December 22, 2010
Can it be true? After all of the predictions of a hockey stick growth curve for RFID over the last 7-8 years finally materializing? It seems to me that the market will begin to fulfill some its early over-exaggerated growth predictions. I base this on several observations and various activities in different vertical markets.
1. Recently rfid inlay suppliers (Alien, UPM Raflatac, Avery Dennison) reported being out of stock of their most popular inlays – this is not business as usual.
2. Longer lead times for RFID readers from the top reader manufacturers with some big backorders
3. Baird reported that the Gen 2 Inlay market for 2010 would experience between 125% and 150% growth rate and the Gen 2 RFID market would experience in 2011 a 300% overall growth rate.
4. Boeing has recently partnered with Fujitsu to develop a RFID service to enable greater efficiency in aircraft maintenance operations. Boeing will begin to offer this service in the first quarter of 2012. This tells me when a company the size of Boeing decides to enter a market it must think that the market will be sizable in the near future
5. Retailers, including Wal-Mart, are investing in apparel item level tracking of products. This is an important shift in thinking. The key term here is “item level”. The retail industry has been slow to adapt RFID at the case and pallet level but seems ready to be much more aggressive in deploying at the item level. Chip, inlay, tag and smart label converters will finally be positively affected by the huge increase in the demand for item level RFID tags.