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Proview Deploys RFID System
The monitor and TV manufacturer has launched an RFID system at its manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China, to tag shipments to retailers and issue advance shipping notices.
To avoid the additional labor of attaching both an RFID label and a shipping label, the company now prints the shipping label informationonto the RFID label. The tagging process is also mobile; it can be moved from one production line to another.
Manhattan Associates have about 60 customers worldwide, most in North America, but this is the first Asian customer for the software provider. Gilbert predicts this deployment could signal a trend in the Asian market for Manhattan Associates. Because Chinese manufacturers will have to adopt RFID in their supply chains to continue meeting their clients' demands and to increase their competitiveness, the demand for RFID systems will increase.
Gilbert points to what he calls "the predominance of Asia in manufacturing" and the growing interest in RFID solutions, which, he says, "is a good sign not just for us but for the industry overall," since it is likely to lead to more RFID systems across Asia. From a software standpoint, he adds, there are unique challenges in integrating the system in Asia, in part because the operating system in the Microsoft server is different. "The script isn't alphabet-based, as ours is," Gilbert says.
Some challenges still lie before Proview as its customers shift from EPC Gen 1-based tags and readers to those based on the EPC Gen 2 standard. Proview's existing RFID hardware system is designed for application of Gen 1 RFID tags and labels because that is what its customers requested. As some customers move to Gen 2 tags and labels, while others stay with Gen 1, Proview is likely to use a system allowing both types of tag labeling.
"For us, from a software standpoint, that is not a big transition," says Gilbert, referring to what his firm would need to do to bring Gen 1-compliant companies up to the Gen 2 standard. For Proview and other retail suppliers, it will mean either upgrading the firmware on their readers and printers, or replacing them entirely. "Most of the work is going to be changes to hardware, and possibly acquiring more hardware," he says, if the manufacturer must use both Gen 1 and Gen 2.
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