Tokyo Hospital Tracks Equipment via RFID-Enabled Shelving

Aug 29, 2017—Tokyo’s St. Luke’s International Hospital has completed a pilot of RFID technology to track the movement of equipment. The facility found that the technology identified stock levels at each of its wards in real time, and reduced the number of staff visits to the central clinical engineering room by approximately 55 percent. The technology, known as Recopick, is provided by Japanese carbon-fiber and plastics technology company Teijin Ltd.

St. Luke’s serves approximately 2,550 outpatients daily and has 520 beds for patients staying at the facility. It includes 13 floors and a total of 60,000 square meters (646,000 square feet) of facility space in its main building The hospital is growing with the demands of its community; recently, it added an annex and birth clinic containing 19 beds.

St. Lukes Hospital - CSL RFID

Much of the hospital’s equipment used to treat patients, such as infusion pumps, syringe pumps, low-pressure continuous suction devices and oxygen flow meters, was stored in centralized clinical engineering rooms when not in use. This meant that employees seeking equipment had to walk to and from these centralized rooms many times during each shift. To create a record of which personnel took which items, the hospital used a bar-code system so that workers in the engineering rooms could scan each asset as a nurse borrowed or returned it. Because this process was so time-consuming, nurses often kept medical devices in their own wards so that they could easily access them again. For the hospital, that meant the items appeared to be missing, and stocks were thus replenished unnecessarily.

St. Luke’s began seeking a better, more automated solution in 2016 and deployed Recopick in the spring of that year. About 1,300 pumps and oxygen flow meters were tagged with passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID tags with a waterproof casing, so that they could sustain cleaning and sterilization processes.

All shelves in the medical engineering center, as well as throughout 22 wards, were retrofitted with Recopick RFID-enabled sheets that are laid over each shelf, says Natsuki Aramoto, the company’s team leader of new application development for smart sensing. Tagged items are placed directly onto those sheets, he explains. Each shelf unit comes with a Convergence Systems Ltd. (CSL) CS468 reader and Teijin’s proprietary antenna sheet to capture tag ID numbers.

The readers forward the collected data to software, indicating which specific item is stored on which shelf. Recopick also provides RFID-enabled disposal units so that users can view what has been discarded. The engineering room shelves are divided into two categories: those on which devices are awaiting cleaning and maintenance after being returned by a nurse, and those that have been serviced and cleaned and are ready for reuse.

(Read The Full Story)

Forensics Lab Piloting RFID System for Automated Supply Tracking

To make the management of its equipment and evidence automatic, HFSC is piloting an ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) radio frequency identification system, initially to track lab equipment and supplies. In the long run, the same technology will automatically track and manage the locations of firearms, biological evidence and evidence collected at crime scenes. JPL RFID, a software and hardware integration company, provided the tags and readers, as well as its own software and database to manage the data, says Jason Pitcock, JPL’s president.

With the use of RFID technology, the lab was able to create a single storage room for all of its lab supplies, with an RFID reader installed at the doorway and tags on each piece of equipment and every box of supplies

The badge’s unique ID number is linked to the user’s identity in the lab’s software. As a worker enters the storage area, that person’s tag ID is captured, and as he or she leaves with a piece of equipment, the item’s ID is captured along with the badge ID, in order to identify what was taken. In that way, the software has an up-to-date record of what is in the storage room and what needs to be replenished at any given time. HFSC uses a kanban method to identify low supply levels and place reorders.

To conduct periodic inventory counts, staff members carry a Convergence Systems Ltd. (CSL) CS108 (http://www.convergence.com.hk/products/rfid/readers/cs108/) handheld RFID sled reader through the storage area to reconcile what is in the system with what is actually on the shelf. While those counts took hours to complete when performed manually, they can be accomplished within a matter of seconds with the RFID reader. For the RFID handheld reader, says Jerry Garrett, CSL’s managing director, “We are using the same composite antenna material that we used in the powerful CS101 handheld reader. This antenna provides the key element for the CS108 to achieve an 18- meter reader range—the longest read range in the industry for a handheld. More power means a high reliability in data capture.”

The next phase will include tracking firearm and toxicology evidence. When it comes to firearms, without an RFID system in place, the lab sends two workers to count all guns periodically—a process that takes two days to complete. Now, the lab will apply RFID tags to each gun, thereby reducing that inventory count and enabling Geiger counter functionality. All guns are expected to be tagged by the end of this month. In that way, guns can be accounted for in inventory counts, and individual guns can be easily located when needed.

