Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Intermec: Practical RFID Solutions

Intermec Technologies has partnered with IBM Global Services and other systems integrators to provide wireless networking equipment and RFID systems that aim to solve companies' real-world problems.
By Bob Violino
May 17, 2003—May 19, 2003 -- It's about 8:30 on a humid Florida evening when Larry Brady strides into the elegant restaurant at the Doral Country Club. Brady is chairman and CEO of Unova, and president of its Intermec Technologies Corp. unit. He's clearly relaxed and wears a broad smile as he goes from table to table, greeting some of the journalists and analysts attending his company's annual user conference. Unlike the heads of most technology companies, Brady actually has good reason to smile: Intermec's revenue has grown by more than 10 percent for each of the past three quarters.
Prototype of the new 700 Series grip reader

"Companies have paid down their debt, and they're now investing in technologies that make them more efficient," he says. "We're benefiting from that."

Intermec makes bar code scanners, label printers, wireless local area networking equipment, and handheld computers -- products that make it possible to capture data virtually anywhere. The Everett, Wash.-based company is also poised to take advantage of the growing interest in RFID. It has established alliances with major players like IBM Global Services, which is the company's global systems integrator, and Oracle, which is working with Intermec to RFID-enable it's warehouse management software (see Oracle, Intermec Team on RFID App).

"We're seeing tremendous interest in RFID," says Brady. "It hasn't translated into a big increase in sales yet, but the interest is clearly growing."

Intermec was founded in 1966 and introduced the first portable bar code scanner five years later. Since then, it has been a leader in data-capture technology and related infrastructure. The company was acquired by Litton Industries in the early 1990's and remained under Unova when Unova was spun out of Litton in July 1997. That same year, Intermec purchased United Barcode Industries in Europe and nearly doubled in size.

In 1997, Intermec made another acquisition that was less publicized but which may turn out to have huge significance: It purchased IBM's portfolio of RFID technology and intellectual property. Intellitag RFID tags and readers operate in the UHF frequency range (915 MHz), as well as at 2.45 GHz. You can read the tags or write data to them from 15 feet (3 meters) away. The tags carry 1,024 kilobits of data, so you can store not just a serial number on them, but also application information related to the tagged object.
The ITRF reader can control industrial devices

Intermec sells two fixed readers, the 2100 UAP, and the newer ITRF, which comes with four addressable antenna ports and RS232 and RS422 serial ports. The serial ports make it easy to connect the reader to industrial equipment, such as a conveyor belt PLC, to identify and control the movement of work-in-process items, containers, totes, pallets and other objects, based on information stored in an RFID tag.

The company's handheld reader, called the Sabre 1555 Laser Scanner, reads bar codes, as well as RFID tags. It has a read range of more than 6 feet (two meters) and can write to all Intellitags. Intermec is also developing 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz readers in PCMCIA cards, so companies can add RFID readers to existing handheld computers for light industrial use. For the heavy lifting, the company is working on a grip for its 700 Series mobile computer, with a built-in RFID antenna. The 700 Series is a Windows CE/Pocket PC device that can transmit data over a wireless LAN using the 802.11b standard.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,150 words and 4 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations