As a sign of growing momentum towards an interoperable consignment tracking network among NATO members, Denmark’s Ministry of Defence has contracted with Savi Technology to deploy a software platform linked with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies for tracking and managing supply chain shipments in real-time. This solution will be interoperable with RFID-driven networks already developed by Savi Technology for NATO’s Afghanistan Supply Chain, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense. The latest development was announced today at the opening of the Defence Asset Management Conference in The Thistle Tower Hotel, London.
The fully networked solution includes the Savi SmartChain(R) Supply Network Operating System software platform, Savi Site Manager, fixed and mobile RFID readers, and active, data-rich RFID tags affixed to containers, pallets and other transport conveyances. The RFID-driven solution will provide the Danish Defense with real-time visibility of inbound and outbound shipments at key supply chain checkpoints within the country as well as of consignments into both Afghanistan and Iraq. This networked approach also allows users to interoperate and collaborate – when necessary – with similar or different information systems used by Allied Forces during joint operations, and provides quick investment returns for countries and companies of all sizes.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) had contracted with Savi Technology to pilot an RFID-driven project to manage and track NATO consignments between Europe and Afghanistan. This project, due to be operational this month, is being evaluated for possible further expansion to provide seamless, near real-time collaboration of in-transit consignment tracking information for both NATO and member nations. Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence also deployed Savi’s solutions to collaborate on critical supply shipments along with the U.S. DoD, which Savi has helped over the past decade to build the In-Transit Visibility (ITV) network, the world’s largest RFID cargo tracking system monitoring an average of 37,000 shipments daily with installations in over 1,500 locations and 45 countries.
“With Savi’s integrated solution, we expect to gain greater visibility and knowledge of supply movements between key storage and transport facilities in Denmark, and even more importantly of their status in support of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jess Rasmussen of the Danish Army Operational Command. “This project enables us to gain valuable experience with advanced Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) technologies, while interoperating with our allies and integrating real-time data into our existing supply chain management software without disrupting routine processes. We also are moving toward a more automated system of managing a consignment’s manifest with this technology, rather than the paper-based system we currently use.”
Networked reader and data-processing infrastructure will be installed at Danish Army depots in Hjorring and Broedeskov and at the Danish International Logistics Center (DANILOG) at Vordingborg, as well as in strategic supply locations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the Danish military ships consignments by both commercial and military ocean and air transportation modes. Plans call for the full Danish network to be operational by January 2005.
“With its sea and air ports, as well as its strategic geographic location within the NATO community, Denmark plays an important role in providing critical supplies to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq,” said Mark McGlade, Savi’s Regional Vice President – Europe. “This solution will provide greater management and efficiency of Denmark’s own logistics operations, and it demonstrates further momentum for a real-time federation of networks using RFID tied together on a common software platform. A real-time integrated consignment tracking network will help reach objectives for more agile, joint expeditionary forces equipped with the right materiel at the right time.”
Consignments will be tracked with Savi’s newest generation SaviTag ST-654, an active, data-rich RFID tag that holds up to 128 kilobytes of data and communicates wirelessly with the network at distances up to 100 metres using the 434 MHz radio frequency band and for more precise spot-level location using the 123 KHz band. Other COTS technologies used in the integrated solution include:
- SaviReader SR-650: These are highly reliable and rugged products that capture data wirelessly from thousands of tagged assets nearly instantaneous. They have an omni-directional read range of over 100 metres, and they relay the data to Savi SmartChain Site Manager, either wirelessly or by hard cable.
- Savi Mobile Reader SMR-650P: an integrated, mobile, lightweight battery-operated interrogator/reader with write capabilities for commissioning new tags. It also has built-in Savi Mobile Manager software that enables users to have one source to easily scan and read in-tag data, edit the tag data and then write the data back to the tag through the mobile handheld.
- Savi SmartChain Site Managers: This exceptionally high-performance software is designed to aggregate RFID-generated data, filter it and then convert it into computer language that can be managed by users on a network. It also incorporates localized business rules and processes to ensure that only useful information is transmitted to the network and software applications.
Savi, a leading provider of RFID networks for real-time supply chain visibility, asset management and security, provides RFID tags, readers, Site Managers and a networked software platform and applications, as well as full integration services for all types of government and commercial organizations. Savi’s networked solutions are based on an open and interoperable technology platform that enables users to integrate all types of Automatic Identification and Data Collection (AIDC) – from barcodes and sensors to RFID and satellite tracking systems – for real-time visibility across and within the supply chain.