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Mississippi Blood Services Improves Product Integrity and Delivery with RFID from Texas Instruments and AARFID

Automated Inventory Management Speeds Time to Hospitals and Reinforces Safety Procedures

Aug 14, 2006

With a short shelf life and cold storage conditions required for its products, Mississippi Blood Services recently completed its first trial using radio frequency identification (RFID) from Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN) (TI) and AARFID to streamline inventory management, strengthen safety procedures and improve hospital delivery. The current manual job of scanning individual bar codes on each bag of blood in sub-freezing temperatures could take hours with each bag going through a series of three steps before shipping. The trial showed that same process takes only an hour or less of time using the automated RFID system.

In this first phase of the closed-loop RFID experiment, each bag of blood was identified with a TI Tag-it™ HF-I ISO/IEC 15693 inlay embedded inside labels from MPI Label Systems. Multiple bags of blood were placed on trays and passed out of the cold storage room on a conveyor system, through a prototype portal custom-designed by AARFID and incorporating readers manufactured by FEIG ELECTRONIC. As the trays passed through the portal, all of the bags were read simultaneously to check for expiration dates and other secondary information based on a check of Mississippi Blood Services’ database.

"At this time we think the RFID system will automate our time and labor intensive manual inventory processes, enabling us to better ensure product integrity and deliver blood to hospitals faster," said Gulam Patel, Mississippi Blood Services Information Services Manager.

Challenges in implementing an RFID system on liquid blood products include both the plasma content and -30 degree Centigrade storage temperature required for preservation purposes. The content of the blood bags creates a dampening effect on the radio frequency signals, causing the resonant frequency to degrade. Special RFID tag technologies are needed for accurate and reliable performance. Using its integrated chip-to-inlay manufacturing capabilities, TI’s laser tuned each inlay so that the RFID labels operated at 13.56 MHz, the optimal frequency for this application, while affixed to the bags.

"By moving the blood products through the RFID portal, all tags can be read almost instantly and with higher accuracy," said Chad Carpenter, president of AARFID. "Shipping speeds could be increased and safety checks could be streamlined to ensure that Mississippi Blood Services can serve their clients, the hospitals, with confidence."

"Using RFID in the management and delivery of blood products has the potential for dramatic business process improvements," said Jeff Kohnle, business development manager for Texas Instruments RFid Systems. "Manual operations can be automated so that Mississippi Blood Services' life-giving inventory can find its way to hospitals, patients or wherever it is needed with the utmost efficiency."

About Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments is the world's largest integrated manufacturer of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders and reader systems. Capitalizing on its competencies in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing and microelectronics packaging, TI is a visionary leader and at the forefront of establishing new markets and international standards for RFID applications. For more information, contact TI-RFid™ Systems at 1-800-962-7343 (North America) or +1 214-567-7343 (International), or visit the Web site at www.ti-rfid.com.

Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers' real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Educational & Productivity Solutions business. TI is headquartered in Dallas , Texas , and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries.

Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN. More information is located on the World Wide Web at www.ti.com.


AARFID LLC is a market driven company in the Radio Frequency Identification ("RFID") industry. The market for RFID devices and systems offers the potential for exponential growth in discrete applications. AARFID possesses a set of internal skills and capabilities uniquely suited to bridge the gap between the few large providers of standard RFID components and the thousands of potential discrete applications of the technology. AARFID's comprehensive understanding of the technology combined with its extensive software development experience, its unique manufacturing experience and its in-depth knowledge of complex business processes make it capable of providing the integrated solutions to the end user’s needs. AARFID's strategic alliances with the major component producers assures continuous access to the cutting edge in the core component technology. At the same time, these alliances have and will continue to be major sources of end user requests for new integrated RFID applications. By developing replicable, proprietary-protected integrated applications, AARFID has established and maintains itself as the premier solution provider for Advanced Applied Radio Frequency IDentification systems.

About Mississippi Blood Services

Mississippi Blood Services (MBS) is the only Mississippi-based, FDA licensed not-for-profit blood center. MBS has been supplying a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood products to hospitals in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas for over 25 years.


TI-RFid™ is a trademark of Texas Instruments.  All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.