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Lantech to Sell RFID Stretch-Wrappers
The material-handling equipment maker is working with RFID interrogator manufacturers to integrate readers into its Q-300 stretch-wrapper.
The interrogator begins scanning for tags only after the stretch-wrapper is turned on and the pallet is spinning. This limits the number of unintentional reads the interrogator might otherwise capture—if, for example, a pallet of tagged goods were placed nearby when the stretch-wrapper was inactive.
Caudill says Lantech is still conferring with Alien and Symbol to "work out the bugs on who will do what" with respect to bringing the integrated stretch-wrap/interrogators to market. In order to provide an interrogator retrofitting service to customers already using the Q-300 stretch-wrap machines—the firm claims there are 25,000 to 30,000 in the field)—Caudill would like to be able to send Lantech's field service representatives out to install the hardware, while the reader manufacturer would be responsible for providing the software, integration and training services to the end user. Just how this will play out, though, is as yet unknown.
Alien is featuring the Q-300 with one of its interrogators at its RFID Solutions Center Dayton in Ohio, which opened last week (see Alien Opens Dayton RFID Lab). The U.K.-based third-party logistics firm Exel, which worked with Lantech to design the integrated devices, is using the Q-300 with the Symbol interrogator at its RFID Center of Excellence in Harrisburg, Pa., where it provides RFID tagging services for its customers. Exel is also working with Symbol and RedPrairie to pull the RFID read data generated by the interrogator into the RedPrairie warehouse management system Exel uses to direct its shipping and receiving operations.
"The more we can integrate our RFID systems with our existing systems, the more we can get a return on our [RFID] investment," says Tony Hollis, Exel's manager for RFID strategy and execution.
According to Caudill, Lantech will be demonstrating the Q-300 machines, with a number of different interrogators, at the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI) trade show this October in Chicago.
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