September 16, 2003, 12:00 AM

Vendors launch applications for printing RFID-tagged labels

Manhattan Associates and Zebra Technologies have launched software applications that print RFID-tagged labels for use in retail supply chains. Checkpoint Systems offers a turnkey RFID system and Texas Instruments is developing high-frequency RFID tags.

Manhattan Associates and Zebra Technologies have each launched this week software applications that print RFID-tagged labels from office computer printers for use in retail supply chains. The systems are designed to print RFID labels compliant with the Electronic Product Code data standards that will eventually support an EPC network for sharing product data among retailers and suppliers. "This is a major step in facilitating the widespread use of RFID technology," said Eric Peters, senior vice president, products and strategy, Manhattan Associates.

Zebra and Manhattan Associates each announced their RFID printing applications at the EPC Symposium, which is being held in conjunction with the Frontline Supply Chain Week trade show in Chicago. RFID, or radio frequency identification, is already being adopted by companies like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Procter & Gamble for tracking pallets and containers of products as they move through supply chains.

Other companies have also made RFID-related announcements and demonstrations at the Chicago symposium this week. Checkpoint Systems Inc. demonstrated a "complete cradle-to-grave" EPC/RFID application that retailers and suppliers can install to track RFID-tagged shipments.

And Texas Instruments Radio Frequency Identification Systems said it is developing ultra-high frequency RFID tags that will meet EPC standards and the global EPC Network, which is being developed by EPCglobal, a joint venture of data standards organization the Uniform Code Council and its European counterpart, EAN International.

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