Read Full Article at RFID Journal https://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/pdf?16230

CSL Launches Affordable, Reliable UHF RFID Handheld Sled with Longest Read Range in Industry

The powerful read range of the CS108 UHF handheld sled reader combined with a mobile device will make taking inventory counts faster than ever—

HONG KONG — April 24, 2017 — Convergence Systems Limited (CSL), a global provider of passive RFID products and active RTLS equipment, today announced the CS108 UHF handheld sled reader offering the longest read range in the industry. The rugged RFID reader features seamless Bluetooth® integration with Android or iPhone platforms, an optional 2D barcode module and a read range of 18 meters.

The new CS108 UHF RFID Handheld Sled Reader is designed to read and write to RAIN RFID transponders (EPC Class 1 Gen 2 /ISO18000-6C) and communicate via Bluetooth® wireless technology with a variety of host devices running Apple iOS and Android operating systems. Designed for versatility, the new handheld reader is ideal for a wide range of industries and applications, including supply chain management, stock inventory control, asset and data management, and logistics.

“The rugged CS108 UHF RFID reader is compatible with today’s most popular devices, offers a 2D barcode option and delivers the longest read range in the industry today at 18 meters,” said Jerry Garrett, CSL Managing Director. “This ruggedized RFID reader is lightweight, comfortable and optimized for both long battery life and ergonomic comfort.”

“CSL did it again! Seven years ago, they made the impossibly-good CS101 handheld with fixed reader performance in a handheld. The CS108 is the refresh we’ve wanted and they have set standard for best-in-class performance in a handheld reader, said Carl Brown, CEO of SimplyRFID.

“Our engineers were amazed at the performance of the CS108 UHF handheld sled reader and the readability through windshields with various compositions of safety glass for our transportation and access control applications”, reported Robert Karr, STAR Systems International.

Delivering breakthrough performance, the CS108 from CSL establishes new industry benchmarks for affordability and functionality with a read range far exceeding competitive offerings.  The CS108 will carry an end user price of $1,399 or $1,299, depending on barcode module option, and offer a two-year factory warranty.  Availability is expected in May 2017.

CSL will demonstrate the CS108 UHF handheld sled reader in Booth #642 at RFID Journal LIVE in Phoenix, May 9–11, 2017.

CSL Family of RFID Antennas Are in Demand

As more industries continue to take advantage of the benefits of RFID, the technology is finding its way into a growing number of diverse applications. In order to accommodate the best fist, performance and price for each individual application, CSL offers a variety of UHF RFID antennas

 

 

    • ŸFor applications where the tag orientation and reading direction is known and controllable, CSL offers linear polarized UHF RFID antennas suited for both long-range and near-field operation.

 

    • Ÿs_142632865487CSL’s ultra-thin UHF RFID antennas offer an extremely thin form factor (6mm) for applications with limited space for antenna mounting, such as retail display cabinets and conveyor belts. This antenna is perfect for use anywhere a thin form factor is needed, such as the retail store, document control and the production line.

 

    • s_039038465118The CSL square near-field antenna is ideally suited for item-level tagging. Near-field technology enables items rich in water content to be tagged, including food and pharmaceutical products. With a versatile design and exceptional read rate, this square antenna can be mounted in various configurations in a range of environments, from the point of sale counter or factory production line, to a distribution center or hospital.

 

    • s_028030988394ŸCSL’s product offering of UHF RFID antennas also includes access control antennas to trigger operation of an electric door lock or barrister arm, offering LED lights and a buzzer for visual and audio alerts.

 

Whether you are deploying RFID for Cold Chain Logistics, Access Control, Retail Management, Warehouse Management, Asset Tracking or Healthcare, you can rest assured that CSL offers the right antenna for the best read performance for your application. Contact CSL to learn more.

Best of Both Worlds with Hybrid RTLS

To capture the benefits of real-time location technology while overcoming traditional disadvantages, Convergence Systems Limited (CSL) offers a hybrid RTLS system that uses both passive UHF tags and active RFID technology. With CSL’s hybrid RTLS solution, assets can be tracked, located and monitored with ease and accuracy, using a system that is affordable and easy to maintain.

