New RFID Printer/Encoders Supports "Old World" Specs

Zebra's R4Mplus unit designed to provide European retail suppliers with tag capabilities to meet current, future case and pallet requirements

Zebra's R4Mplus unit designed to provide European retail suppliers with tag capabilities to meet current, future case and pallet requirements

Vernon Hills, IL — May 23, 2005 — Zebra Technologies has begun shipping a new high-performance UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) printer/encoder specifically designed for European RFID specifications and frequencies, the solution provider has announced.

The new R4Mplus UHF RFID printer/encoder includes integrated support for ISO 18000-6B and Philips U-Code 1.19 transponders. Built upon Zebra's Z4Mplus platform, the R4Mplus has been configured to support European specifications and regulatory requirements.

Zebra said that the new printer/encoder can operate at 100 percent duty cycle relative to encoding tags, unlike many other RFID offerings on the market today. The R4Mplus also can support emerging protocols via firmware upgrades, including the forthcoming EPC Gen 2 protocols, offering investment protection as RFID standards evolve, according to the solution provider.

In addition, by offering XML-enabled printing, the R4Mplus supports easier integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, such as SAP and Oracle, Zebra said.

Meeting Retailer Requirements

"The R4Mplus offers an immediate, low-risk and cost-effective solution for suppliers racing to conduct RFID pilot tests and for meeting RFID compliance mandates issued by the major retailers in Europe, such as Metro," said Bob Cornick, Zebra's vice president and general manager of RFID.

The R4Mplus provides a range of connectivity options and printer-management software, and native support for UNICODE enables the unit to output most of the world's leading languages without modifications, which Zebra says can be an important advantage for organizations with global supply chains.

Bernard Williams, European business development manager for RFID at Zebra, added that the top suppliers to the big European retailers will need to comply with the new RFID initiatives that these organizations have set forth for case and pallet labeling. "Zebra's objective is to provide a printer/encoder that provides the features to best enable them to meet this goal," Williams concluded.

Additional Articles of Interest

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

— 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.

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