WHAT IS THE DOD MANDATE FOR RFID?
The DOD is requiring all of its suppliers to incorporate the use of RFID technology
using a phased approach that requires some classes of supplies to be compliant by
January 2005 and all other classes of supplies to be compliant by January 2006.
Companies that sell products to the DOD soon will have to comply with a new
condition of doing business: wireless inventory tagging.
WHEN DID THE DOD ISSUE THE MANDATE?
In October 2003, the DOD instituted the policy requiring its suppliers to install RFID
tags on individual parts and pallets by 2005. In July 2004, the DOD published its
final policy guidelines for the use of RFID technology within its supply chain.
WHY IS THE DOD ISSUING A MANDATE FOR RFID?
RFID chips, or tags, contain identification information that can be wirelessly passed
on to a reader allowing, for example, the contents of a shipping container to be
identified without opening it. The military expects to achieve many benefits from
using passive RFID technology on pallets and cases; most of these benefits are the
same as those that businesses hope to realize.
Better visibility of the materials in the supply chain will allow the DOD to reduce
safety stocks. More accurate and timely data will enable the DOD to more
accurately forecast consumption of supplies, so it can buy only what it needs and
make sure the supplies arrive where and when they are needed.
By enabling data to be captured without manual scanning, the DOD expects to
reduce the number of people needed to handle goods and redeploy those people
to more critical tasks. Also, better visibility and new security tags should make it
possible to reduce the number of items that are lost or stolen while in transit.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE DOD AND RFID?
Today the department already is among the largest users of RFID technology. The
department uses active RFID tags - which contain their own power supplies - to
manage significant assets such as containers full of munitions. The new edict calls
for suppliers to use simpler, passive RFID tags, which require a monitoring device
to power the tag.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY THE MANDATE?
The policy requires passive RFID tagging at the case, pallet and container level for
all new solicitations issued on or after October 1, 2004 for the delivery of material
on or after January 1, 2005 for certain classes, January 1, 2006 for other classes,
and January 1, 2007 for unit pack items (UID).
The DOD has developed a Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation (DFAR) clause
that will contractually require suppliers to affix passive RFID tags to material at the
case, pallet and item packaging for unique identification (UID) items in accordance
with Attachment 3 of the July 30, 2004 policy for contracts issued on or after
October 1, 2004 for delivery of material on or after January 1, 2005.
This policy will also be incorporated into the next update of the DOD Supply Chain
Material Management Regulation (DOD 4140.1-R), the Defense Transportation
Regulation (DOD 4500.9-R) and the Military Standard 129.
WHEN WILL SUPPLIERS NEED TO BE COMPLIANT?
The tags will be phased in gradually according to “procurement methods,
classes/commodities, location and layers of packaging for passive RFID,” with the
tags added by the manufacturer or vendor.
By January 2005, two distribution depots—one in San Joaquin, California, and one
in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania—are designated to receive a variety of tagged goods,
including clothes and rations. Suppliers must attach passive RFID tags to all
individual cases, all cases packaged within a pallet and all pallets of packaged
troop rations, clothing, individual equipment and tools, personal items and weapons
systems repair parts and components shipped to the two DLA distribution centers.
Beginning January 1, 2006, suppliers will be required to tag cases and pallets of
subsistence and comfort items, packaged petroleum, lubricants, oils, preservatives
and chemicals, construction and barrier material, ammunition of all types, pharma-
ceutical and medical material shipped to 32 depots throughout the United States
and the two distribution centers.
Beginning January 1, 2007, all commodities shipped to all DOD locations should be
The following table provides more details regarding the classes, dates and shipping locations.
