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RFID Integration

Siemens Dematic and Matrics announced today they have successfully completed the integration testing of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), a method of identifying unique items using radio waves, with their high-rate conveying and sorting technologies used in distribution and warehousing operations. The development of an integrated RFID solution is prompted by the growing number of retailers exploring RFID as a potential alternative to traditional barcodes. RFID provides real-time access to information about products such as 100% inventory visibility and tracking, improved asset management, seamless data integration, higher throughput and productivity levels as well as improved customer service.

Siemens Dematic teamed with Matrics to successfully implement a conveying and sorting test loop where 100% read rates and diverts were achieved. The prototype demonstrates the ability to read discrete cartons in sequence at rates in excess of 200 cartons per minute with a minimum carton gap of six inches. Rates are measured using various cartons sizes without regard to label orientation or product density.

According to Joe Dunlap, RFID Program Lead for Siemens Dematic's Supply Chain Solutions group, "We have reached a tremendous milestone by being the first to successfully integrate this technology into a high-speed sortation environment. Among RFID industry insiders this has been perceived as one of the most difficult obstacles for carton level tracking. This puts us a step ahead of the curve and is a testament to the commitment Siemens Dematic has to improve service and lower total supply chain costs for our customers."

"The testing highlights the critical importance of tag collection speeds and orientation insensitivity," says Tom Coyle, Vice President of Supply Chain Solutions at Matrics. "This is a great example of an application which can only be satisfied with world class RFID read rates of 1000 tags per second."

In addition, Siemens Dematic and Matrics are sponsors of the AutoID Center, an industry funded research program based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), with labs around the world, including Cambridge University in the UK. The AutoID Center is creating an open system for RFID that will be critical to help the technology deliver applications such as supply chain optimization.

Kevin Ashton, the Center's Executive Director, said, "We are always delighted to see collaboration between sponsors. It is a sure sign that the market for low cost, open system RFID is maturing. Matrics and Siemens Dematic are very important to our work, and we congratulate them on their announcement today."

Siemens produces material handling automation, postal automation, and electronics assembly systems.