Lockheed Martin Taps Zebra for RFID Label Printing

Largest U.S. defense contractor to meet DoD compliance tagging requirements with enabler's printers, software and supplies

Largest U.S. defense contractor to meet DoD compliance tagging requirements with enabler's printers, software and supplies

Vernon Hills, IL — August 2, 2005 — Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin has tapped Zebra Technologies to provide radio frequency identification (RFID) label printer/encoders, media and printer management software.

Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. defense contractor, will use Zebra equipment and supplies to create smart labels for items it ships to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to satisfy the DoD's RFID requirements. Zebra is the first printer manufacturer to earn a contract to supply Lockheed Martin with RFID products.

Zebra will provide Lockheed Martin with RFID printer/encoders, smart label media and ZebraNet Bridge software for printer management. Lockheed Martin initially will use the Zebra printer/encoders and supplies to create EPCglobal Class 1 RFID labels and will migrate to the EPC Gen 2 standard in accordance with DoD requirements. Zebra's RFID printer/encoders support multiple RFID protocols and are upgradeable to support Gen 2.

In addition, Lockheed Martin will use ZebraNet Bridge software to remotely configure and manage its dispersed network of Zebra printers.

Zebra and Lockheed Martin previously entered into a separate agreement to jointly market Lockheed Martin's I-GUIDES software to help suppliers meet DoD Unique Identifier (UID) marking requirements. Lockheed Martin itself will use I-GUIDES software with the new Zebra printers to meet DoD labeling requirements.

"Zebra's specialized printing capabilities and Lockheed Martin's I-GUIDES software support DoD's goals of improved logistics at lower cost while also providing a solution that can withstand some of the harsh conditions under which military equipment is used," said Denton Clark, auto identification technology manager at Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors business.

Zebra said it is playing an active role in the development of RFID "smart label" technology, standards and applications for supply chain and business improvement programs designed to help suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense, Wal-Mart and other retailers meet the RFID EPC compliance labeling requirements.

"Our close collaboration with the DoD and international standards bodies has given us tremendous understanding of customer needs," said Bob Cornick, vice president and general manager of RFID for Zebra.

Additional Articles of Interest

— RFID technology has the potential to change the way supply chains are managed, but in order to be effective businesses need to take a holistic look at the deployment. Read more in the SDCExec.com article "Time for RFID: Applying RFID in the Supply Chain."

— For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification (RFID), follow this link for an extensive listing of SDCExec.com articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.