The French army has chosen Texas Instruments RFID tags to identify and track vital assets such as emergency survival equipment including life-rafts and life-jackets. The system which has also just gained NATO approval, will help the military forces manage their inventory more accurately and effectively, and make sure the right equipment is available in the right place at the right time.
For this mission critical application, the French army is using TIs recently introduced laundry tags which now have full NATO approval for military use. The so-called laundry tags are especially designed to withstand harsh environments included repeated processing in industrial laundries with their harsh chemicals, high temperatures and rough handling.
The company supplying the military asset tagging system, Verger Brun Tracemed of France, selected TIs tags for their ability to meet tough military logistics and operational conditions in any climate and weather.
The company had to gain full NATA approval to Nato code RF-HDT-DVBB-NO before winning this major order and is also now developing multi-lingual versions of its TRACEMAT software for use by other NATO member countries as well as versions for emergency civilian use, all using the same RFID tags from Texas Instruments.
According to Verger Bruns MD Jean Philippe Verger, The tags allow the French Army to track and manage its inventories much more efficiently and with a faster response during emergencies. TIs tags were the most rugged available and have proved capable of withstanding the harshest military conditions with full NATO approval.
In use, the tags are attached or embedded in the emergency survival equipment including life-jackets and life saving equipment and can withstand extremely harsh conditions including total water submersion, mud, heat, extreme weather conditions from the arctic to deserts, and of course rugged military use.
The French army are not the first to adopt TIs RFID transponders. The US Department of Defence has already chosen TIs RFID tags for its tracking and logistics management for its worldwide military logistics operations which is believed to be the worlds largest logistics system.
TIs ruggedised encapsulated laundry tags meet stringent IP 68 environmental ratings and their NATO rating allows them to be used in many different military applications as well as in civilian and commercial applications including laundries. The ultra-thin tags are supplied in a rugged plastic encapsulation impervious to water, chemicals and harsh treatment, and the tags can also carry laser-etched visible information for visual identification if required. They are fully compatible with international ISO 15693 standards for contactless identification.
The tags also offer 2 kbits of re-programmable data storage and can be read contactlessly by handheld or fixed readers to quickly identify and track the assets in inventories and through logistics and transportation, speeding up supply chain operations and reducing delays and lost items. Readers located at doorways, loading bays, and in storage areas instantly identify single or multiple tags as the items are moved through the supply chain, allowing logistics personnel to know where the products are at any time, and allow shipment contents to be verified and checked much more easily and accurately than is possible with conventional barcodes.
Unlike bar codes or paper labels which are easily damaged, the RFID tags are extremely rugged and unaffected by water, dirt, mud, or other tough environmental conditions. They can be read remotely without contact and without any line of sight, and multiple items can be identified simultaneously in the same field.
Texas Instruments tags are fully re-writeable so data on the tags can be easily updated allowing the tags to carry a complete history with date of manufacture, specifications, service and maintenance records and so on for easier logistics management.