ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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International Standard Provides Guidelines for RFID Item Management

New York, Dec 26, 2008

Given the growing use of radio frequency identification (RFID), from supply chain management to tracking packages to locating and identifying luggage, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have revised a standard that addresses RFID for item management.

An RFID system tracks moving objects by enabling data to be transmitted by a mobile device or tag, which is read by an RFID reader and processed according to the needs of a particular application. The transmitted data may provide identification or location information or specifics about the tagged item, like price, color, origin, destination, or any other number of identifying characteristics.

International Collaboration on RFID Interoperability Standards

In June of 2008, ANSI chairman of the Board Robert Noth spoke at the Global RFID Interoperability Forum for Standards (GRIFS) open meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting brought together over 70 stakeholders from companies, standards organizations, and public administrations around the world interested in RFID development and implementation. [see related news item]

The United States continues to be active in the development of these standards through JTC 1 and SC 31, which work in liaison with many organizations including the coordinators of the GRIFS initiative. For more information, visit the GRIFS site.

ISO/IEC 18000-1, Information technology – Radio frequency identification for item management – Reference architecture and definition of parameters to be standardized, provides definitions for the generic architecture concepts which commonly require item identification within the logistics and supply chain. The document also guides the parameters that are needed in any standardized air interface definition – the communication that occurs between the RFID tag or device and the RFID reader.

The standard, which revises the 2004 version of the document, also provides examples of conceptual architectures that often use these air interfaces. Parameter definitions for communications protocols within a common framework for internationally useable frequencies for RFID are included, as well as reference information regarding relevant patents. The standard also lists reference addresses in respect of regulations under which ISO/IEC 18000 operates.

ISO/IEC 18000-1 was developed by the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC) 1, Information technology, subcommittee (SC) 31, Automatic identification and data capture techniques, working group (WG) 4, Radio frequency identification for item management.

The U.S. plays a leading role in JTC 1, with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holding the secretariat and Mr. Scott Jameson acting as chairperson. The U.S. also holds the secretariat and the chairmanship of SC 31, with secretariat duties delegated to GS1 US, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, and Mr. Charles Biss as chair. AIM Global serves as the Administrator of the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to SC 31, carrying U.S. positions forward to the committee.

According to Mr. Biss, market interest in unique permanent identification of supply chain items has dramatically increased in recent years.

“Logistics, supply and distribution systems are an indispensable part of modern society,” he explained. “Additional standards are under development by SC 31 to accommodate market sectors and supply chain items.”

For more information on ISO/IEC 18000-1, see the IEC news release.

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative