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European EPC Competence Center Expanding Its Services

Housed within the Metro Group RFID Innovation Center, the EPCglobal-accredited test facility is launching new training courses and consulting on RFID pilots.
By Rhea Wessel
Tags: Standards
Feb 13, 2007Europe's first accredited EPCglobal test center, the European EPC Competence Center (EECC), is expanding its services this year to include consulting for companies looking to implement a UHF RFID system based on EPCglobal standards.

The center opened in late 2005 to support the implementation of RFID and EPCglobal standards (see Europe's First EPCglobal Test Center Gears Up). It began offering equipment testing and training courses in 2006.

A tagged product is placed on a turntable in the anechoic chamber.

EECC, a for-profit company offering services to any parties interested in RFID, is housed within the Metro Group RFID Innovation Center, located in Neuss, Germany (see Europe's First EPCglobal Test Center Gears Up). The RFID Innovation Center, a five-room showcase for RFID technology, features a simulated warehouse, a grocery store, a home kitchen, a department store and a retailer's order-picking operation.

The EECC was founded by lead partner GS1 Germany. Other partners in the group include Deutsche Post World Net, Metro and Karstadt Warenhaus.

The highlight of the EECC is a futuristic, 50-cubic-meter testing room known as the anechoic chamber. Its walls, ceiling and floor are covered with bright blue, pyramid-shaped RF absorbers designed to eliminate unwanted signal reflection and interference. This enables a uniform electromagnetic field over a broad RF bandwidth. The chamber also features a remote-controlled turntable and antenna mast linked with the EECC's automated test system. Other equipment in the chamber includes an RF spectrum analyzer, a vector signal generator, an automated test system and a range of EPC UHF RFID tags, interrogators and antennas. This setup allows for testing of any type of tagged item at the item, case or pallet level.

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