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AIM Global Promotes Alternative To RFID For Data Capture

The conference promotes technology to embed a unique
Radio frequency identification technology (RFID) has taken a front seat in supply chains at Best Buy Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and Target Corp. during the past few years, but AIM Global doesn't believe RFID is the only technology for data collection, the industry group's president said late Wednesday.

Direct part marking has gained acceptance by both the Department of Defense and the aircraft industry, said Dan Mullen, president at AIM Global, a trade association for the automatic identification and data capture industry, such as RFID and bar code technology.

Direct part marking embeds a unique identification number or image onto a metallic surface that's read by a scanner.

At the AIM Global conference in Newport Beach, Calif., late Wednesday, Mullen said that Boeing and Airbus also use other data capture tools alongside RFID.

AIM Global has seen a surge in membership, doubling to 650 since early 2004. Member companies include Royal Philips Electronics, Michelin, Johnson & Johnson, Impinj, Skytech, and SAMsys.

AIM Global owes the increase to more companies automating supply chains with software and data collection tools, such as RFID, that can read a unique identification, collect data and store the information in a enterprise resource planning (ERP) application or warehouse management system (WMS) for use at another time.

On Thursday, executives attending the AIM Global conference will gather to hear Didier Chenneveau, vice president and general manager of operations for Hewlett-Packard's imaging and printing business deliver the keynote.

Chenneveau will detail HP's RFID deployment to provide insight on how to extract value from using RFID in order fulfillment, distribution, reverse supply chain and other supply chain processes.