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Project Proposal on Supermarket Inventory System R

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					R E A L - T I M E I N V E N T O RY U S I N G
                    RFID

                 GROUP 4



            GROUP MEMBERS:
               B AWA , P R I YA N K A
            B E R N A R D, T E R R A N C E
               FERJUSTE, JEAN
               ISRAEL, GILDER
           K O C H E R O V, Y E V G E N I Y




           FAC U LT Y A D V I S O R :
                  HONG MANN




                         OCTOBER 14, 2003
                      TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.     Abstract………………………………………………………………………1

II.    Project Plan

       a. Introduction………………………………………………………………2

       b. Design Requirements…………………………………………………….3

       c. Design Approach………………………………………………………...4

       d. Financial Budget…………………………………………………………5

       e. Project Schedule…………………………………………………………6

III.   Conclusion…………………………………………………………………...7

IV.    References…………………………………………………………………...8

V.     Appendix

       a. Basic RFID System…………………………………………………….A-1

       b. Real-time Inventory System……………………………………………A-2

       c. Gantt Chart……………………………………………………………..A-3




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                                         I. ABSTRACT

   Radio Frequency Identification technology has been around for a while, but only recently has
there been a great interest in the use of the technology in the retail business. Wal-Mart, a leader
in innovation in the retail industry has already requested that all its supplies adopt the technology
by 2010. The challenge faced by retailers and suppliers alike is to develop an inventory system,
which incorporates RFID technology.

   We are trying to fill this gap by providing a solution using Radio Frequency Identification
tags to keep track of products on store shelves, in inventory, and products that are bought. The
system will feature RFID tags and readers. Readers will be located in the storeroom, store
shelves and at the point-of-sale terminals. We shall be focusing the project on software
development and will outsource the supply of RF tags and readers to TAGSYS.

   The project aims to design and develop management software, which will incorporate RFID
technology, will enable store management to know the current status of products on the shelves,
what is selling, and what is in the stockroom. Features of the software will include notifying
users of empty shelves, list items sold, and automatic product reordering. A fully functional
prototype system will be developed by April 2004.




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                              II. PROJECT PROPOSAL PLAN

                                         Introduction
   In today’s world technological advances are taking place at a rapid pace. One of the goals
that everyone is working towards is to satisfy customer needs. Today most customers want
technology that is comfortable and saves them time. We all have been waiting for the day that we
can go in a store, pick up what we want and walk out. No long lines, no grumpy cashier, etc.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology can make all of this possible.

       The idea is simple. RFID tags are placed on each store item and readers are placed on
shelves and exits of the store. These readers read the tags and track items in your cart. When you
exit the reader reads the tag on your credit card and charge you for the items in your cart. No
more long checkout lines. This gives storeowners a chance to keep track of the inventory and
prevent theft in real time.

       RFID technology initially was used to track inventory. Nowadays United States is using
RFID technology even in military. US military is using RFID technology to track combat
casualties. The chip is embedded in their wristbands. It helps them track identification, status,
and location of wounded soldiers and civilians arriving for treatment. Medical data is stored in
the RFID chip and hence travels with the wounded soldier. This chip allows doctors to add or
modify records on the chip.

       A lot of money is being put into RFID research. A lot of groups are working towards the
standardization of this technology. The MIT-affiliated Auto-ID Center is creating a standard that
resembles today's UPC bar code. This technology is amazing and has good future ahead of it.
Therefore, our group decided to be part of this bright technology and picked a project that uses
RFID technology.

       Our team is going to use RFID technology to provide real time inventory solutions. We
are going to design a software package that will interact between the readers and databases. This
technology is going to be used by Wal-Mart and its vendors like L’Oreal, Gillette, etc.




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                                                             REAL-TIME INVENTORY USING RFID



                                     Design Requirements
   The main goal of our system is to be able to do real-time inventory using RFID technology.
Our specified goal in developing this project is to have a fully functional working prototype
system by spring of 2002. The system consists of RFID readers, tags that will be integrated with
a database that has the information about all the products in the inventory.

   This information is acquired through software that controls the system. Readers will be used
in the following locations:
       1) Storage Room
       2) Shelves
       3) Point of Sale Terminal

   The software will be receiving information from all the readers simultaneously, so it must be
capable of first identifying a reader as to where it is located. Once the location of the reader is
known, the appropriate updates can be performed to the database. The software has to acquire
the data from the reader with the id numbers of all RFID tags that are in a vicinity of that reader.
Then, it has to access the database and retrieve the information associated with these ID
numbers. The information can be processed for achieving different features.

   The system will be capable of the following features:
       1)   Acquiring real-time information about products at any location
       2)   Adding or subtracting products to/from the inventory
       3)   Updating database for new products
       4)   Complete transaction management
       5)   Warning if certain product is out of stock
       6)   Automatically fill an order form for out of stock product and send it for
            verification

   There are also several security issues to be considered. The database will have to be secure so
that only authorized personal can modify information on the database. Redundancy checks will
need to be performed at POS terminals to insure items are not read more than once.

