Symbol Expands Enterprise Mobility Portfolio with New RFID Solutions

Debuts EPC-enabled turnkey dock door portal solution; RFID handheld extends mobile computing family

Debuts EPC-enabled turnkey dock door portal solution; RFID handheld extends mobile computing family

Baltimore — October 4, 2004 — Symbol Technologies has expanded its radio frequency identification (RFID) offerings by introducing its new Distribution Center 400 (DC 400) RFID dock door portal solution and a new ruggedized mobile computer, the MC9000-G with RFID.

These new products expand Symbol's position in advanced data capture technologies and provide mobility solutions to a range of markets across the retail supply chain, according to the solution provider.

"RFID must be deployed as part of a complete system that allows organizations to capture, move and manage information to and from the point of business activity," said Phil Lazo, vice president and general manager of Symbol's RFID Infrastructure Division. "Symbol's introduction of the DC 400 and MC9000-G with RFID further demonstrates that RFID is not a stand-alone technology which is disconnected from the network and unmanageable."

Symbol said its DC 400 is the industry's first EPC-enabled turnkey RFID portal solution designed specifically for industrial dock doors and portal environments. The DC 400 is a remotely managed 900MHz RFID solution intended to allow manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and retail stores to read class 0 (read only and read/write) and class 1 RFID tags at all shipping and receiving points without human intervention. The ruggedized design of the DC 400 portal solution was created specifically for the harsh environmental conditions of a warehouse, Symbol said.

The DC 400 portal solution includes multi-protocol RFID readers and high-performance antennas designed to enable organizations to achieve inventory and supply chain optimization by reading RFID tags on cartons and pallets as they are loaded in and out of trucks and containers. The reader infrastructure, based on Symbol's multi-protocol AR 400 with Ethernet connectivity and SNMP and remote management capabilities, can be upgraded as new standards evolve in the marketplace, according to Symbol. The DC 400 also comes with an API set for standard and customized integration with management systems for performance monitoring and operational visibility.

Symbol also introduced its new rugged mobile computer, the MC9000-G with RFID. The solution provider said that with the MC9000-G RFID handheld, retail, manufacturing and logistics organizations will be able to deploy RFID-enabled mobile computing solutions designed to improve corporate efficiencies and productivity by tracking objects and goods in motion throughout the supply chain. Some of the possible applications for the MC9000-G with RFID include inventory management for assembly lines; price verification by retail personnel; warehouse management of pallets and cartons using both RFID and bar codes; and baggage tracking by airline personnel, according to Symbol.

The MC9000-G with RFID leverages the same hardware platform as Symbol's MC9000-G rugged mobile computer, while adding support for the electronic product code (EPC), the most popular RFID standard, in an RFID handheld capable of reading EPC tags at distances as far as 10 feet.

Symbol said its new lightweight interrogator antenna was designed, tested and manufactured to withstand repeated six-foot drops to concrete. It also features directional (70 degree forward) field generation to enable users to isolate the RFID tags they are interested in reading. In addition, because the MC9000-G with RFID is based on EPCglobal's RFID specification, the RFID reader operates in the U.S./Canada-based 902-928 MHz spectrum, according to Symbol.

"The Symbol MC9000-G with RFID enables employees working at the edge of the enterprise to play a critical role in enterprise mobility by capturing information from both RFID tags and bar codes, helping them to move information faster, so real-time decisions can be made," said Lazo. "RFID technology must be part of a tightly integrated solution that combines both mobile and fixed RFID readers with other enterprise mobility elements in order to enable organizations to capture, move and manage critical information from the dock door to the retail floor."