2009-02-02 Pallet association completes RFID pilot (Liz Wells, packagingnews.co.uk)
The European Pallet Association (EPAL) has completed the first phase of a pilot scheme for the use of RFID tags in standard wooden EURO pallets.
The trial, which set out to develop a business plan for using the technology and the infrastructures needed, was carried out with standards organisation GS1 in Europe.
EPAL believes that the project will enable the improved control of the production and repair of pallets, the authentication of individual pallets and will reduce the number of counterfeit pallets.
A second phase and pre-rollout of the pilot program, which will involve additional countries, will take place later this year.
Harry Jacobi, chief executive of EPAL, said: "We are very satisfied with the results of the pilot programme. The tag concept and the IT infrastructure have been approved and are seen as a very good solution for EPAL.
"The second phase of the project will answer all the remaining questions and help us to prepare a rollout."
However, the association said that there are still issues to solve, such as the number of tags fixed on a pallet for optimal reading and the data stored on the tag.
Stephane Pique, European director of GS1 in Europe, added: "There is a need to align our work with other pallet pools to create a standard that is beneficial to all pallet users. To address this issue a specific EPCglobal interest group has been launched."
There are currently more than 500 million wooden EURO pallets in circulation, which are standardised and certified by EPAL.
Under the association's control and licence, more than 60 million new pallets a year are produced in 30 countries with more than 1,000 repair centres worldwide.