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RFID News Roundup

Exploring the Power of Printing; Power for handheld RFID readers; Indala unveils new prox card readers; reader control software for SAP.
By Bob Violino
May 14, 2004The following are news announcements made during the week of May 10.

Exploring Power of Printing
Precisia, a unit of Flint Ink that develops conductive inks and printed electronics technologies, has teamed with Thin Battery Technology (TBT) of Cleveland to jointly develop methods for printing TBT's thin-film batteries at high speeds. "The goal is to be able to produce these batteries using existing commercial high-speed printing processes within the next 6 to 12 months," says Jim Rohrkemper, president of Precisia. Thin-film batteries could be used to power active RFID labels and sensors. The key will be to bring the cost down, and that will happen when the batteries can be printed at high speeds using commercially available equipment, Rohrkemper says.

Batteries for Handheld RFID Readers
Micro Power Electronics, a Hillsboro, Ore.-based provider of custom portable power systems, says it has raised $9 million in new funding. The company plans to use the new funding to develop systems for the portable RFID reader market, as well as to broaden the company’s market reach. Micro Power already supplies custom power supply units for Everett, Wash.-based Intermec Technologies' Intellitag IP3 RFID add-on unit for its 700 Series handheld bar code readers (see Intermec Unveils Handheld Reader), and Micro Power CEO Greg Love says his company is working with other RFID companies to develop custom power supplies for handheld RFID readers and ruggedized readers for use on forklifts.

Indala Unveils New Prox Card Readers
Indala has introduced a new version of its EM Series of proximity card readers. The new 125 KHz readers can use either of two industry-standard communications protocols—26- or 40-bit Wiegand and ABA T2—to communicate with security systems. The readers are offered in a wall-switch style, which fits in a standard gang box, and in a mullion-mounting form, which attaches to the edge of a door. Because the readers operate with open protocols, they can be used by companies that currently have competitive products installed.

Reader Control Software for SAP
Acsis, a Marlton, N.J.-based provider of supply chain and business process automation software, has partnered with SAP to integrate Acsis Data-Link device control software with SAP’s Auto-ID Infrastructure, a middleware layer that filters data and passes it to SAP applications. Acsis Data-Link can also integrate bar code scanners, printers, optical and density sensors, palletizers, programmable logic controllers and other equipment used in modern production and warehousing facilities. Acsis says the new Acsis-SAP product will help users integrate data into a format that is easily understood by SAP systems, providing companies with information to make better business process decisions. The partnership agreement also provides for co-implementation services, support and marketing.

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