New location planned for University of Arkansas RFID center

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 103 views 

The University of Arkansas RFID Research Center is moving into a new home.

The facility at 1637 Fred Hanna Drive in Fayetteville will be the third location for the research center since it was founded in 2005 as part of the Information Technology Research Institute in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, noted a statement from the University of Arkansas.

This is the first building to be entirely dedicated to the center.

“With the explosion of the radio frequency identification industry in the past year, we’ve seen a corresponding increase here in research activity, technology interest and educational needs,” said Justin Patton, the research center’s managing director. “Having a larger facility of our own we can fully meet RFID demands and be ready for several other technologies on the near horizon.”

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is the use of a wireless system to transmit data from tags on products to a receiver for the purpose of identifying and tracking the product through the supply chain.

The new center is a 20,000-square-foot existing space, roughly twice the size of the current location inside Hanna’s Candle Factory on the south side of Fayetteville.

Officials plan to celebrate the center’s seven-year anniversary and unveil the design plans for the facility at 2:30 p.m. on June 12 at the new location. Speaking at the relocation and dedication celebration will be Walton College Dean Dan L. Worrell; Moez Limayem, the Walton College associate dean for research and graduate programs; and Mike Graen, director of store innovations for Walmart Stores Inc.

The facility is expected to be fully operational for a grand opening in the fall.

Patton said the expanded facility allows the center to improve its current demonstration, research and laboratory areas as well as providing new areas for education. The entire supply chain will be represented, from receiving of raw materials through manufacturing of products, to the moving of those products through distribution centers and several retail store formats and ultimately into customers’ homes. Arkansas Radio Compliance and other testing programs will have a new home as well.

Since the center’s research mission will expand along with its footprint, areas for the study of emerging supply chain and retail technologies are also planned. The new facility also will house testing areas for University of Arkansas RFID Research Center board member companies and associated businesses.

More than 30 industry-leading companies joined forces to found the research center with the University of Arkansas to support a multidisciplinary, neutral, third-party research and testing facility. The RFID Research Center officially opened its laboratory on June 10, 2005, after receiving $2 million in total commitments of cash and in-kind gifts.

The RFID Research Center has collaborative relationships with researchers across the University of Arkansas, including the departments of computer science, computer engineering, industrial engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering; the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies and the department of public policy in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences; the department of food science in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences; and the School of Law.