Automatic Identification Technology (AIT)
AIT is a family of powerful
technologies and devices that capture, aggregate, and transfer data
to automated information systems (AIS). AIT reduces administrative
and logistics costs in a wide variety of applications by increasing
data accuracy (eliminating errors), speeding the collection and
transmission of data, and making the entire data entry/collection
process more efficient.
For example, AIT can assist
in the data collection needed to achieve the objectives of Total
Asset Visibility, Condition Based Maintenance, and other logistics,
medical, and personnel functions. AIT provides a reliable and consistent
means to identify and track marked items as they move through the
supply and maintenance pipelines.
Types of AIT systems include:
1. Bar Codes
- A linear bar code consists of vertical black lines and white
spaces that carry data. Linear bar codes are interpreted using
software and special devices such as laser scanners.
- 2 Dimensional Bar Codes use similar technology as linear bar
codes but carry about 100 times more data. They also have an additional
feature that allows the bar code to be read even when part of
it has been damaged or blurred.
2. Contact Memory Buttons
This media is similar to a floppy
disc in that it has a read and write capability. In addition, their
design protects them from almost all types of environmental damage.
One major drawback is cost - they cost about 600 times more than
a bar code. They also require the user to touch the device when
reading or writing to it, contributing to wear and tear and making
it more susceptible to damage.
3. Radio Frequency Identification
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
is a small radio transceiver combined with a memory unit. Since
each unit has a discrete address, communication is accomplished
with a single device at a time.
4. Radio Frequency Data Capture
Using a built-in radio,
a bar code scanner can talk directly to the host computer and pass
messages back and forth, similar to real-time receipt processing.
5. Micro Electro Mechanical
Called MEMS, these are
items in development at the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Indian
Head Division. The idea is to combine several chemical and environmental
sensors on a credit card-sized radio transceiver.
UII has been implementing
AIT systems for the U.S. Navy since 1985. We have become subject
experts in numerous AIT systems including SmartCards, Common Access
Cards (CAC), bar codes, and Contact Memory Buttons.
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