GS1 UK launches Test Centre to provide real-world RFID experience

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Christian Salvesen, Carphone Warehouse & AESSEAL see benefits in the Centre

GS1 UK, the independent global supply chain standards and solutions organisation, has launched the EPCglobal RFID Test Centre. Hosted by Intellident, the Centre is a GS1 UK service set up to help organisations understand and gain the business benefits that can be achieved from RFID which include cost savings, improved accuracy and increased efficiency. Organisations can interact with the latest technology in a real-world industrial setting and receive impartial advice on how RFID can be implemented in different application areas. The Centre can also be used by organisations to test how the technology works on their own products and assets and in environments similar to their own.

The Centre's industrial environment facilitates practical experience that can be obtained from specific industry sector implementations. It also provides the opportunity to test and integrate RFID technologies to develop solutions to meet an organisation's requirements. The vendor-independent facility provides a hands-on approach to its users, combining the independence and industry knowledge of established standards body, GS1 UK, with the RFID implementation experience of Intellident.

Christian Salvesen, Carphone Warehouse and AESSEAL were among the first visitors to benefit from early research prior to the official launch and assisted in defining the structure of the Centre. These organisations used the Centre to better understand RFID technology, its benefits and how it can be implemented in their specific application areas.

"The Centre is exactly what the industry needs to encourage widespread adoption of RFID," said Simon Woodward, pre-sales and innovation analyst Group IT at Christian Salvesen. "Supply chain directors and managers are often suspicious of the hype surrounding RFID; what they need is advice and information they can trust from a service which is independent of solution providers' sales teams. The Centre fills this gap through its expert team and the execution of true to life pilots."

"The Centre is an excellent way for companies to see RFID in action, rather than just reading about it," said Shaun Tymon, Head of warehouse operations for Carphone Warehouse. "It provides a safe testing ground to understand how it works, and we certainly took a lot of ideas back on how it could potentially be applied to our particular business."

"With the advice and support of the staff at the Centre, we are now able to identify the different areas that RFID technology can be used within our organisation," said Stuart Welsh, Head of IT for AESSEAL. "It is important that we understand the possible benefits that can be obtained by using RFID within our organisation so that we can plan our next steps effectively."

The Centre is located in Winsford, Cheshire. Its team of experts include advisors from GS1 UK, EPCglobal and systems integrators with first hand experience of RFID implementations and standards compliance. The team will help test centre users assess their unique business needs and determine if RFID is the best solution for their organisation through demonstrations, tests, specific design sessions and discussion groups.

"The RFID test centre is an important facility to educate and inform a wider audience on the benefits the technology can deliver and how to overcome the challenges of deployment. This is a key part in enabling the growth and development of the Electronic Product Code (EPC) and RFID market in the UK," said Jim Hopwood, Managing director of Intellident. "RFID is now moving into the adoption phase and providing the environment for companies to 'try before they buy' is crucial to the success and adoption of the technology. The Centre does exactly this and we are pleased to be working with GS1 UK to make this happen."

"We are committed to the success of EPC/RFID as a technology for organisations across all industries," said Gary Lynch, Chief executive of GS1 UK. "We have made great strides in agreeing globally recognised industry standards now is the time to prove the business benefits of RFID, support adoption and assuage any fears that businesses have of implementing the technology, just as we did with the bar code when it was first introduced."


About GS1 UK

GS1 UK has driven innovation in the supply chain for over thirty years. It is part of the global GS1 organisation, dedicated to the development and implementation of global data standards and solutions for the supply chain. GS1 standards are the most widely used in the world.

GS1 UK aims to make it faster, more cost effective and safer for our members to serve their customers through the industry wide adoption of global GS1 standards and locally delivered services. GS1 UK helps industry to implement these data standards through the use of bar codes, RFID, Global Data Synchronisation (GDS) and electronic business messaging.


About EPCglobal

EPCglobal, part of GS1, is leading the development of industry-driven standards for the Electronic Product Code (EPC) to support the use of RFID in today's fast-moving, information-rich trading networks. EPCglobal is subscriber-driven organisation, comprised of industry leaders and organisations focused on creating global standards for RFID in the supply chain.


About Intellident

Intellident is one of the leading RFID system integrators in the UK, responsible for a large percentage of the total installations around the UK and Europe. To-date they have been responsible for over 500 unique system installations, and have deployed over 100 million RFID tags. Their specialisation is around the development of RFID systems and the physical deployment of equipment into customer environments, and hence they have a wealth of experience to share around real-world environments and customer installations.


About Christian Salvesen

Christian Salvesen is a major European logistics business specialising in managing outsourced supply chain operations for manufacturing and retail customers in the industrial, consumer and food sectors, working in partnership with them to optimise inventories and ensure that goods are available precisely when required. Advanced ICT systems drive Christian Salvesen's operations with the application of e-business technologies as well as dedicated data links to improve efficiency and service.

Christian Salvesen employs some 13,000 staff and operating in eight countries. It currently has 200 sites in the UK, France, Benelux, Ireland, Portugal and Spain with 45% of its turnover generated in mainland Europe.


About The Carphone Warehouse

The Carphone Warehouse has over 780 stores nationwide. 


About AESSEAL

The AESSEAL group of companies are a world-ranking specialist in the mechanical sealing industry. Designing, manufacturing and distributing precision engineered mechanical seals and sealing systems, the company sets new industry standards in performance, reliability, cost and service. Their rapid customer service policy is supported by the latest manufacturing technology, extensive inventories of modular components and product design accredited to ISO 9001. AESSEAL sells products to over 50 countries through a network of 150 distributors.

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