SATO RFID Wristbands Support Security at World Youth Day in Cologne

SATO, the world's leading manufacturer of label and barcode printers and a specialist in data collection systems (DCS) and radio frequency identification (RFID), contributed to a smooth organisation of the 20 th World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany, with a special Automatic Identification solution.

For optimal coordination of the security forces at the big closing ceremony on the 20 th and 21 st of August, the staff of W.I.S., one of Germany 's biggest security services providers, were equipped with SATO ID Wristbands. The SATO wristbands feature a combined barcode and RFID solution, which has already proven its efficiency in reliable patient identification in the healthcare sector.

The security specialist W.I.S. had selected the SATO wristbands for the identification of more than 1,500 security officers during the 2-day main event, as well as for the coordination of the radio communication equipment employed.

For this purpose, the SATO security wristbands carried a personnel number and a barcode, as well as a RFID HF (High Frequency) chip, in which the access rights for the different security zones were encoded. This allowed W.I.S. to determine at any given moment how many security personnel were available at the different checkpoints, and to optimise coordination with the other safety authorities, such as the police and the fire brigade. The SATO solution also enabled the exact planning of additional staff demand, which occurred due to sickness or hold-ups, as well as for time-keeping and remuneration control. In addition; the barcode on the SATO wristbands allowed the accurate allocation of radio sets, as well as the tracking of their usage.

In the run-up to the event, every W.I.S. employee received a wristband with a registration number, as well as a form with the same number, on which the employees had to state their personal data. The actual registration then took place on the spot: The completed form had to be handed in at a registration counter. All W.I.S. staff could be simply identified by passing through an RFID gate, which read the information encoded on the wristband chips. With the help of a special incident catalogue, irregular occurrences, such as delay, sickness, hand-over of radio sets or overtime compensation could be tracked via the SATO wristbands.

The scope of technical material required for this set-up was actually rather small. SATO's CL408e RFID printer simultaneously printed and encoded the comfortable and skin friendly SATO wristbands, and the information was read with mobile data capture terminals at each checkpoint. A SATO CL408e printer was also used to print the polyester barcode labels which were used to track and trace the radio sets.

More than 800,000 visitors attended the 20 th World Youth Day in Cologne from the 15 th to the 21 st of August. The closing ceremony on the former coal-mining grounds Marienfeld involved more than 1.2 million participants and at over 24-hour duration was the biggest challenge for the organisers, as well as the involved authorities and security service providers. Thanks to the use of the very latest radio frequency technology, as provided and successfully employed by SATO all around the world, the security issues of this major event could be controlled in a most exact and efficient manner.

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