Over the last four years, Axcess International has been providing Washington Closure Hanford a MicroWirelessTM tagging system that continues to increase worker safety and efficiency while reducing their time on task and cost of operations.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford Site, a 586-square-mile decommissioned nuclear production complex along the Columbia River in southeastern Washington State, was created in the 1940s as part of the top secret Manhattan project by the federal government to produce plutonium for an atomic bomb. The plutonium manufactured at the site was used in the bombs tested at Trinity and the first bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, which contributed to the end of the war five days later.
During the Cold War that ensued, Hanford continued the expansion with a total of nine nuclear reactors, five massive plutonium processing facilities, 177 underground waste storage tanks and hundreds of support facilities. Hanford scientists made numerous technological achievements, but many of the safety procedures and waste disposal practices were not as stringent as they are today. As a result, Hanford’s operations left behind 53 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste, hundreds of contaminated buildings and thousands of contaminated waste sites.
A 1989 agreement between DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Ecology governs Hanford cleanup.
As the business world becomes more portable with laptops and other lightweight equipment, the constant movement of assets complicates the task of manually inventorying them. Administrators who stop their regular jobs on a given day to begin counting and identifying valuable inventory return to work the next day only to discover the inventory has moved. The futility of the daunting task accounts for the vast majority of those people throwing their hands in the air and quitting fifty to eighty percent of the way through the process. Who could blame them? But how can a company protect personal information on equipment if they donít know where it is?
Together, Interface, one of the nationís largest providers of electronic security solutions and integrated security systems, and Axcess International Inc. (OTCBB: AXSI), a leading provider of wireless business activity monitoring activities, put the ka-ching back in five casinos throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. Interface installed Axcessís RFID solution to monitor the location of slot machine keys and prevent them from being removed from the casino. After the system was proven successful in the first casino where repeated attempts of key theft occurred, the RFID solution was installed in four more casinos to prevent keys from being removed accidentally.
An RFID system was implemented in 2005 at a chemical facility plant to track the entry/exit of reusable containers, also known as Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC), shipped on trucks and rail cars. The system was implemented to automatically account for the pool of containers, a portion of which were regularly missing, returned late, or damaged by customers. A secondary consideration was the reduction of the total pool of assets as a result of the new visibility, and a reduction of labor associated with the automated management of the pool.
The semi-active, ActiveTag™ system from Axcess International was selected because the tags could be automatically activated at the entry/exit points, and therefore required no human intervention as with passive or semi-passive systems. The battery-powered semi-active tags provided highly reliable tag reads off the metal IBC container surface. And, the network-based reader infrastructure that was implemented was low cost, low maintenance, architecturally unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing. Axcess’ enterprise application tracking software (Online Supervisor™) enabled the user to integrate the data seamlessly with their inventory accounting system. This software solution was designed to manage multiple container locations, enabling access from multiple sites.
This paper provides a financial analysis of the business case for semi-active RFID based on the costs found in the study and therefore associated with managing a pool of containers in a closed-loop environment. The case included 3500 IBC's at a facility with 4 different entry/exit points. Assuming only a 1 percent reduction of missing containers, (industry statistics have shown asset shrinkage due to leakage, sub-pooling and non-returns to be typically 2 percent, but as high as 10 percent) the study identified a reduction of the shrinkage of assets to be more than $87,000 per year.
A study was performed in April 2005 at a U.S. Department of Defense site to analyze the cost effectiveness of using RFID for the management of IT assets in a high security government computer lab facility. The study sought to determine the viability of RFID for displacing the regular labor burden of service personnel inventorying, locating, and protecting IT assets. If RFID can be cost justified in a highly controlled IT environment, then the business case for less controlled environments would be a given.
A semi-active RFID solution from AXCESS International Inc. was chosen over other forms of RFID (including passive, semi-passive, and active-only) because semi-active RFID tags from AXCESS can transmit their ID at regular intervals and/or be awakened on-demand. These features are necessary to providing fully automatic counting, location, and protection of assets within a facility without any human intervention. The study included a successful technical pilot of the AXCESS ActiveTag™ Asset Activator™ system in operation over a three month period. This paper provides a financial analysis of the business case for RFID based on the costs found in the study and therefore associated with managing IT assets in a highly controlled environment.