Rfid for baggage_tagging_white_paper, 2010


Published on

Joint white paper by George Schmitt, Impinj, Lyngsoe Systems and UPM Raflatac

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Rfid for baggage_tagging_white_paper, 2010

  1. 1. RFID forBAGGageTagging Reducing costs and improving operations, worldwide. 99.8% read accuracy rates Reduces system costs (including labor and hardware) Enables efficient locating of individual bags Reduces manual sorting requirements Improves security
  2. 2. Why Use RFID Technology for Baggage Handling?Most airlines struggle day to day with a variety of issues related to survival—issues such as unpredictable fuel costs,uncertain global economies, and tight finances. To combat these challenges, airlines continuously seek to better theiroperations, and RFID technology is at the forefront of process improvement.RFID technology can aid and assist in multiple areas to reduce costs and requirements dropped to annual. RFID has the added benefit of being globallyincrease operating revenue through improved asset visibility, consumable interoperable—the same tag works as well in Hong Kong as it would hoursinventory management, food and beverage delivery management, retail item later in Las Vegas, or Lisbon.inventory, sales management, and baggage handling efficiency. This whitepaper addresses baggage handling. So why hasn’t the industry just adopted and implemented the technology? Limited funding is one answer, but the penchant for believing that benefitsEstimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) put will not be realized until adoption is comprehensive (bags tracked alongmishandled baggage costs at approximately $US 2.5 billion for 2009 all segments of a journey) also persists. This belief has led many airports,alone-equivalent to the cost of nearly 50 Boeing 737-600s. This industry handlers and airlines to delay implementation until mandated. But proactiveproblem spans cities, regions and continents. While many assume full airport management teams who have taken a hard look at their process haveparticipation by all parties is necessary to completely rectify the problem, determined that performance improvements and savings resulting in a realRFID-enabled baggage tagging efforts already in place show that local or return on investment are possible even with local implementation. And inregional implementation of RFID on baggage can have significant benefit, an age where consumers face increasing fees (such as checked baggageresulting in improved service, substantial cost reductions or savings, and charges), the ability to provide improved service while reducing costs can go aincreased customer satisfaction. long way toward improving an airline’s reputation and building brand loyalty.Each airline has its own way of dealing with the baggage handling issue, with You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Understandsome having better results than others. RFID has had significant impact onvisibility and missed baggage in airports such as Hong Kong International, It is best to first clearly identify goals. Where are the baggage handlingItaly’s Milano Malpensa, Lisbon, and Denmark’s Aalborg International. problems areas? What are the system loading and capacity point limits? AreWhere barcode technologies were providing read rates as low as 60%, RFID there certain times during the day, particular weeks, or even months whenread rates came in as high as 99.8 %, and weekly equipment maintenance more problems occur? Most operations people already have some idea of problem areas and are a good resource when considering where to begin. It is possible to extract data from existing barcode baggage systems to help determine problem areas, but it will not address all processes. “Estimates by IATA put As it turns out, RFID technology can provide visibility into processes without incurring the cost of a full implementation. With an RFID-enabled baggage mishandled baggage quality measurement system that involves tagging a statistically significant percentage of the checked baggage, installing read points (both fixed costs at approximately and mobile) at critical areas throughout the baggage handling process, and providing unbiased data through an easily accessible interface, all $US 3.8 billion for participating parties have immediate visibility into problem areas. Through an iterative process, these parties can cooperate to fine tune the process. The 2009 alone.” readers, tags, and software needed for such a quality measurement system are generally off-the-shelf and readily available. Another benefit of beginning with a quality measurement approach is that organizations gain familiarity with the technology, see the benefits first hand, and can help clearly define the ROI for full implementation using real, unbiased measurement data. It’s a cost effective, low risk process improvement approach that the automotive industry has used with great success for over 30 years.2 RFID Baggage Tagging
  3. 3. for details about an airline’s or airport’s performance, the need to improve customer service and build a brand known for that service is paramount to RFID has unique capabilities that support process survival. Plus, the global standards necessary for success in an industry that improvement by enabling far greater visibility into spans the world are already in place and actively being advanced. Outlined operations than ever before. RFID tags: below are things to know when considering an RFID implementation. • do not require line-of-sight reading as do barcodes • can be read accurately from a distance The Tag • can uniquely identify the item to which they are attached An RFID tag comprises an integrated circuit (tag chip) mounted on a • may be read simultaneously substrate along with an antenna. This resulting “inlay” is then “converted” • may be updated in the field by being sandwiched between a label and its adhesive backing to yield a • have read accuracy advantages over barcodes printable label (or in case of the baggage handling application, a printable baggage tag). These ingredients and steps often involve multiple vendors, whose expertise varies. IATA has created recommended practices for RFID technology, and it pays to respect their specifications.Problem Understood, Now What?A measurement system provides process improvement insight and helps to As in all technologies, there are leaders and followers. For tag chips, Impinjbuild the business case for RFID, as it clearly demonstrates the advantages leads in innovation, performance, and in the development of standards.RFID technology has over barcodes. The next stage is implementing RFID- Impinj’s highly reliable tag chips result from a combination of high read andenabled tagging to track, trace, and control the travel of bags from ticket write sensitivity and excellent noise interference rejection. In addition, a