Advanced Research Company takes OpenCrib™ to market

October 2004

Orion, MI - Advanced Research Company has officially launched OpenCrib™ into the market place.

OpenCrib™ a RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) middleware package is a product garnering a great deal of attention from the automotives and manufacturing environments as a solution for the tracking of plant assets and valuables.

OpenCrib™ is the brain-child of Bill Sharp, President of Advanced Research Company who stated, “We have seen issues throughout the years with inventory/crib management in plants where tracking of hazardous materials, pricey equipment and repair parts is a very real issue. With the current advances of RFID technology and input from our customers we developed a very simple solution to a very expensive problem”.

OpenCrib™ tackles the issues of assets not getting properly logged into crib inventory; attendants not being available for removal of assets after hours or during breaks; stashes of un-inventoried spare parts through-out the facility and uncontrolled “satellite” cribs.

In the OpenCrib™ solution the RFID tag acts as an asset tag, which contains a unique number associated with an asset description in a database. The OpenCrib™ “RFID engine” will allow the user to check the asset into the crib, through a Check In/Check Out station prior to putting the asset into a storage location. Typical information to be associated with the asset could be the assets description, repair status or storage location. Mike Cislo, Senior Program Manager and Software Developer for Advanced Research stated, “OpenCrib™ is a little different than most of the interface packages were seeing out there because the OpenCrib™ system installs and integrates into the customers existing process, allowing them to use the tools they already know and have. This can ease the migration from barcodes to RFID tags, and practically make it an invisible process to the customer and their employees”.

As an added benefit, the doorways of the crib can be outfitted with antennas to monitor assets as they pass through. The assets number or id, time and date will be logged as it passes through the doorway and if the asset has not been properly checked out a warning horn and /or a light indicator can be activated to remind the user that the item needs to be checked out properly.

Pilot programs have been proposed for General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Visteon and several other key manufacturers in the automotive industry.

For more information, contact:
Kim Fuller-Frank: 248-475-4770