SRI/Surgical Express, the Tampa, Fla.-based manufacturer of reusable surgical products, announced this week that it would install radio frequency identification (RFID) chips in more than 1 million surgical gowns and drapes. The technology replaces labor-intensive bar code scanning to track product use, according to the company. The technology will be deployed in all 10 of the company’s manufacturing facilities.

In other RFID-related news, Oracle Warehouse Management announced that the next version of its software would include RFID capabilities, in order to help suppliers comply with recent mandates from Wal-Mart and the U.S. Department of Defense. The company said it would leverage its Database 10g and Application Server 10g platforms to create a “comprehensive RFID platform that can accommodate large volumes of transactional data and improve order fulfillment operations.” 7-Eleven has been “extensively evaluating” the RFID technology over the past year, Oracle said. “The potential for improved process efficiency, inventory control and, ultimately, cost savings are substantial,” said Keith Morrow, 7-Eleven’s chief information officer, in a statement.

Additionally, Royal Phillips Electronics and IBM this week announced a joint initiative to develop RFID solutions for supply chain management as well as retail and asset management. As part of the deal, IBM Global Services will build an RFID system for Phillips’ semiconductor manufacturing and distribution facilities in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Finally, Socket Communications announced this week that it has reached an agreement to license worldwide RFID technology developed by SkyeTek, including the recently introduced SkyeRead M1-mini, a multiple protocol RFID reader/writer that measures one-inch square, the world’s smallest device of its kind, according to the companies.