Logistics industry stays ahead with new innovations
Innovation in logistics and supply chain management is helping Hong Kong maintain its status as a world class logistics hub.
"Hong Kong needs to continue to be inventive in order to progress as a hub. Our center's research can help companies in Hong Kong upgrade their technologies, services and open up new opportunities," said Simon Wong, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong R&D Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management Enabling Technologies (LSCM R&D Centre).
Wong cited several trends in the center's research, including Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and the Internet of Things, both of which he believes could have a high impact on the future of supply chain productivity.
Popular in the American and European apparel industries for their efficiencies in supply chain response time, RFID helps ensure that a product is genuine and its raw materials are derived from a genuine source.
Two advances in RFID technology are in fact available for licensing on the Asia IP Exchange (AsiaIPEX), the region's largest free online platform for intellectual property trading.
The first is an Authenticable Pearl with RFID Technology, which was developed together with Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory and the LSCM R&D Centre to track individual pearls.
The second RFID technology listed on AsiaIPEX by the LSCM R&D Centre helps companies bypass hurdles for implementing RFID.
The Cheaper and Better RFID Reader Chip makes it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt RFID technology. With regular handheld readers costing from $1,000 to a few thousand dollars, the new RFID Chip has the potential to be retailed for under $100 — a tenth of the current price.
"The Cheaper and Better RFID Reader Chip performs all the basic functions as other readers that are currently on the market," Wong said. "While this reader is not as powerful as other readers, its low-entry cost makes it ideal for SMEs to adopt this technology."
Of the Authenticable Pearl with RFID Technology, Wong said: "While RFID is now used on merchandise to track trade and for authentication, it has not yet been used on pearls.
"They developed a technology where each pearl can have a unique ID so it can be tracked, traced and authenticated."
The RFID tag includes information such as origin and cultivation period along with a comprehensive authentication system. "We believe this will have a big impact on the whole pearl industry and the entire pearl supply chain — from the farmer and the jeweler to the customer," Wong said.