Nav-Aids Ltd., a key supplier of pitot, a pressure measuring instrument, static test accessories equipment and Reduce Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) air data test accessories to the United Sates Department of Defense (DOD), has begun shipping RFID tagged goods destined to select DOD supply depots across the United States.
“We were trying to maintain our day-to-day manufacturing and supply of products to meet our customer’s needs while trying to be compliant with the rapidly evolving identification requirements in order to remain eligible to bid on and/or receive contracts from the U.S. DOD.” says Robert Marshall, Quality Program Manager at Nav-Aids Ltd. “We soon found ourselves overwhelmed; time constraints precluded the in-house assimilation of knowledge and expertise necessary to meet the now mandatory RFID requirements to remain a qualified supplier. Even the smallest business has to realize that it doesn’t matter how unique or suitable your product is if you don’t meet the current RFID requirements. You will cease to qualify as a Supplier and the door will be wide open to competitors.” adds Marshall.
The Canadian supplier contracted the expertise of two leading RFID bodies to implement the system, Ship2Save and Academia RFID. “An onsite visit to our facility by Ship2Save and the analysis of our needs quickly lead to a practical and economical set of recommendations. The provisioning and training solutions of our problem(s) were quickly realized and implemented.” notes Marshall.
The two companies coordinated an implementation plan that involved educating Nav-Aids Ltd. staff on the technology, and then transitioning their current shipping process to one that uses RFID labels.
“The Department of Defense RFID mandate is relatively straight forward and for the most part repeatable from supplier to supplier. The primary differentiation lies in the process; each supplier has SKUs [Stock Keeping Units] that vary in shape and size, and each supplier has various packaging methodologies and conducts shipping in a different manner. All these suppliers adhere to the corresponding DOD Military Standards, yet they differ from one another.” says Anthony Palermo, Director of Business Development, at Academia RFID.
The Department of Defense RFID mandate stipulates locations where RFID tags can be affixed to their corresponding boxes, cases and pallets. This is coupled with specifications outlined by the related DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE – STANDARD PRACTICE documents (military standards) MIL-STD-129P “Military Marking for Shipment and Storage” and MIL-STD-130M “Identification Marking of U.S. Military Property” that provide general guidelines and requirements for shipping to the U.S. DOD.
“Incorporating RFID into the mix doesn’t mean you can disregard existing Military Standards. It also doesn’t mean you can always expect RFID to be incorporated without any changes to your shipping process. Our goal at Ship2Save, as RFID experts, is to facilitate this transition and successfully bridge the gap between the old shipping process and the new RFID enabled one.” explains Eddie Ng, Solutions Architect at Ship2Save.
The deployment comprises the Sato RFID GL4e series of printers that print 4x6 labels with CAGE [Commercial and Government Entity] and/or other corresponding identifiers for cases and pallets. An Avery Dennison AD222 inlay, embedded within the label, is also encoded with a unique serial number that is in accordance with the identification schema defined by the Department of Defense mandate. A designated Nav-Aids Ltd. employee logs into the Wide Area Work Flow (WAWF), a web-based paperless contracting application hosted by the DOD. The employee provides Advanced Shipping Notice information to the system that associates the unique encode identification of the RFID tag to the corresponding National Stock Number (NSN), a unique identifier used by the NATO and the U.S. DOD to distinguish different SKUs.
This information allows reception of goods at the corresponding RFID enabled depots to be transparent and automated, enabling an efficient and controlled supply-chain.
About Nav-Aids Ltd
Nav-Aids Ltd. is the industry leading manufacturer of Pitot Static Test Adaptors and Air Data Accessories Kits. For over forty years Nav-Aids Ltd has been developing unique products meeting the needs of an ever-changing and highly demanding environment. They are the designers and manufacturers of pitot and static test adaptors for most of the world's aircraft, including Civil, Commuter, Corporate, Military, Helicopters, and even the Space Shuttle.
About Ship2Save Inc.
Ship2Save is one of the industry leaders in cost effective RFID Solutions and is a founding member of the Canadian Microsoft RFID Council, a member of the Microsoft Global RFID Council, an EPCGlobal Canada Strategic Council Member, a CompTIA RFID+™ Cornerstone Committee Member, and a member of Texas Instruments Tag-It Team. Ship2Save's unique product lines, flexible and proficient software, business development models, and distinctive deployment services, offer customers cost effective and high quality solutions for their RFID needs.
RFID Academia is the first trilingual RFID training and research & development facility in North America driven by a team comprised of PhD researchers offering services to public and private organizations interested in discovering and implementing RFID technology and practices.