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The United States Navy has integrated its fleet of forklifts into RFID and GPS systems so that it can track containers at four piers in the U.S. RFID tags will be mounted to containers and forklifts will be equipped with GPS.
Venture Research, a company that provides tracking solutions for industries in 28 countries and six continents including the U.S. Department of Defense and located in Plano, Texas, created the systems and the National Center for Manufacturing Science is providing them.
The installation of the systems will take place at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, the Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Maine, and the Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia.
The National Center for Manufacturing Science is also serving as a consultant and project manager to assist the Navy in understanding and deploying new technologies for the U.S. military.
The U.S. Navy first contacted the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences in December 2017 with the intent of developing a container management system that would allow it to identify where assets are in a specific port or storage yard and where they specifically are within that yard.
The National Center for Manufacturing Science wanted a system that uses RFID tag readers and GPS-based data without the need of a fixed infrastructure of readers at each yard.
The Navy requested proposals from its network of technology vendors for forklift-tracking devices. It received several proposals and selected the one from Venture Research last year. Installation of the systems at the named stations will begin in September. The first station to receive them will be the Puget Sound Naval pier. Installations at the other locations will take place at a rate of one new site every month.