Dec 15, 2011
Hitachi receives order for Passive RFID Equipment Tracking Solution from the Singapore Civil Defence Force
Singapore, December 15, 2011 – Hitachi Asia Ltd. today announced that it has received an order to supply the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) with a Passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Equipment Tracking Solution. This is the first time SCDF will be utilizing a RFID solution which will enable the tracking of equipment such as fire extinguishers, portable pumps, etc. onboard SCDF’s three main operational appliances, namely Pump Ladder (PL), Light Fire Attack Vehicle (LFAV) and Ambulance at all 16 fire stations island wide.
This order signifies a key milestone for Hitachi Asia Ltd. as it is Hitachi Asia’s first IT project with a Singapore Government agency. It comes after Hitachi established a partnership with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) through a Memorandum of Intent which was signed in January 2010. To expand its business locally and globally, Hitachi has been fostering close relationship with the Singapore Government – it also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Economic Development Board (EDB) (1) in May 2010 to collaborate on urban related projects in Singapore and the Asian Belt Zone (2).
RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic tag, called RFID tag, attached to an object, to a reader for the purpose of identifying and tracking the object. There are several methods of identification but the most common is to store a serial number on a microchip that is attached to an antenna. The antenna enables the chip to transmit the identification information to a reader. RFID tags can be read when they are within the range of an RFID reader.
Hitachi’s Passive RFID solution will replace SCDF’s existing practice of conducting manual checks during shift duty changes and recovery of equipment at incident sites, which is not only time-consuming but prone to human errors. The RFID reader has a reading range of 1 meter and the equipment onboard SCDF’s appliances can be scanned by a swiping movement of the RFID reader even when the tag is not facing the reader or visible. The automated process will improve the accuracy and speed of equipment checking stored onboard approximately 170 of SCDF’s main operational appliances. For example, with Hitachi’s RFID solution, the task of checking the availability of approximately 200 equipment onboard SCDF’s Pump Ladder can be completed by one crew member and in less than ten minutes. Manual checking of the same task would require the involvement of a few crew members and can take up to thirty minutes.
“Hitachi values this RFID project with SCDF, to further enhance its operational excellence. With Hitachi’s increasing focus on Social Innovation Business (3), which includes a diverse range of IT solutions, we are keen to deepen our partnership with the Singapore Government and are confident that this project is the start of a journey to more future local and regional collaborations,” expressed Mr Lee Kian Seng, Vice President & General Manager of Information and Communications Technology Solutions Business Group, Hitachi Asia Ltd.
Hitachi’s solution to SCDF includes providing about 13,000 Passive RFID tags and 55 RFID handheld readers with a customised client-server application for managing tagged equipment records, synchronising data between the handheld RFID readers & PCs/server and managing user access control. Currently under development, the RFID solution is expected to be fully operational at SCDF’s 16 fire stations island-wide from April 2012.
With its strong track record and technological capabilities in advanced social infrastructure solutions supported by sophisticated IT know-how, Hitachi is bolstering the global expansion of its Social Innovation Business. Hitachi’s goal is to increase the ratio of overseas sales to more than 50% by FY2012. The order from SCDF will help Hitachi gain a foothold and further expand its IT solutions business in Singapore as well as the Asian Belt Zone.
(1) MoU with EDB: News Release – Hitachi to strengthen Social Innovation Business in Asian Belt Zone (March 31, 2010) – http://www.hitachi.com/New/cnews/100531a.html
(2) Asian Belt Zone: consists of countries and areas, totalled 24, such as but not limited to China, ASEAN countries, India, Middle Eastern countries and other countries located within the territory.
(3) The Hitachi Group is accelerating its growth strategy of the Social Innovation Business, which provides social infrastructures supported by highly efficient and highly reliable information and telecommunications technology. Social Innovation Business includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them.