In the hybrid RTLS system, assets are tagged with passive UHF tags that cost less than $0.10 each, greatly reducing the cost to implement the system. RFID Fixed Readers (known as “anchors”) are positioned at the perimeter of the area to be monitored and connected to the Ethernet. In the middle of the area, omni-directional Fixed Readers (termed “slaves”) provide ubiquitous coverage. Each coverage area is known as a “cell”, and multiple cells are possible

screenshot_2743

Example of CSL RTLS system with various beamwidth anchors

Next, UHF RFID Handheld Readers are coupled with a RTLS signal to send asset positioning information to the RTLS Fixed Readers, which then transmit that information to the company network.

When a worker is seeking a specific tagged asset, the system provides the last known location for a starting point. Using the RFID Handheld Reader, the worker scans the tracking area and picks up the tag at approximately seven meters away.

The Handheld Reader emits an audio signal, much like a “Geiger counter”, to locate the tagged asset. As they walk toward the item, the beeping frequency increases. If the worker walks away from it, the beeping frequency will decrease.

screenshot_2745

The combination of active RFID technology and passive tags provides the best of both worlds – complete real-time visibility for accurate tracking in a cost-effective solution. Staying connected to yard operations in real-time provides up-to-the-minute information and complete visibility, enabling intelligent work processes that allow you to optimize yard operations and improve the flow of goods in and out.

2015 RFID Journal LIVE in San Diego

unnamedConvergence Systems Limited wants to thank all our partners and customers for stopping by our booth at RFID Journal LIVE last week. CSL featured the ruggedized CS208-3G for high performance and 3G connectivity as well as our portfolio of UHF RFID tags, readers and antennas. Visitors were happy to find stationary reader solutions from 4 to 16 ports at the right price and performance to enable automatic inventory management and people tracking.   We were also pleased to see many inquiries regarding our Time-of-Arrival based RTLS solutions.

CSL RFID Solutions for Internet of Things at Computex 2014

We just returned from a very successful week at the Computex Taipei exhibition — Asia’s largest information and communications technology (ICT) show and the second largest in the world.

CSL RFID readers, RFID antennas and RFID tags were on display in the ClarIDy booth in Exhibition Hall 3 where all manner of smart, connected technologies and mobile products were demonstrating the Internet of Things (IoT). Be sure to read about the collaboration between CSL and the ClarIDy IDSmartTM library solution in today’s news announcement – “Mapua Institute of Technology Streamlines Library Processes With Automated UHF RFID Solution”.

At Computex we met with a significant number of visitors to the booth who were interested in CSL IoT solutions, and many commented on CSL’s speed and performance for Internet-connected inventory management.

A number of 3D printers and wearable devices were seen throughout the IoT Exhibition Hall, along with CSL’s RFID solutions such as the 3G mobile enabled CS208-3G Intelligent Integrated RFID Reader with GPS.

RFID Journal LIVE 2014 Show Report

RFID Child Tracking on School Bus CSL just returned from a very successful RFID Journal show in Orlando, Florida. Joining CSL this year was Roc Lastinger, one of our new VARs that has been providing projects for healthcare and cold chain transportation. There was close to 3,000 attendees and we received some high quality sales leads for the new products as well as additional requests from companies want to become a CSL VARs. A large percentage of the visitors were international.

We also introduced a change in our company focus from just being a hardware provider to a solution provider. As an example, the back drop of our booth depicted a use case for child security by tracking them on school busses with the new CS208-3G Intelligent Integrated RFID Reader with GPS and CSL’s Dual Mode BAP ID card for the child ID card.

We were a finalist for the best show demo award with our live demonstration of the CS208-3G communicating RFID tag data via SMS to a mobile phone. In addition, we showed a demonstration of our new CS8304 ColdChain Data Logging Tag communicating with our CS101 handheld reader. Click here for a copy of the CS8304 Datasheet.

Next year the show will be in San Diego, California on April 15-17, 2015. We plan to continue to innovate our product line and develop solutions further for the key RFID solution categories.

CSL Delivers 3G Connectivity to Intelligent RFID Fixed Reader

— New CS208-3G RFID fixed reader is a truly intelligent integrated reader with an embedded edge server and diverse connectivity options including 3G Wireless —

HONG KONG — March 26, 2014 — Today, Convergence Systems Limited (CSL), a global provider of passive RFID products and active RTLS equipment, announced availability of the CS208-3G RFID fixed reader. The CS208-3G continues CSL’s tradition of reliable RFID technology, adding 3G connectivity with high powered antenna to the CS208 platform to create the first truly intelligent integrated reader with an embedded edge server.

Offering all-weather and MIL-STD-810 durability, this ruggedized RFID reader delivers long read range and high read rate, with a wide selection of connectivity options: 3G/GSM/GPRS, GPS, SMS, Ethernet, USB and Serial. The CS208-3G reader is extremely versatile, and can be easily deployed outdoors or indoors for mobile or stationary applications, using either remote or local networks.

“The intelligent CS208-3G fixed reader offers a fully integrated ‘plug and play’ RFID system that is configurable and controllable via an intuitive ‘over-the-air’ interface,” said Jerry Garrett, managing director, Convergence Systems Limited.  “Designed for remote RFID monitoring in severe environments, the CS208-3G is compatible with cellular frequencies, and is suitable for vehicle mounted applications using 3G, GPS and GPRS technology.”

Security for Peace of Mind

The CS208-3G integrated reader is ideally suited to stationary check in/check out asset management applications, as well as large area continuous scanning solutions in access control, event management, and inventory management. This intelligent reader is being used in conjunction with the CS9010 Battery Assisted Passive (BAP) ID card for a high-security child tracking solution. The BAP ID card, which can be read consistently and reliably when hanging from the neck or embedded in a wallet, backpack or purse, is tracked by the CS208-3G fixed reader, which then sends a wireless confirmation message to mobile devices to provide peace of mind for parents and school officials.

“The CS208-3G has given Infinium a significant ROI proposition for providing seamless mobile or fixed network connectivity in harsh operating environments like oil and gas, mining, logistics, mobile people tracking and defense,” says Vimal Shah, project director of Infinium Solutions.

CSL’s new CS208-3G RFID fixed reader can be used in highway toll stations, bus stops, container ports, warehouse docks and parking lots, etc. This versatile integrated reader is uniquely offered with circular polarization antenna, enabling use in dense, long-range environments.  For a demonstration, visit RFID Journal LIVE!,  at CSL’s booth #738.

Features

  • 3G/GSM/GPRS, SMS, Ethernet, USB and Serial connectivity
  • Ruggedized (MIL-STD-810) integrated reader with long read range
  • Dense Reader Mode (DRM) available
  • Multiple choices of embedded edge servers with intelligent engine
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) ranging from high level HTTP to C# to low level C
  • Best of breed circular polarized antenna performance with excellent axial ratio.

 

About Convergence Systems Limited

Founded in 2000, Convergence Systems Limited is a leading design engineering company and provider of radio frequency ID (RFID) tags, readers, antennas, modules and custom RFID hardware. CSL is unique in providing both passive Electronic Product Code™ (EPC) Gen 2 RFID products, as well as a full line of active RTLS RFID products. CSL delivers a broad portfolio of RFID hardware for logistics management, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, access control,  transportation and retail industries around the world. A member of standards organization EPCglobal, CSL is headquartered in Hong Kong with a global distribution channel. For more information, visit www.CSL-RFID.com.

Big Wheels Keep on Rolling with the CS101 RFID Handheld Reader

A significant element of any successful logistics operation is safety. When vehicles hit the road, the last thing you want is a break-down or a tire blowout. Fortunately, Americas Technologies Solutions Corp (ATS) has developed an EPC Class 1 Gen 2 RFID tire tag that enables quick and easy monitoring of tire condition.

Designed to be embedded in the tire mold prior to manufacturing, the tag survives the high-temperature tire curing process, and is robust enough to remain operational throughout the lifetime of the tire.

Brazilian tire manufacturer Tipler offers a high-performance line of tires incorporating this embedded RFID technology, allowing unique identification of each tire. This enables efficient tracking as part of fleet management, as well as automation of data collection to monitor such information as tire life and mileage.

Strong as Steel

Tipler-CSLThe ATS RFID tire tag provides maximum read range to allow reliable reading of even the inner tires on a tandem axle. However, due to the high-performance construction of steel belted tires with the embedded RFID technology, it’s important to choose a powerful RFID reader to accurately scan the RFID tire tags.

For this reason, ATS and Tipler have selected the CS101 RFID Reader from Convergence Systems Limited (CSL) to use in conjunction with the RFID tire tags. In fact, the CS101 Handheld Reader is the only RFID reader to date that has demonstrated the ability to reliably read the embedded RFID tags through steel belted tires.