CLASS January 2005 January 2006 January 2007
Class I Subclass – Packaged RFID Enable: RFID Enable: RFID Enable:
Operational Rations & Packaged Pallet Pallet UID Item
Food Exterior Container Exterior Container
Shipping Container Shipping Container For Shipping To:
Class II – Clothing, individual
equipment, tentage, organizational
For Shipping To: For Shipping To:
tool sets and kits, hand tools, and
San Joaquin, CA 32 Depots
administrative and housekeeping
supplies and equipment
Class VI – Personal demand items
such as snack foods, beverages,
cigarettes, soap, toothpaste,
writing material, cameras, batteries,
and other nonmilitary sale items
Class IX – Repair parts and
components to include kits,
assemblies and subassemblies
(reparable or nonreparable) which
are required for maintenance
support of all equipment
Class I – Subsistence & Not applicable RFID Enable: RFID Enable:
Gratuitous Health & Comfort Items Pallet UID Item
Class III – Petroleum fuels, Exterior Container
Shipping Container For Shipping To:
lubricants, hydraulic and insulating
oils, preservatives, liquid and gas,
For Shipping To:
bulk chemical products, coolants,
San Joaquin, CA
de-icer and antifreeze compounds,
components and additives of
petroleum and chemical products,
Class IV – Construction material
including installed equipment and
all fortification and barrier material
Class V – Ammunition of all types
(including chemical, radiological,
and special weapons), bombs,
explosives, mines, fuses,
detonators, pyrotechnics, missiles,
rockets, propellants, and other
Class VII – Major end items such
as launchers, tanks, mobile
machine shops, and Medical
material, including repair parts
peculiar to medical equipment
The 32 depots include the following:
Marine Corps Maintenance Depot, Albany, GA
Marine Corps Maintenance Depot, Barstow, CA
Army Maintenance Depot, Anniston, AL
Army Maintenance Depot, Corpus Christi, TX
Army Maintenance Depot, Red River, TX
Army Maintenance Depot, Tobyhanna, PA
Air Mobility Command Terminal, Charleston Air Force Base, Charleston, SC
Air Mobility Command Terminal, Dover Air Force Base, Dover, DE
Air Mobility Command Terminal, Naval Air Station Norfolk, Norfolk, VA
Air Mobility Command Terminal, Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, CA
Air Logistics Center, Ogden, UT
Air Logistics Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Air Logistics Center, Warner Robbins, GA
Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point, NC
Naval Aviation Depot, Jacksonville, FL
Naval Aviation Depot, North Island, San Diego, CA
Defense Distribution Depot, Albany, GA
Defense Distribution Depot, Anniston, AL
Defense Distribution Depot, Barstow, CA
Defense Distribution Depot, Cherry Point, NC
Defense Distribution Depot, Columbus, OH
Defense Distribution Depot, Corpus Christi, TX
Defense Distribution Depot, Ogden, UT
Defense Distribution Depot, Jacksonville, FL
Defense Distribution Depot, Oklahoma City, OK
Defense Distribution Depot, Norfolk, VA
Defense Distribution Depot, Puget Sound, WA
Defense Distribution Depot, Red River, TX
Defense Distribution Depot, Richmond, VA
Defense Distribution Depot, San Diego, CA
Defense Distribution Depot, Tobyhanna, PA
Defense Distribution Depot, Warner Robbins, GA
HOW DOES THE TECHNOLOGY WORK?
The DOD will use two types of RFID tags:
(1) Active: Contains an internal power source, enabling the tag to hold more
data and has a longer “read” range and
(2) Passive: Does not contain any power source, holds a minimum of data and
has a shorter “read” range.
Initially the tags will be used to identify the bulkiest items. Their current use of active
tags is usually on large or valuable pieces of equipment or consolidated shipments—
that is ocean containers or air pallets. The initial passive RFID implementation will
be at the case or warehouse pallet level where inexpensive tags will facilitate
distribution processes and perhaps provide added granularity to item level visibility
for some specific commodities.
A recent memo from the DOD outlines the phased approach for the integration of
RFID. The first appendix to the memo describes the requirements for the use of
active tags. A second appendix describes the requirements for passive tags. The
DOD plans to use passive UHF tags operating between 860 MHz and 960 MHz
with a minimum read range of three meters (about 9 feet). Until EPC UHF Gen 2
tags and readers are available, the DOD will accept Class 0 64-bit read-only tags,
Class 1 64-bit read-write tags, Class 0 96-bit read-only tags and Class 1 96-bit
read-write tags. Once Gen 2 tags and readers are available, the DOD will phase
out Class 1 and Class 0 tags. The appendix provides details on when specific EPC
data constructs—including Serialized Global Trade Item Number and Serial
Shipment Container Code—should be used. It also spells out in detail how many
bits of data on the tag should be used for the elements of the data construct,
including the company prefix, item reference and serial numbers.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A SUPPLIER DOES NOT COMPLY?
