Israel tracks military supplies with RFID tags

SUNNYVALE, Calif., 1 Sept. 2005. Savi Technology has completed a series of RFID-based projects with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to evaluate their effectiveness in tracking military supplies for maintenance, warehousing and in-transit visibility between locations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., 1 Sept. 2005. Savi Technology has completed a series of RFID-based projects with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) to evaluate their effectiveness in tracking military supplies for maintenance, warehousing and in-transit visibility between locations.

The projects, which are being assessed for possible further roll-outs, involved tracking and managing pallets, delivery trucks, tank power units and containers of weapons.

In conjunction with ETCOM RFID Ltd., an Israeli-based partner, Savi implemented three solutions based on Savi's EchoPoint active RFID hardware (tags, readers and signposts), and supported Savi's SmartChain Site Manager, SmartChain Enterprise Platform, and SmartChain Consignment Management Solution (CMS) to manage consignments and supply chain assets.

The implementations for the Israeli Defense Force focus on three different supply chain scenarios:

-- First, RFID solutions were deployed at key checkpoints to monitor in-transit assets from a major logistics center to a local distribution center and then to a field logistics unit. Cages, pallets and delivery trucks were affixed with active, battery-powered RFID tags to identify and monitor assets

-- Second, the IDF utilized RFID solutions to track the movements of tank power units (engines, gearboxes and transmission boxes) between warehouse and in-field locations, as well as to record their maintenance history between workshop stations.

-- Third, containers of weapons stored in armory warehouses were inventoried, tracked in and out of the facilities and secured with active RFID devices to guard against unauthorized openings and removal of the items.

To accomplish it, Savi and ETCOM RFID deployed Savi's commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware and software in the projects. These include the Savi SmartChain Site Manager, which provides an integrated, node-level management system for data collection and system management, as well as the Savi SmartChain Enterprise Platform, which complements Savi Site Manager by providing a centralized business process management system to track and manage the movement of assets and shipments as they pass through the supply chain.

Further, the Savi SmartChain Consignment Management Solution (CMS) enables IDF to become interoperable with In-Transit Visibility (ITV) networks already deployed by other defense organizations worldwide. These RFID-based networks, which can function independently or interoperate with each other during collaborative operations, are based on the ISO's 18000-7 standards. In addition, Savi's CMS already complies with the recently agreed NATO Standardization and Agreement 2233, which provides a framework for RFID-based interoperability among NATO countries in tracking consignments and assets.

"In order to constantly improve the effectiveness of our logistics operations and support, the IDF is looking seriously to adopt RFID-based supply chain solutions as already proven and in use or being implemented by the U.S. Department of Defense, United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, NATO, Denmark Ministry of Defense and Australia Defence Force," said an Army IDF officer and head of the technology branch, responsible for new Logistics technologies. (IDF policy prohibits identification of military officers by name in public announcements.)

"We want to improve the end-to-end visibility and security of critical supplies to support our defense logistics efforts and take advantage of the proven cost reductions, operational effectiveness and efficiencies already demonstrated by RFID in the defense sector."

Bruce Jacquemard, Savi's executive vice president of global sales and alliances, said, "Israel's interest in RFID adds another significant participant to a growing number of defense forces worldwide that are using RFID to more effectively manage their supply chain operations, either in-country or interactively with each other when necessary for joint force operations."

Mark McGlade, Savi's regional vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said, "Savi is eager to further show the Israeli Defense Force how our proven RFID solutions can enhance supply chain efficiency, visibility and security while reducing their logistics footprint and costs."

With over 15 years experience, Savi is a leading provider of active RFID solutions for the management and security of supply chain assets, shipments and consignments. Savi's RFID solutions have tracked more than one million shipments during the past decade through more than 1,500 locations and 45 countries.

Savi's integrated RFID hardware and software solutions drive business value, such as reducing supply chain assets, inventory and operational costs. The company tailors its solutions to the defense, commercial supply chain asset management and global supply chain visibility and security markets. Savi's solutions are designed to meet the supply chain needs of defense and government organizations, global shippers, manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers as well as service providers such as terminal operators and asset owners. Founded in 1989, Savi Technology is privately held, with headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., and offices in Washington D.C., London, Singapore, Johannesburg, and Melbourne. For more information, visit www.savi.com.

ETCOM RFID Ltd., an Israeli company with expertise in RFID and wireless communications technologies and implementations, focuses on the development of RFID applications that can be easily multiplied, adapted and customized to a large variety of customer needs. ETCOM RFID defines, develops and implements solutions for the control and management of transportable assets along the supply chain. For more information, see www.etcom-rfid.com.

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