Savi Technology (a provider of RFID networks for real-time supply chain visibility, asset management and security) has partnered with RFID hardware solutions provider, SAMSys Technologies, to design, integrate, and deliver a passive RFID tracking solution for the US Army’s Joint Munitions Command (JMC).
The two firms co-developed and implemented the ‘Check-It-Out’ key management system which automatically monitors and tracks the details of each key issued or returned for thousands of high-security keys, almost completely eliminating the need for manual record keeping.
The system links with the US Army’s existing legacy inventory management application and updates transaction details in order to determine when to unseal buildings for inventory. The Check-It-Out solution, designed by Savi Technology, can be configured for all kinds of check-in and check-out assets, from tools to cell phones.
“The implementation of Check-It-Out at just one US Army depot in Utah, which consists of more than 1,200 buildings and 2,500 keys, has successfully reduced the number of hours required for manual check-in and check-out procedures by 25%,” said Mazie Angus, JMC’s inventory team leader.
The partners claim that the system eliminates manual data input errors, provides 100% data accuracy, reduces bottlenecks during heavy check-in and check-out times, as well as providing real-time status reports. Its internal database enables it to operate as a stand-alone application or as a front-end data source for the existing Ammunition Inventory Accountability programme.
“This solution instantly and accurately documents and ensures the security of thousands of daily key transactions occurring at US Army ammunition depots,” said Jerry Bredesen, programme manager for Savi Technology, who oversaw software design and system implementation.
How it works
Following its evaluation of RFID reader vendors, Savi selected SAMSys to supply the hardware components because of its integration support and the ease with which the hardware could be integrated into the Check-It-Out solution. SAMSys components used include high-frequency passive tags and fixed proximity readers with external flat antenna.
Each controlled key is fixed with a small, rectangular, RFID tag embedded key chain containing the key’s identification details. Savi’s software, in conjunction with a localised relational database, match up the tag’s ID with users and their various privileges, authorised custodians, building number, and any conditions that must be met before the key can be issued. When the key chain is scanned, all of this information displays on the key custodian’s computer screen for verification.
“The initial preparation and integration of this solution took only three days, and within the first two days of operation we recovered four man-hours,” said Bruce Banks, a key custodian at Tooele Army Depot in Utah. “In the first version of the programme it has worked flawlessly and demonstrated impressive results. It has also been easy to learn, and easy to train others.”
The Check-It-Out solution was created from the foundation of an earlier Savi solution called ‘The Stockpile Inventory List Comparator’ (SILC) suite, which uses a special cross-laminated material for 2-D barcodes. SILC was integrated into the US Army’s Ammunition Inventory Accountability programme to enhance the speed, productivity and accuracy of managing ammunition inventory data.
SILC already has been implemented at every major ammunition storage depot in the USA, as well as at several overseas depots. Check-It-Out is now being fielded to two more US Army locations, and should be fully implemented at all US ammunition depots later this year.
For additional information:
Sources: SAMSys Technologies Inc.; Savi Technology
Reprinted with permission from Using RFID (http://www.usingrfid.com/news)
UsingRFID provides free daily news reports and informative articles about Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, and its applications, users, developers, trials, and implications – for executives, technologists, researchers, developers, vendors, and prospective and current RFID users.