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March 4, 2008: DeWalt and Ford to Offer Vehicle-Based RFID Tool Tracking

March 4, 2008
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BALTIMORE - DeWalt, a leading manufacturer of industrial power tools, has announced a collaboration with Ford Motor Company to launch Tool Link, a radio-frequency identification (RFID) asset tracking system that enables professional contractors to track detailed inventory of their tools and equipment stored in a pickup truck box or van. Available on the 2009 F-150, F-Series Super Duty trucks, and E-Series vans this fall, Tool Link by DeWalt is a feature of Ford Work Solutions, a collection of technologies developed to offer end users better connectivity, flexibility, and security in key aspects of their business.

DeWalt collaborated with Ford and ThingMagic, an industry expert on embedded RFID technology, to create Tool Link. Tool Link allows end users to track assets and control inventory, ensuring crews arrive and leave the job site with the right tools and materials for their job. The system includes rugged, reliable labels that allow the user to tag, scan, and track expensive tools, equipment, and other assets. When the vehicle is running, a pair of RFID antennas, mounted in corrosion and impact-resistant housings on the inside of the pickup box, scan the box for tagged items on a pre-programmed inventory list. This data is transmitted to a reader mounted inside the cab and displayed on the in-dash computer screen, alerting the driver if any inventoried tools are not loaded on the truck.

“DeWalt is dedicated to developing new products that provide professional contractors with innovative solutions to help meet their needs,” commented Chris Allen, vice president of DeWalt’s Security Business Group. “Working with Ford and ThingMagic to create Tool Link further demonstrates this commitment and will enable end users to be more productive on the job site.”

The Tool Link system uses industry standard second-generation RFID tags that can be fastened to tools or other assets and can scan and organize hundreds of tags in just seconds.

“Ford, through Ford Work Solutions, is focused on offering productivity solutions for our truck owners. Collaborating with DeWalt is an opportunity to take productivity to a new level by creating innovative solutions,” said William Frykman, Ford Work Solutions product and business development manager. “Ford and DeWalt are both leaders in their industries. With DeWalt’s core knowledge of its end users and expertise in developing job site solutions that meet the needs of professional contractors, Tool Link will ensure that professional contractors can work smarter.”

Tool Link will be available this fall on the new 2009 Ford F-150 XL, STX, XLT and FX4 trucks; F-Series Super Duty XL, XLT and FX4 trucks; and all 2009 E-Series vans.

For more information, visit www.dewalt.com.

Publication date: 03/03/2008

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