METRO Group and Intermec Demonstrate Interoperable Generation 2 RFID System at ECR Europe | Automation.com

METRO Group and Intermec Demonstrate Interoperable Generation 2 RFID System at ECR Europe

May 032005
EVERETT, Wash., May 3, 2005 - The METRO Group and Intermec Technologies Corp. recently demonstrated an interoperable EPC Generation 2 RFID (radio frequency identification) system at the 2005 ECR Europe Conference and Marketplace. During the demonstration, Gen 2 smart labels with Gen 2 chips from Impinj and Royal Philips Electronics and were read by an Intermec Intellitag® IF5 reader, the first known demonstration of a true Gen 2 interoperable system. During a keynote presentation, an RFID-tagged pallet of RFID-tagged cases was pushed through a portal, simulating a typical supply chain application.

"Generation 2 RFID is here now," said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, executive project manager of the METRO Group Future Store Initiative. "This demonstration meets a key METRO Group objective: we wanted to ensure that our existing RFID systems would seamlessly migrate forward to the ISO-based Gen 2 solution."

The demonstration of the interoperable power of Generation 2 follows the first successful use of an EPC Generation 2 RFID system at METRO Group's RFID Innovation Centre in Neuss, Germany in April. The next step will be to equip METRO's RFID Innovation Center with Generation 2 technology to test system performance. The companies also plan to update METRO's Future Store supply chain with Gen 2 capabilities to test the technology under real-life conditions.

"The demonstration of Gen 2 tags from two chip providers being read by an Intermec IF5 reader, in production since last September, is a significant step forward," said Intermec Vice President Scott Medford, who represented Intermec at ECR. "It dispels the myth that Gen 2 is somewhere in the distant future. It proves that properly designed products can be deployed and then upgraded via software to accommodate new features, standards or regulations. And it clearly demonstrates that several technology companies can work together to create interoperable products that comply with international standards in order to satisfy the requirements of a global economy."

By the end of 2005, more than 100 METRO Group suppliers are expected to migrate to Generation 2 RFID technology for improved asset tracking and inventory control. METRO Group, which has 2,300 stores in 30 countries around the world, launched its first RFID pilot project in November 2004. To date more than 100,000 pallets have been read using Metro's current RFID system.

The system is the latest step in the successful implementation of Intermec RFID equipment at METRO Group's RFID Innovation Centre, its Future Store and at several of its distribution centres. The company's largest and busiest distribution centre, located in Unna, Germany, is equipped with Intermec IF5 Intelligent RFID readers and Intellitag RFID tags.

About Intermec
Intermec Technologies Corp., a UNOVA Inc. (NYSE:UNA) company, develops, manufactures and integrates technologies that identify, track and manage supply chain assets. Core technologies include Intellitag® RFID, mobile computing systems, bar code printers and label media. The company's products and services are used by customers in many industries worldwide to improve the productivity, quality and responsiveness of business operations. For further information, please visit www.intermec.com, or call 800-347-2636. To learn more about UNOVA, visit www.unova.com.

About METRO Group
The METRO Group is the world's third-largest wholesaling and retailing group. With its powerful brands, the METRO Group operates successfully in 30 different countries around the world - at almost 2,300 locations with more than 250,000 employees. The METRO Group's six sales divisions operate independently on the market with their own specific sales concepts: Metro/Makro Cash & Carry - the world's market leader in self-service wholesaling, Real hypermarkets, Extra supermarkets, Media Markt and Saturn - the leading consumer electronics centers in Europe, Praktiker home improvement and DIY centers, and the department stores of Galeria Kaufhof. More information at www.metrogroup.de and www.future-store.org.
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