The CS101 offers the longest read range, highest read rate and highest read yield among available UHF RFID handheld readers. With a ruggedized design, Wi-Fi capability, full Qwerty keypad and touch screen, the CS101 delivers versatility and reliability at an affordable cost, enabling fixed reader class performance in a portable device.

RFID Heating Up Global Cold Chain

RFID use in cold chain, has been moving slowly mainly due to high costs and the criticality of the technology. However, the implementation of various government mandates related to food safety and drug traceability in the U.S. and Europe, have injected new life into the market. Frost & Sullivan’s Strategic Analysis of RFID in Cold Chain Market project over 200% market growth in the next five years.

Good news for CSL which recently released its CS8300 Temperature Sensor Tag and CS8301 Rugged Temperature Sensor Tag for the cold chain market. CSL designed the products to be fully ISO and EPC Class 3 Gen 2 compliant and affordable. To further enable system integrators, CSL provides a complete temperature monitoring system including demo software, CS101 Hand Held Reader, and Temperature Sensing Tags.

CSL is working with partners around the world on these top RFID Cold Chain Logistics Applications:

  • Temperature-controlled supply chain
  • RFID Temperature Sensing and Data Logging
  • Food Inspections and Food Safety Audit
  • Temperature Controlled Storage
  • Product Authentication
  • Quality Control
  • Recall Management
  • Perishable food transportation
  • Pharmaceutical temperature sensitive drug management
  • Living organic materials
  • Floral Management
  • Industrial composites and chemicals tracking

Connecting to a CSL 203 Demo

CS203 Integrated RFID ReaderSometimes, when you’re trying to connect to the CS 203 via the instructions we laid out here, you may find that when you search for it , it can’t be found. The most common issue is in your IP address setup.

Convergence’s demo applications that connect with the CS 203 require that your computer and the device are on the same subnet. By default, the CS 203 comes with a static IP address of 192.168.25.203. If your computer network is already in the 192.168.25.xxx subnet, then you are probably not reading this right now because you’re already able to connect! Most computer networks, however, probably do not have this particular IP address setup, hence why you can’t connect to the reader.

What you’ll need to do is 1) temporarily change your computer’s IP address settings, 2) change the CS 203′s IP address settings, and then 3) change your computer’s IP address settings back. Let’s break it down.

1. Temporarily change your computer’s IP address settings

Go into your Network & Sharing Center (in Windows 7). Towards the right of the window, you’ll see “Connections:” and then a link, similar to this:

cs203_connect_1Clicking on that will bring up your computer’s network status. First, click on the “Details” button. In this next window, make note of the IPv4 Address, IPv4 Subnet Mask, and IPv4 Default Gateway. Then close this window.

Back at the Status window, click on the Properties button. In this next window, click on the “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” option and then click on the Properties button. Once in the Properties window, change your computer’s IP address settings so that it’s in the same subnet as the reader, i.e. 192.168.25.xxx (put whatever number you’d like in the last spot, except 203). The subnet mask should auto-populate. Click OK.

cs203_connect_2

2. Change the CS 203′s IP address settings

Go back to your CS 203 demo and click Search. At this point, if the issue had been with your IP address, it should finally find the reader:

cs203_connect_3

Clicking on the reader will allow you to click on the “Assignment” button below. In the Assignment window, change the reader’s IP address setting so that the reader has its own static IP address (one that doesn’t conflict with another device on your network), and then change the Subnet and Gateway settings to match what you made note of earlier in your computer’s “Details” window in step 1. Once you’ve completed this, click “Assign”.

3) Change your computer’s IP address settings back

Going back to your Status window from step 1, make your way back to your computer’s “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) Properties” window and, assuming your network is using dynamic (DHCP) IP address assigning, click on the “Obtain an IP address automatically” button, then click OK, and then OK again at the Properties window.

cs203_connect_4

Go back to your CS 203 demo and click Search. Your reader should now show up with its new, network-friendly IP address!

cs203_connect_5

One final note: you may have noticed, when assigning your CS 203′s IP address, that there was an option — instead of setting a static IP address — to use DHCP and let your server assign it a dynamic IP address. This reason this was skipped over is that it is a hit-and-miss feature. If you’d like to use it you can give it a try, but it may or may not work for you.

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