ADT, Europe's leading provider of electronic fire and security solutions, has successfully established the first permanent radio frequency identification (RFID) dense reader environment testing facility in Europe to help address one of the key challenges facing the widespread adoption of RFID in European supply chains.
A dense reader environment is one where multiple RFID readers are located in close proximity to each other, for example in an RFID enabled warehouse or distribution centre. When several of the readers are required to operate at the same time, this presents challenges in terms of guaranteeing the performance of the RFID system. Using advanced RFID reader synchronisation technology, which has been developed and proven over the last 18 months in close collaboration with key customers, ADT has made it possible for a large number of RFID readers to operate effectively alongside each other.
Furthermore, this has been achieved within the constraints of the current European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) regulations that govern the RFID industry in Europe. These regulations limit the number of radio channels available for RFID, which makes a robust dense reader environment solution more difficult to achieve. As the ETSI regulations are still evolving and may be even more restrictive in the future, ADT's technology is flexible enough to be able to adapt to changing market conditions.
The dense reader environment testing facility is based at the ADT Europe RFID Performance Lab in the Netherlands and can consist of anywhere between five and fifteen RFID portals, as well as associated hardware and software infrastructure. It is the only permanent facility in Europe that offers customers the ability to conduct dense reader environment testing in a range of different deployment scenarios under full ETSI compliance.
A major European retailer has been working closely with ADT and using the RFID Performance Lab to test various dense reader environment scenarios. Following the success of this work, the retailer recently conducted pre-deployment tests in a “live” environment at one of its own distribution centres and achieved over 99 per cent tag read accuracy with tagged roll cages in a dense reader environment where sixteen RFID portals were used simultaneously.
According to Gerrit Wassink, ADT Europe's RFID General Manager: “We are continually developing this technology to evolve with the ETSI regulations and to meet the increasing demands of our customers, who are asking us to undertake extensive testing of different scenarios in a real supply chain environment. The flexible nature of the dense reader infrastructure at the RFID Performance Lab, combined with our engineering expertise, allows us to do this effectively.”
The ADT Europe RFID Performance Lab is based in Echt in the Netherlands. The facility was accredited by EPCglobal IncTM in early 2006 and is the first of its kind in Europe in which customers can test and refine crucial aspects of their RFID solution before deployment. In addition to dense reader environment testing, the lab has been certified for portal testing and tag placement testing and companies such as Euro Pool and TOSHIBA Europe have conducted testing at the facility in advance of launching RFID projects in their supply chains.
ADT, part of Tyco Fire & Security, designs, installs and services electronic security systems for retail, business and government and home intruder protection and detection systems. Sensormatic® is a leading brand of ADT. In Europe, ADT's products include alarm systems and integrated security applications that link access control, CCTV, electronic article surveillance and source tagging systems. They are used to deter thieves and protect people, goods and property