By Doug Bartholomew, Contributing Editor Accenture (Chicago) recently completed the first phase of an RFID pilot study ( September 2004, p. 55) While participants agreed on the benefits, once again, the integration issues facing the industry loomed large. Although it bent over backward to downplay the negative, Accenture found in RFID an immature technology that promises to test the mettle of IT experts to install and get working smoothly with existing systems that support manufacturing. We are still learning about what it will take to scale and integrate RFID with existing order-taking, inventory management and warehouse managements systems at pharmaceutical firms, says Accenture consultant Jamie Hintlian. We have questions about the maturity of the technology. Its not quite yet ready for use on all products. For instance, for oral solid-dosage forms, its ready, but for liquids and products such as refrigerated drugs and biologics, there are still challenges to overcome, Hintlian says. Doesnt the industry know it. Integrating RFID looms as the main issue facing most drug firms today. This is the current focus of the industry, Hintlian says. The cost of tagging products with RFID tags is one thing. A bigger cost will be the integration issues and the skills cost, and for most companies that cost will depend on the current skill level of their IT staff, he says. Rainer Kerth, RFID lead architect for the IBM Software Group (Somers, N.Y.), agrees. The data capture side of RFID is new, and not many companies have these skills in-house, says Kerth. It depends on the size of the company and whether its IT staff has the right skills as to whether they will want to engage someone who has done this kind of integration before. Another big integration challenge will come when each drug manufacturer, having installed RFID technology in
Products & Services
RFID tags are microchips that attach to an antenna and are designed to receive signals from and send signals to RFID readers. They are sometimes called transponders.
RFID software is used to process data sent to and received from radio frequency identification (RFID) devices such as RFID readers, writers, and printers.
RFID readers communicate with RFID tags via radio waves. They also send information in digital form to a computer system.
RFID transceivers are combination receiver/transmitter devices that RFID readers and RFID tags use to communicate with each other.
Topics of Interest
This quick, one-time registration gives you access to members-only site benefits. Three recently released reports give RFID a C (as in Cost) for the present, but an A for the...
By Doug Bartholomew, Contributing Editor Radio frequency identification (RFID) is ready for the pharmaceutical industry. The question is, are pharmaceutical manufacturers ready to incorporate RFID...
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By Paul Thomas, Managing Editor A general consensus has developed in the pharmaceutical industry that high frequency (13.56 MHz) radio frequency tags are better suited for item-level deployment on...