Orange You Glad?

Florida growers track produce electronically

Everett, WA  August 23, 2001  A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but an orange by any other name would still need to be picked, shipped, processed and used in different forms because they're not really that useful, or cost-effective, hanging on an orange tree in Disney country. Now imagine tracking different types of oranges, tons of them, from grove to grocery store. It's not a simple task.

To help with that citrus management, Florida's Natural Growers, of Lake Wales, Fla, has selected Intermec Technologies Corp. to provide automatic data-collection equipment to the company's four locations. Florida's Natural Growers, a cooperative of 12 grower organizations that represents 1,100 individual growers, made the decision to change to Intermec when upgrading obsolete equipment. "Florida's Natural Growers chose Intermec because of Intermec's breadth of product line and the advanced capabilities of its ADC products and services, from wireless LANs and handheld computers to bar code scanners and printers," said Jim Paulson, senior manager, information technologies.

"Florida's Natural Growers ships millions of cases of juice annually. We operate out of dry, chilled and frozen warehouses in a climate where humidity levels often are more than 90 percent. That takes serious supply chain management and rugged equipment," said Jesse Westburgh, manager of warehousing and distribution for the consortium.

"Intermec takes its responsibility to Florida's Natural Growers  and to all of our customers  very seriously," said Dan Bodnar, director of Intermec's Data Capture Group. "That's why we make sure the systems we put together today are a good investment for tomorrow as well."

Florida's Natural Growers has selected systems comprised of Intermec 1553 bar code scanners, MobileLAN 2100 industrial-strength wireless access points, Intermec 2425 handheld computers, 2455 vehicle-mount computers and EasyCoder 3400 bar code printers. The 2455 vehicle-mount computer has industrial casing for shock, temperature and environment protection and supports 2.4 GHz wireless communications, and the display and keyboard can operate separately or as one unit.