28. August 2006

NRW’s 60th birthday celebrations

NRW Minister President Jürgen Rüttgers (left) and Minister of Economic Affairs Christa Thoben standing with AT Managing Director Dr. Volker Franke in front of HARTING’s RFID goal. This was showcased under the slogan “60 years of NRW, 60 years of HAR

NRW’s Minister of Economic Affairs Christa Thoben aims for the HARTING goal.

Jürgen Rüttgers and Christa Thoben demonstrate their goal-scoring skills

Place the ball on the penalty spot, fix your sights on the target, run up, shoot and ….. goal! NRW’s Minister President Jürgen Rüttgers showed off his football scoring skills as enthusiastically as Christa Thoben, Minister for Economic Affairs, SMEs and Energy. They were two of the many guests at North Rhine Westphalia’s 60th birthday celebrations in Düsseldorf last weekend. On the “Energy Mile“ in front of the Ministry for Economic Affairs, SMEs and Energy, visitors had a chance to admire and try out technology from Espelkamp. The HARTING Technology Group showcased a goal equipped with RFID technology (RFID: Radio Frequency Identification). Dr. Volker Franke, Managing Director of HARTING Applied Technologies GmbH & Co. KG (AT), explained the technology to Jürgen Rüttgers and Christa Thoben. AT, a subsidiary of the HARTING Group, was responsible for the design, planning and programming of the goal’s components.
Besides the political guests, many other visitors were also impressed by the RFID’s capabilities and took turns at testing their shooting skills. For the second time following the Hanover Trade Fair, the Espelkamp company, which is 60 years old, just like North-Rhine Westphalia, was able to demonstrate the strengths of this technology in a game context. “In World Cup year, we deliberately chose a football related topic to showcase RFID,” said Dr. Volker Franke. “The goal offers a successful combination of game and technology.“
The shooter’s accuracy is measured by wireless mode. Personal details are stored on a chip or an RFID transponder label, which is attached to the ball. Even as the ball flies through the air, several antennae fixed to the goalposts and crossbar read out the information on the label and announce the result of the shot on a screen. By way of these antennae and a specially programmed analysis algorithm, it is possible both to read out the stored data and ascertain the approximate position of the ball. Goal-scoring visitors were rewarded for their accuracy with HARTING balls.

The Minister President and the Minister for Economic Affairs were interested to hear about HARTING’s targeted applications of RFID technology in logistics and manufacturing. RFID technology can be deployed in harsh industrial environments in the form of a passive RFID transponder made by HARTING Mitronics AG, a subsidiary of the HARTING Technology Group based in Biel (Switzerland). This product operates in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) range even in the vicinity of liquids and metals. What was demonstrated by the goals scored in a game scenario is thereby translated into reality in an industrial context.