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Hebrew University deploys RFID to track lab researchers

Hebrew University of Jerusalem has deployed an RTLS solution at its Unit for Nano Fabrication to track more than 100 researchers and students who enter the research lab, often to work with hazardous chemicals and gasses.

The clean room laboratory contains state-of-the-art tools and equipment to enable nanotechnology research that is used in cancer research, agriculture and high-tech.

Lab researchers wear active RFID tags on their clean suits to enhance safety.

The carefully monitored environment can present safety issues for students and researchers given the various hazardous chemicals and gasses being used – most of which only require an extremely small amount to create substantial life threatening situation.

With that in mind, the facility turned to RFID-enabled ID cards to help pre-authorize those entering the lab. Researchers entering the lab wear clean suits that contain active RFID tags from LogiTag Systems that allows them to register into the system.

Upon entering the clean room, the location of researchers is accurately displayed on a large screen at the building’s entrance. The status is also accessible online.

Alerts and notifications are sent if a worker remains inside the lab over a specific period of time, or presses the panic button. Other business rules can be applied. The solution also enables connectivity to the billing system, informing the university who used the lab and for how long.

“The solution is built to provide three main functions,” says Nahum Greenman, CEO of Orot Electronic Security, a system integrator. “The first is the real time location of each person inside the lab. The second are the panic buttons, for use in case of emergency. The third is connectivity to the billing system.”

In order to maintain a clean-room environment and eliminate radio frequency interference, the lab walls are made of aluminum. The metallic walls are highly effective for the clean room, but present an obstacle when it comes to deploying RFID solutions.

“Given our extensive experience at dozens of locations and varied types of facilities, we were able to successfully overcome these challenges,” said Shlomo Matityaho, CEO at LogiTag.

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