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Browse Prior Art Database

Electric Tag for Product Life Cycle Management

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000018813D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Aug-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Aug-13
Document File: 2 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Valerie Thomas: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

We developed a system to link bar codes on products to web-based information about the product. Our specific demonstration is for cell phone recycling, but the application can be general to any product category, and can use any standard barcode symbology. Our cell phone project uses the GSM number on cell phones to identify the make and model of the phone; the barcode reader reads the first part of the GSM number, which is encoded in the Code 128 barcode symbology. The first part of the GSM number (which can also be manually typed in to the software) links to the webpage corresponding to that make and model.

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Electric Tag for Product Life Cycle Management

Authors: Valerie Thomas, Steven Saar, Markus Stutz

Abstract

We developed a system to link bar codes on products to web-based information about the product. Our specific demonstration is for cell phone recycling, but the application can be general to any product category, and can use any standard barcode symbology. Our cell phone project uses the GSM number on cell phones to identify the make and model of the phone; the barcode reader reads the first part of the GSM number, which is encoded in the Code 128 barcode symbology. The first part of the GSM number (which can also be manually typed in to the software) links to the webpage corresponding to that make and model.

What is the Problem?

The European Directive on "Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment" (WEEE) requires manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment to provide information to recyclers and dismantlers on the dismantlement of products, and on the location of dangerous substances by August 2005. Producers must also provide manuals for maintenance, re-use, upgrade and refurbishment.

To fulfill the requirements for a broad range of information on their products, manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment must address two problems at the same time. They need to gather and develop the necessary information on products, and they need to provide the information to recycling and dismantlement facilities.

Recyclers typically have little control over the products they receive. The products that recyclers do receive are typically old and from a wide range of manufacturers. Moreover, recycling operations typically must keep costs to an absolute minimum, so they have little capacity to experiment with new technology. The adoption of information technology has made production, distribution, and retailing of products more efficient and less expensive. We expect that information technology could also make product end-of-life management more efficient and less expensive. However, the fact that recycling has more or less failed to adopt information technology indicates that there are significant barriers to be overcome.

What is the Solution?

We developed a system to link bar codes on products to web-based information about the product. Our specific demonstration is for cell phone recycling, but the application can be general to any product category, and can use any standard barcode symbology. Our demonstration project uses the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number on cell phones to identify the make and model of the phone; the barcode reader reads the first part of the IMEI number, which is encoded in the Code 128 barcode symbology. The first part of the IMEI number (which can also be manually typed in to the software) links to the web page corresponding to that make and model. The system can be used with any high quality bar code reader, and can use any standard barcode symbology. The software is stored on the user...