The DOD expects all suppliers to be compliant by the January 2005 implementation
date. Contracting officers will work with non-compliant vendors to ensure that they
are meeting the requirements of their contract. Compliance is a requirement for
obtaining a DOD contract and will be used for contract performance analysis.
WHAT DO SUPPLIERS NEED TO DO TO BE COMPLIANT?
Suppliers to the DOD must encode an approved tag using either an Electronic
Product Code (EPC) tag data construct or a DOD tag data construct. Suppliers
that choose to use the DOD construct will essentially replace the manufacturer ID
in the EPC number with a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code. EPC
global subscribers can use a standard EPC, so consumer packaged goods manu-
facturers can use the same tag data constructs for the DOD that they use to
comply with retailers’ requirements. 6
HOW CAN SUPPLIERS RECEIVE HELP WITH IMPLEMENTATION?
As RFID quickly becomes a requirement for the supply chain, finding a partner who
understands the technology, the compliance issues and who can provide the
necessary business integration is paramount to success.
Catalyst International delivers reliable, customer-driven software and services that
optimize enterprise supply chain performance. With 25 years of experience in
complex, high-volume warehouse operations, Catalyst offers an innovative suite of
solutions that help global Fortune 1000 customers implement, integrate, manage
and operate fast, efficient supply chain networks. Catalyst’s products and services
have been seamlessly integrated into the enterprise environments of global Fortune
500 companies, including Avial, Boeing, Office Max, Rayovac, Reebok, Snap-On,
Panasonic, Subaru, and The Home Depot. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
Catalyst serves customers in 20 countries worldwide.
CatalystCompass™ RFID is a consulting practice dedicated to assisting companies
in determining the best approach to deploying RFID. The Catalyst RFID
Demonstration Center is a world class educational facility designed to help
companies gain maximum benefit from RFID. For companies requiring strategic
counsel, the consulting practice and demonstration center can help you:
s Determine the best approach for RFID deployment
s Identify and resolve label selection and positioning associated with product and
s Validate the approach via a proof of concept and a pilot that will identify and
resolve technology, process, product packaging and environmental issues
s Streamline the equipment selection, installation and deployment of RFID solutions
s Achieve EPCglobal/DOD compliance
Catalyst’s Implementation methodology ensures success in integrating RFID into
the supply chain. Our methodology includes the following phases:
Phase 1: RFID Business Case (4 – 6 weeks)
s Executive Briefing (Overview on RFID, EPC and DOD compliance)
s Recommended approach for RFID deployment
s Cost and Benefit Analysis
s Product and shipment tagging requirements
s Proof of Concept
Phase 2: RFID Design and Configuration (6 – 8 weeks)
s Site Survey and RFID Configuration
s Process Flow and Integration Plan
s RFID and System Architecture Design
s Revised Cost Estimates and Schedule
Phase 3: RFID Implementation (2 – 3 months)
s Install and tune all RFID equipment
s Install iRFID middleware module
s Integration to WMS, SAP and other ERP systems
s User training and support training
s System commissioning
s Operation support and maintenance
s Create and agree upon detailed roll-out plan
Phase 4: RFID Rollout (3 – 4 months)
s Site survey and preparation
s Training and education
s Implementation and installation
s Operational support
s Ongoing Catalyst Help Desk Support
Catalyst’s RFID implementation methodology ensures success in integrating RFID
into the supply chain. Our proven method minimizes risk, keeps the RFID life cycle
investment costs to a minimum and delivers a solution that companies can depend
upon for RFID compliance, performance and reliability.
Catalyst RFID Consulting offers the following benefits:
s Meet short-term compliance requirements
s Gain long-term scalability and flexibility
s Start small, easily grow later
s Easily adapt to variations in RFID requirements
s Gain benefits of RFID without compromising the performance of SCE applications
s Deploy a more configurable solution
WHERE CAN I RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION?
For more information, refer to www.dodrfid.org or download the United States
Department of Defense Suppliers’ Passive RFID Information Guide or Under
Secretary of Defense RFID memo
Let Catalyst International serve as your source for RFID technology guidance and
services. For more information and to set up the initial meeting, please contact us at
Corporate Headquarters 800.236.4600
European Headquarters +44 (0) 1895 450400