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Vendor Touts 'RFID Ready Program'

SmartCode has launched a program aimed at retailers, manufacturers and suppliers looking to deploy low-cost RFID systems.
By Bob Violino
Jul 28, 2003July 28, 2003 - SmartCode, an Israeli RFID systems provider, has launched an "RFID Ready Program" aimed at retailers, manufacturers and suppliers looking to deploy RFID
SmartCode's Apple
systems. The program includes business case analysis, systems design, system review and testing, installation, post-deployment design and project results analysis.

"These are multi-location, highly complex and diversified supply chains that include warehouses, distribution centers, production lines, trucks, forklifts and so on," says Roy Apple, SmartCode's VP of business development. "We do not offer a 'package in a box' solution because there is no way this will work. What we do offer is a full end-to-end methodology, from the initial assessment stage to a fully deployed system."

SmartCode was set up to take advantage of a new high-speed assembly process that the company is keeping under wraps for competitive reasons. (see Startup Claims RFID Breakthrough). SmartCode is supporting the Electronic Product Code specification created by the Auto-ID Center for UHF (915MHz) and high-frequency (13.56MHz) tags. It will go into mass production next year.

"We have been working on an EPC chip design in-house," says Apple. "We are also working with partners supplying EPC chips."

The company will focus its marketing efforts on the US, Europe and Japan. Apple says the company has a number of RFID pilots currently in evaluation. He's waiting for the official assessment of those trials before publicizing them.

"We do understand these suppliers will need their pallets, cases and possibly products to be RFID ready by 2005," says Apple, referring to Wal-Mart's deadline for its top 100 suppliers. "However, we take a more practical and realistic approach [than out-of-the box packages]. We want to provide Wal-Mart's suppliers and others with a professional, end-to-end solution."

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