Automatic Identification Technology (AIT)
AIT is a family of powerful technologies and devices that capture, aggregate, and transfer data to automated information systems (AIS). AIT reduces administrative and logistics costs in a wide variety of applications by increasing data accuracy (eliminating errors), speeding the collection and transmission of data, and making the entire data entry/collection process more efficient.
For example, AIT can assist in the data collection needed to achieve the objectives of Total Asset Visibility, Condition Based Maintenance, and other logistics, medical, and personnel functions. AIT provides a reliable and consistent means to identify and track marked items as they move through the supply and maintenance pipelines.
Types of AIT systems include:
1. Bar Codes
A linear bar code consists of vertical black lines and white spaces that carry data. Linear bar codes are interpreted using software and special devices such as laser scanners.
2 Dimensional Bar Codes use similar technology as linear bar codes but carry about 100 times more data. They also have an additional feature that allows the bar code to be read even when part of it has been damaged or blurred.
2. Contact Memory Buttons
This media is similar to a floppy disc in that it has a read and write capability. In addition, their design protects them from almost all types of environmental damage. One major drawback is cost - they cost about 600 times more than a bar code. They also require the user to touch the device when reading or writing to it, contributing to wear and tear and making it more susceptible to damage.
3. Radio Frequency Identification
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a small radio transceiver combined with a memory unit. Since each unit has a discrete address, communication is accomplished with a single device at a time.
4. Radio Frequency Data Capture
Using a built-in radio, a bar code scanner can talk directly to the host computer and pass messages back and forth, similar to real-time receipt processing.
5. Micro Electro Mechanical Systems
Called MEMS, these are items in development at the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Indian Head Division. The idea is to combine several chemical and environmental sensors on a credit card-sized radio transceiver.
UII has been implementing AIT systems for the U.S. Navy since 1985. We have become subject experts in numerous AIT systems including SmartCards, Common Access Cards (CAC), bar codes, and Contact Memory Buttons.