Havayolları ve Raylı Sistem Sektörlerinde RFID Kullanımı Yaygınlaşıyor


OCTOBER 13, 2011

The transportation sector continues to be a hotbed of activity for RFID. This week Avery Dennison announced that it has been awarded a three-year contract by McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nev., to continue to supply RFID tags for its baggage handling system.

Although McCarran doesn’t represent a new deployment, additional airports are lining up for rollouts. Alien Technology shipped product to five major international airports in 2011. While most are pilots, two of them represent long-term contracts.

The rail sector is also seeing increased activity, especially in Europe where TagMaster announced a deal to deliver its UHF track-side readers to the Swedish Transport Administration.

VDC Research says the RFID solutions market in transportation was worth more than $1.1 billion in 2010, and is expected to expand 17 percent this year. Nearly one billion tags were consumed globally in 2010, and that number could exceed 15 billion by 2015.

The uptick in baggage handling follows several years of inactivity after airports in Hong Kong, Lisbon, Italy and Las Vegas — the U.S. pioneer for bag tagging — all experienced great success with RFID. In Hong Kong, handling costs per bag have declined from $7 to less than $4.

The major benefit of RFID use at airports is for baggage tagging, thereby reducing the amount of bags that go missing each year. Eventually, customers will benefit additionally from RFID-enabled check in at airports, which is currently being piloted by Qantas Airways in Australia. Other consumer facing use cases, like using RFID to track the progress of trips from start to finish, are longer term projects.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that RFID bag tags could save the aviation industry more than $700 million each year. IATA estimates that the ROI for these systems is about 12 months. Typically, it costs about $100 to recover a lost bag, and mishandled bags are a key issue affecting customer satisfaction.

At the Lisbon airport in Portugal, misplaced bags have been reduced by more than 50 percent, and the time it takes for customers to receive their bags has been reduced by two-thirds. The primary reason for the increased efficiencies is the near 100 percent read rates offered by RFID, as opposed to the bar code systems that often misread three out of every 10 bags.

Airports are discovering interesting use cases for RFID. This summer, Copenhagen Airport deployed RFID to handle large volumes of baggage from passengers on cruise ships. When passengers depart a cruise ship in Copenhagen to fly home, the airport must process a large volume of baggage in a short period of time. During the peak of tourist season this summer, 16 RFID-enabled check-in positions were installed to receive the baggage, where an RFID tag is attached before the bag proceeds to the carousel. Once a piece of baggage reaches the right chute, the RFID system visually alerts the operator to confirm which flight the bag is on.

The airport is considering expanding the system to the entire airport in the future.

“The RFID solution has proven to be so robust that we have not had a single day of interruption in operations,” Søren Elkjær, department manager for baggage administration, CPH, said in a press release. “For CPH, the spin-off benefit from the project is that the RFID technology has now been tested in a limited, but live production environment.

Shifting from Demark to Sweden and the rail industry, TagMaster, has been awarded a supply contract to deliver its new UHF track-side readers to the Swedish Transport Administration. The readers will be used to automatically identify both Swedish and international goods wagons as they pass detection sites on the Swedish mainline rail network.

The STA, along with several other infrastructure owners in Europe, are implementing wagon tracking systems conforming to the EPC Gen2 standard, paving the way for the introduction of a European wide system where interoperability is a the primary requirement.

While it could take years to nail down standards, leaders in the European rail community are working hard to set EPC as the de-facto standard. Earlier this year at an RFID in rail meeting in Stockholm, most participants agreed that UHF 18006-C should be the European standard for the identification of wagons.

“There is a need for a European standard if RFID in Rail projects are to maximize their benefits,” says Alice Mukaru, business manager for AIDC?at GS1 Sweden. “If a standard is not used, each infrastructure manager will have to install readers capable of reading the different tags on  wagons that it wants to get information from, which would make implementation complex and expensive.”

Sweden has elevated the need for rail car tracking due to the fact that 60 percent of the cars travelling on the 10,00 kilometers (about 6,200 miles) of rail in the country are from other European countries. The STA has identified the need to track goods wagons both on its own network and those of other European networks due to requests from train operators who want to know where their cars are, and from freight shippers seeking accurate and timely information about wagon movements and inventory tracking, as well as the need to link information from their detector systems to the right wagon.

Complicating the task is the fact that some rail projects currently operating in Sweden and the EU were in place long before EPC technology was developed.

“This is part of an ongoing project within Europe to adopt the UHF Gen 2 standards for identifying goods in wagons,” said Richard Holt, director of transportation at TagMaster AB. “Previously there hasn’t been a standard in Europe, so we are working closely with GS1 on standards. It is quite a complex process especially in Europe because you have so many interested parties.”

According to GSA, estimates that they will need approximately 700 readers to cover all tracks at stations hubs and marshalling yards. The initial pilot will begin by deploying 30 readers, and will be expanded to include 200 more readers in 2012-13. The remaining readers will be rolled out the following year.

In addition to using RFID to track rail cars and their contents, several companies in Europe are already evaluating the use of AIDC technologies such as barcode and RFID to enable automatic data capture of their MRO processes. Some of these companies have identified the need to coordinate these activities so as to standardize how to identify critical parts and which technologies to use.

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