uniquecounter check-in to their final destination, which in the case of localized RFID dual antenna input structure supports omni-directional tags, which help solveimplementation remains within the confines of the airport. The goals are to application impediments that often limit overall system performance.eliminate miss-sorts, improve read rates and visibility, reduce maintenancecosts and manual labour, reduce delivery delays to and from the aircraft, The antenna inlay assembly, a key element responsible for harvesting RFand—perhaps most importantly—improve customer satisfaction. energy and communicating information, is also critical to system performance. Antenna designs are many and varied, as different applications requireThis stage is more complex to implement and requires careful planning, an different approaches. Regardless of the application, most important is thein-depth understanding of baggage handling logic and controls, and familiarity vendor’s ability to produce a high quality and reliable product in high volume.with the environment. Success depends on a clear understanding of radio This process is capital intensive and vendors must have the skills andfrequency (RF) communications, channel planning, RF propagation issues expertise for application of ultra low pitch component placement, bonding, dierelated to the technology of choice, and ISO 18000-6C compliant technology. cutting, and automated processing. There are few vendors that have theseCareful selection of all the components along with application and installation skills and capability. UPM Raflatac is one of those few, having the financialof the technology is key to success. Working with companies experienced depth, skills, and technology needed to provide quality inlays in volume. Theyin the field, including integrators, label converters, tag inlay and tag chip have a portfolio of products to address most applications, are continuallysuppliers, and reader vendors is critical to meeting cost and delivery targets. inventing new solutions based on customer demand, and provide inlays with Impinj tag chips.Implementing RFID to Improve Passenger Service The third component, the bag tag, carries the substrate/tag chip/antennaRFID technology has been around since World War II. Why is now the perfect inlay, and provides a means for presenting human readable text as welltime to implement an RFID-enabled system? For starters, the technology has as barcode symbols. In baggage tag form, the inlay becomes pliable,evolved over the last decade to a point where a return on investment is viable. applicable, and relevant. Baggage tag quality, consistency, and constructionAnd customer satisfaction cannot be overlooked. At a time when air travel are critical for this application. The baggage tag must survive a trip wherehas been economically hit and consumers need only look on the Internet potential rough handling and exposure to a variety of environmental RFID Baggage Tagging 3
  4. 4. conditions such as rain, snow, sleet, hail, etc. are possible. The baggage tagmust protect the inlay, provide a background for printing symbols, and have anadhesive that will ensure the tag remains attached to the baggage. Because About George Schmitt & CompanyRFID tag conversion (creating a baggage tag from the inlay) is also a capital George Schmitt & Co. is a globally recognized, experienced, andintensive industry, only a few vendors have the depth and experience needed for certified RFID label converter and high security printer. Schmittconsistent success. George Schmitt & Company not only has the capability and provides customized RFID solutions utilizing its patented andexperience with conversion of RFID inlays, they also have a considerable history proprietary testing and assembly equipment and systems.of supplying baggage tags to the airline industry. George Schmitt & Company 251 Boston Post RoadThe Read Station Guilford, Connecticut 06437The read stations provide visibility, tracking the position of the baggage on the USAconveyor, belt, or tilt-tray. Simply said, but difficult to do with high reliability and Telephone: 203-453-4334accuracy. A read station comprises a high performance ISO 18000-6C compliant www.georgeschmitt.comreader, multiple suitable fixed antennas, control middleware, reader managementmiddleware, and system software. The reader must have the ability to provide About Impinj, Inc.propagation characteristics of the reflected data as well as the tag identification Impinj develops award-winning radio frequency identification (RFID)(TID) number. Among the few reader vendors that can provide the performance technologies that are at the heart of many of the world’s mostneeded, Impinj stands out again with a discrete, high performance, compact reader efficient supply chain, asset management, and retail operations.solution. The reader management middleware must be able to process and filter Impinj, Inc.tag data in real time, as well as manage multiple readers. It needs to communicate 701 N. 34th Street, Suite 300with conveyor control middleware, and pass ID and system information to the Seattle, WA 98103system software. There are few companies with expertise in this area, and fewer USAwith real experience and an off-the-shelf product. Lyngsoe Systems is one of those Telephone: +1 206 517 5300companies, with product and installation experience incorporated in Hong Kong www.impinj.comInternational Airport, Italy’s Milano Malpensa Airport, Portugal’s Lisbon Airport, andDenmark’s Aalborg International Airport. About Lyngsoe Systems Lyngsoe Systems’ Airport division is a world leader for RFIDFinal Thoughts on baggage solutions including consultancy and systemsInnovative improvement of the baggage handling process is a holistic task that integration. References include Hong Kong, Malpensa, Lisbon,requires a firm understanding of the business, organizational, technical, and and Aalborg airports.political aspects of baggage handling. Communication between airport, handler, Lyngsoe Systems A/Sairline, and the leading providers of baggage handling systems is critical for Lyngsø Allé 3process improvement success. For more information about RFID-enabled DK-9600 Aarsbaggage handling, or any RFID application, contact any of the companies Denmarkmentioned in this white paper: George Schmitt & Company, Impinj, Inc., Lyngsoe Telephone: +45 96 980 980Systems, and UPM Raflatac Inc. www.lyngsoesystems.com About UPM Raflatac, Inc. UPM Raflatac, part of UPM’s Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world’s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials and the world’s number one producer of HF and UHF RFID tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac, Inc. 267 Cane Creek Road Fletcher, NC 28732 USA Telephone: +1 828 651 4800 www.upmrfid.com4 RFID Baggage Tagging ©2010 George Schmitt & Company, Impinj, Inc., Lyngsoe Systems and UPM Raflatac, Inc.