                                       Design Approach
   In order to meet the design requirements, the group looked at alternative hardware and
software solutions. The final system will consist of three main components: RFID tags, RFID




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                                                             REAL-TIME INVENTORY USING RFID



readers and a database. The main task of this project will be to develop a software package,
which will integrate these three components.

    Hardware Selection:

    There are currently two types of tags available in the market, active and passive tags. Active
tags have their own power source and are capable of transmitting over greater distances. Active
tags are more expensive than passive tags. Passive tags are powered by an external signal,
usually from the reader. Due to the lower power availability, passive tags transmit over smaller
distances. The group has decided to use passive tags since the readers will be located relatively
close to all the tags. Due to the limited resources, only one reader will be used, however multiple
locations will be simulated in the software. The reader will be connected to a PC through a serial
port.

    Software/Language Selection:

    The software that acquires data from a reader and access the database will be written in
Microsoft Visual C++. The group chose to use Visual C++ because most members are familiar
with this language and it provides sufficient functionality to accomplish every task. Software
will have a user-friendly GUI with the features discussed in the design requirements section.
After much research the group decided to Microsoft Access to create a database with the
information about all the products. The main reason for selecting Microsoft Access is the
interoperability of Access with Visual C++. Since Microsoft develops both, there is more support
available to write code to access Access database using Visual C++.




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                                                      REAL-TIME INVENTORY USING RFID



                                 Financial Budget

         Category                         Cost        Quantity           Total
 Hardware
              RFID Tag                        3.98                20          $79.60
            RFID Reader                     245.00                 1         $245.00
            RFID Antena                      90.00                 1          $90.00
               I/O cable                     10.00                 1          $10.00

 Software
             MS Access*                      229.00                1        $229.00
             Visual C++                    1,000.00                1       $1,000.00

 Research
            Internet Cost                      0.00        --                  $0.00
                 Book**                       45.00                2          $90.00
            Magazine***                        0.00        --                  $0.00

 Labor
          Project leader~                    40/hr.            1200      $48,000.00
         Team members~                       35/hr.1200/person          $168,000.00

 Total                                                                  $217,743.60

*Individual sale of Microsoft Access. Access can also be purchased as part of Microsoft
Office Professional $329.00 for the package.
** Average cost of software and programming books team is interested in using.
*** Provided at Stevens Library.
~Quantity hours: 30 weeks * 40 hours/week




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                                                               REAL-TIME INVENTORY USING RFID



                                          Project Schedule

        Bellow is a general overview of the project schedule. For detail analysis of tasks please
refer to attach Gantt chart in the appendix.

                                                              Week of
                                    09/07/03 09/14/03 09/21/03 09/28/03 10/05/03 10/12/03 10/19/03
Group formation/Project Selection
       Group formed
       Identify Project
       Advisor selected
       Assign task
       Preliminary research
Proposal report
Web page design
                                                              Week of
                                    10/26/03 11/02/03 11/09/03 11/16/03 11/23/03 11/30/03 12/07/03
Research components
Final report Fall Semester
Parts List
Oral / Slide presentation
Web page design
                                                              Week of
                                    01/25/04 02/01/04 02/08/04 02/15/04 02/22/04 02/29/04 03/07/04
Progress reports
Database design
GUI coding
Systems integration
Hardware testing
                                                              Week of
                                    03/14/04 03/21/04 03/28/04 04/04/04 04/11/04 04/18/04 04/25/04
System testing/Debugging
Poster Board/Demonstrations
Final report




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                                                             REAL-TIME INVENTORY USING RFID



                                     III. CONCLUSION

   In the last year technologically savvy groups have been touting the arrival RFID technology.
Radio Frequency Identification is seen as the next greatest technological marvel of industry.
Although the technology has been around for some time now, it is the new low cost of producing
the radio frequency tags that has leapfrogged the technology into the limelight. A large amount
of research money is being spent on refining the hardware RFID tags and readers, but it is only
recently that organizations have begun to see the need to deal with the data that will be collected.
This project intends on providing a solution for large distributors and vendors for managing their
inventory through the use of RFID. The software solution that will be designed will allow
companies to keep track of products and supply within their various locations. At any given time
managers will be able to check the status of stockrooms, shelves and sales. With the increase
availability of information this project will organize data for the next century of inventory
control.




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                                                          REAL-TIME INVENTORY USING RFID



                                    IV. REFERENCES

Cohen, Alen. “Wireless: Radio-Frequency ID Tags.” PC Magazine.1 July 2003: 10 October
       2003. <http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1161091,00.asp>.

Deutsch, Claudia H. and Barnaby J. Feder. “A Radio Chip in Every Consumer Product.”
       New York Times. 25 February 2003.

Ewalt, David M. “Gillette Razors Get New Edge: RFID Tags.” Information Week. 13 January
       2003.

Keenan, Faith. “If Supermarket Shelves Could Talk.” Business Week. 31 March 2003.

Texas Instruments. 9 October 2003. <http://www.ti.com/tiris/default.htm>.

Yahoo! News. “Market-Leading Wal-Mart Leads The Way With RFID.” 13 June 2003: 30
      September 2003. <www.yahoo.com>.

Yoshida, Junko. “Navy to use RFID technology in Iraq.” EE Times. 20 May 2003: 10 October
      2003. <http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20030520S0034>.




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