RFID Will Affect Many Manufacturers And Packagers

Radio frequency identification (RFID) has become one of the most visible issues in manufacturing and packaging in recent months. At its simplest, RFID is a generic term for technologies that use radio waves to automatically identify products to which a special tag has been affixed. To identify or access information about the product, an RFID reader typically communicates with the tag, which holds digital information in a microchip. While RFID technology has been available for years, it has been too expensive and too limited to be practical for most commercial applications. As both the capability and cost of the tags has improved, RFID is being viewed as the solution to some of the problems associated with bar code identification systems.

In mid-2003, Wal-Mart announced plans to begin using RFID marking at the pallet and case level for product receipt at Wal-Mart distribution centers by January 2005. The Department of Defense followed shortly with the announcement of their own RFID policy for received materials, to be applied to the lowest possible piece/part/case/pallet packaging, also by January 2005. As the suppliers to these two mammoth customers begin to implement the technology, it will naturally proliferate to other customers and manufacturers. Regardless of the cost and technology hurdles remaining, these initiatives have greatly increased the likelihood that RFID use is inevitable in a wide range of industries, including food, beverage and particularly pharmaceuticals.


AutomationDirect Switches Web Seminar Hosting Service

Effective September 1st, AutomationDirect has moved Web seminar hosting services from Webex to Raindance, For past seminar attendees who may have bookmarked the seminar landing page in their Internet browser, the new address is http://www.automationtalk.com [updated link, 01/09] . A link to the current live seminar schedule and registration, as well as a list of pre-recorded seminars available for download, is always available on this site, as well as at www.automationdirect.com.


Durapulse.Com Web Site Focuses On AC Drives

AutomationDirect’s new Web site, www.durapulse.com, specifically highlights the recently launched DURApulse line of sensorless vector drives. A high-bandwidth version of the Web site uses a lot of audio and video to showcase the product’s features, applications and configuration. A low-bandwidth version (for dial-up connections) relies more heavily on text and some audio. The site gives a general overview of the DURApulse drives, and it also provides links to details such as technical specifications and the complete product manual.