Deloitte joins Smart Active Label Consortium


Deloitte today announces that it has joined the Smart Active Label Consortium (SAL-C) on a global basis.

The SAL-C is an international interest group, dedicated to promoting and developing the use of smart active labels (SALs).

SALs are defined as thin, flexible RFID tags that contain an integrated circuit and power source. Two other types of RFID tags have been available for many years, a simple, inexpensive, non-battery (passive) tag, and a powerful, but relatively expensive battery assisted (active) tag. SALs offer performance at 90% of that generated by an active tag, while priced at less than 10% of an active device.

Since the recent announcements from Wal*Mart, Tesco, and the Department of Defence stating they will be asking their top suppliers to tag pallets and cases, many companies in the retail and consumer products industry have commenced serious trials with RFID.

As a result of these trials it has become apparent that a passive tag will not always be effectively read on pallets and cases. In some instances the tags are not all read, which produces less than 100% accuracy. In other situations metals and liquids affect the performance, which leads to the requirement for serious operational changes or use of expensive active tags.

SALs can overcome these problems, and also offer increased functionality compared to passive tags, for example the ability to track temperature changes on products over time. This application may be effectively used with fresh foods in grocery, or blood samples in the health care markets, where the product needs to be kept in a defined temperature range.

SALs are gaining rapid acceptance with leading thinkers in the RFID industry due to improvements in the technology used. Until recently industry acceptance of paper batteries used in active tags has been limited, as the battery has only been able to produce a limited life performance of approximately 12 to 18 months, with tag prices as high as US$5.00. Now tag prices have fallen to less than US$1.00 and tests on new innovative paper batteries are being tested that run for more than three years.

As part of their new membership Deloitte recently hosted the UK meeting of the Smart Active Label Consortium (SAL-C). This consortium meets on a regular basis to discuss the latest innovations and developments surrounding semi-active tags.

Attendees at the Deloitte UK SAL-C conference, heard about:

  • the new VarioSens Temperature Sensing tag from KSW Microtech AG, which can be attached to sensing devices to monitor issues such as temperature change, mechanical tamper, humidity levels, light change, radiation, and chemical gases.


  • Power Paper Ltd gave a demonstration of the new PowerID semi active tag, where the latest paper battery offers a life span of up to 5 years, and enables a read range operation at more than 9 Metres, while working within the restrictive European power regulations of just 0.5mWatt. See

    Julian Thomas, a partner in Consulting at Deloitte commented; 'We were delighted to host the SAL-C meeting. We have been looking at a smart-active tag for some time, but until now the price and performance just weren't up to scratch. When we looked at the recent developments available from companies that are connected with the SAL-C we have been highly encouraged, and now see the semi-active tag taking its place as part of an RFID solution'.

    Baruch Levanon, Chairman of the SAL-C commented; 'The market is searching for the right RFID solution, but sometimes finds that the only way to achieve a successful result is to use a battery assisted active tag. At an average cost of $20 a unit, active tags can only been used in small volumes and do not satisfy the requirement for tagging many millions of pallets and cases.

    'We believe that SALs will now produce the desired performance and are available at a price which will produce a good return on investment. We are experiencing a fast increase in our membership, and we were very pleased to recently welcome Deloitte to our consortium.'

    About Deloitte

    In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte & Touche LLP and its subsidiary Deloitte MCS Limited.

    Deloitte & Touche LLP is the UK's fastest growing major professional services firm based in 21 UK locations, with over 10,000 staff nationwide and fee income of 1,228 million in 2002/2003. It is a member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, an organisation of member firms with access to the deep intellectual capital of 120,000 people in nearly 150 countries, delivering services in four professional areas: audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance.

    Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is a Swiss Verein (association), and, as such, neither Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu nor any of its member firms has any liability for each other's acts or omissions. Each member firm is a separate and independent legal entity operating under the names 'Deloitte', 'Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu', or other, related names. The services described herein are provided by the member firms and not by the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Verein.

    Deloitte & Touche LLP is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

    The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

    For further information, visit our website at

    About the Smart Active Labels Consortium

    The Smart Active Labels Consortium is an international interest group, dedicated to promoting and developing the use of smart active labels - defined as thin, flexible labels that contain an integrated circuit and power source - in a number of industries and to demonstrating new and improved solutions targeted at the specific needs of potential end users.

    SAL-C is a member-driven entity bringing together the leading organizations that would benefit from smart active label solutions, as well as the leading providers of such solutions, including technology, materials, and integration suppliers. SAL-C holds frequent demonstrations and real life trials of available smart active label technologies and solutions created by its members. The Consortium is also working towards creating common standards for smart active label technology, which complement existing standards in related fields.

    More information on SAL-C's activities and membership is available on the organization's Web site at or by contacting Andy Freed at 781-876-8833 or


    For further information please contact David Gillett on (01223) 259851.

    The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.

    Deloitte LLP