HP To Open Noisy Lab for RFID Technology Development

Tuesday 18 January 2005 16:48 CET | News

HP plans to open an RFID Noisy Lab in Omaha, Neb., next month to further the development of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

Announced at the National Retail Federation 94th Annual Convention and Expo, the HP facility will be one of the most comprehensive RFID labs in the industry, simulating a real-world manufacturing and distribution center where HP, its customers and its partners can pilot and evaluate RFID technology and solutions. So named because it simulates a live or noisy manufacturing environment and distribution center, the RFID Noisy Lab is part of a broader RFID acceleration initiative underway at HP to meet retailers RFID compliance mandates. The initiative is designed to increase the number of RFID-tagged products bound for leading retailers from three HP consumer technology products to more than 40, beginning this month. RFID is a data collection technology that provides suppliers, retailers, manufacturers and distributors with up-to-the-minute supply chain visibility, from inventory and logistics to freshness dates. Such timely supply chain information enables companies to respond in real time in order to improve stock availability, reduce shrinkage and improve customer service. RFID solutions also support HPs Adaptive Enterprise strategy, which helps customers synchronize business and IT to capitalize on change. HP is already shipping some RFID-tagged consumer products, including two HP Photosmart printer models and one HP Scanjet scanner model, to select retailers. HP has increased the number of RFID-tagged products shipped to retailers at the pallet, case and packaging level to include HP All-in-One printers, HP iPAQ Pocket PCs, HP Compaq Presario desktop PCs, HP notebook computers, HP LaserJet and Deskjet printers, and additional HP Photosmart printer models. The HP RFID Noisy Lab will be used for testing and verification of customer specifications to meet RFID retail compliance deadlines and to help retailers, consumer goods manufacturers and others better manage supply chains. HP will use the labs controlled environment to test RFID equipment, solutions and technology from new vendors, and to host customer tours, demonstrations and proof-of-concepts. The RFID Noisy Lab is expected to provide a more accurate and richer picture of all types of goods in a supply chain, whether they are servers in a data center, pallets of wine on a loading dock or cases of soap in a warehouse. The working showroom will allow HP and its customers to build and refine applications more easily for mandate compliance or broader RFID implementations. To simulate a manufacturing and distribution center, the HP RFID Noisy Lab will include several key elements, including: -- Racetrack Conveyor, which is capable of reaching variable speeds up to 600 feet per minute and equipped with cases of consumer products that have a maximum weight of 50 pounds and case volume size of two cubic feet. -- RFID Printer Write Station that writes electronically to an RFID tag and prints a readable number on the tag. The station has the capability to easily change vendor printer equipment. -- RFID Write Station that has the capability to write to the tag after the tag is applied to the case. -- RFID Read Station located near a conveyor belt that reads the RFID tag. The station will be movable so that tests can be conducted at varying distances. -- RFID Portal that can read pallet and case tags while a forklift moves through the station. -- Middleware Server with three middleware vendor products that enables a comparison of product features from leading RFID middleware vendors. -- Pallet Wrap Station on a turntable with RFID Read capability. Printronix Inc. will contribute a SmartLine(TM) SL5304e MP RFID printer. The SmartLine RFID multiprotocol printer enables encoding and printing of various RFID label sizes and antenna designs that have emerged as popular standards through early adopter pilot programs. Printronix also plans to

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
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