Intellident Offers Portal Reader

By Bob Violino

The MultiScanner RFID reader can automate the receiving and dispatching of goods.

April 29, 2003 - Intellident, an RFID systems integrator based in Manchester, UK, is now marketing a ruggedized MultiScanner system, which was originally developed for use in Marks & Spencer's supply chain. The portal reader can be split apart or equipped with more than one antenna to read tags at different frequencies.

"What we've done is extend the MultiScanner from its portal origins, where you have two readers on either side of an aperture through which you can wheel pallets or roll cages or whatever," says Adrian Segens, Intellident's business development manager. "We can split it in two and have the two antennas facing outward, which means it can sit between two loading bay doors to automate the receiving and dispatching processes."

Intellident's MultiScanner

Intellident was the systems integrator that helped Marks & Spencer tag 3.5 million reusable trays and roll cages in its food chain. The MultiScanner has been stress tested at facilities run by a company called Gist, which handles logistics for the retailer.

"We achieved an 83 percent improvement in receiving efficiency," says Segens. "The roll cages were taking about 30 seconds to capture data from each individual bar code. When they are wheeled through the MultiScanner, the data can be captured in about 5 seconds. The data capture elements of unloading a truck used to take 18 minutes. They now have it down to three minutes."

The MultiScanner currently reads 13.56 MHz (high frequency) tags based on ISO 15693. Segens says Intellident could put a UHF reader in, or even have both a UHF and an HF reader. "We've built a system where if the client wanted to move from HF to UHF, you have the key elements of hardware there, and all we would have to do in the future is swap out antenna module," he says.

The company built advanced anti-collision capabilities into the reader, so that multiple RFID tags to be read and written to simultaneously as they move through the MultiScanner portal. The system has a touch-screen PC interface and go/stop indicators lights. It can be connected to a local area network (LAN), or to an independent network of readers/writers, driven by a controlling PC or PLC infrastructure.

In its standard configuration, the reader costs about £19,000 pounds (US$30,000). It is available immediately.

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