, Omni-ID and Emerson and Cuming (a Laird Technologies company)—were required, depending on each asset’s material (such as steel or plastic) and location. For example, HVAC units on the buildings’ roofs (which are tracked for maintenance services) could experience temperatures above 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54 degrees Celsius), which meant a more ruggedized Emerson and Cuming Metaltag Flex tag was necessary, as well as special epoxy to adhere it to the asset (other adhesives would simply not hold up in extreme temperatures). Due to the locations of some buildings and the portals mounted within, Verasset also installed TRENDnetWi-Fi routers so that portals could transmit read data to the back-end database, while some portals were cabled via an Ethernet cable for a Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) connection.
The school supplied its own Oracle-based software to manage inventory read data, with Microsoft BizTalk to link RFIDread data to the inventory software.
The xPortal contains an RFIDreader and antennas integrated in a compact unit measuring 30.5 inches by 8.75 inches by 2 inches.
Verasset sent 10 of its employees to apply the tags onsite—a process that lasted four weeks—and record each tagged asset into the university’s software. With that task completed, each time an asset passed through one of the portals, the software is updated to indicate where that item was last recorded as being.
Because the university is growing quickly (its student population increased by 20 percent during the past year), it is now considering other ways in which the system can be used to boost efficiency and better manage its operations, explains Bruno Riegl, senior project manager.
Verasset has now provided the school with evaluation tags for badges that personnel can wear while moving around the campus. Each badge has a built-in UHFRFIDinlay (for the purpose of location tracking) and high-frequency (HF) RFID inlays (for use in access control), and incorporates an HID Global DESFire EV1 card containing a UHFinlay made with an Impinj Monza 4QT RFID chip, with a unique ID number encoded on it that could correspond to that specific employee.
As the staff member passes through a UHFRFIDportal, the software residing on the college’s database links that ID to the individual and stores a record of that movement. In that way, the university can collect data that could be accessed in the event of an emergency—such as identifying which people are within a given building if a fire or other catastrophe occurs. In addition, the readers could be linked to audible or visual alerts that could be triggered at the portal for an individual entering a restricted area. One concern for the university is ensuring that staff members do not inadvertently enter a restricted area containing those of the opposite sex, as buildings and classes are segregated. For example, the library has separate wings for females and males, in which students and faculty members conduct research. If a male individual attempts to walk into an area designated for females, he could view an alert on a monitor at the portal correcting his mistake.
In addition, the school is testing passiveUHFRFID tags on plastic mail-sorting trays in which mail is transported from a mailroom to recipients. The unique ID number encoded on the tray’s tag could be linked to building 2A, for instance, and the mailroom staff would fill that box with letters destined only for that building. As a mail deliverer arrived at the building, the existing RFIDreaderportal would capture the tray tag‘s ID number and confirm that the box was dedicated to that building, and then either update the electronic record to indicate the mail was received at that time, or issue an alert (either audible or visual) to the mail staff at the portal, indicating that the box was being delivered to the wrong building.
Tagging is currently underway as the university continues to construct new buildings, Riegl reports. Items such as chemicals or equipment for the new research-and-development and biohazard laboratories are still being fitted with passiveUHF tags. If employees carry badges, the school will be able to link specific individuals with the assets being removed.
Bruno Riegl, Senior Project Manager
In the future, Riegl says, the university may opt to use the asset-tracking solution to monitor maintenance as well, by allowing the maintenance staff to locate an asset using a handheld reader, and then enter data indicating which services are being provided related to that item. If a worker removes the asset from the building, that event would also be stored, based on a read from one of the portals.
According to Riegl, Verasset faced a variety of challenges related to this installation, including navigating the documentation requirements for customs and other agencies to bring equipment into Qatar. Having successfully acquired all of the necessary paperwork, inspections and certifications from multiple agencies, he says, Verasset has become an expert in dealing with the process of implementing a technology solution in a country such as Qatar.
Additional challenges were created by the widespread nature of the installation in buildings that are, in some cases, located in remote areas of the campus, as well as by the harsh weather, Riegl says. The university thus worked with Verasset to improve its own Wi-Fi network, to ensure that data culled from wireless readers could be received by software on its database.