Vernon Hills, Ill. -- Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA), a global leader in delivering on-demand printing solutions for business improvement, today announces its support for the retail industry's new radio frequency identification (RFID) initiative backed by Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT), the Uniform Code Council (UCC), and the Auto-ID Center. Zebra's electronic product code (ePC)-compliant RFID solutions are available for new supply chain and business efficiency improvement programs that consumer goods manufacturers and logistics providers are implementing. Zebra is playing a leading role in the development of RFID smart label technology, standards and applications. It understands the importance of this new industry compliance program and the positive impact it can make to the bottom lines of major retailers and their suppliers.
During a co-presentation at the Retail Systems Conference and Exposition held recently in Chicago, the UCC and Wal-Mart announced plans to implement an industry-wide new RFID compliance program that will begin with Wal-Mart requiring its top 100 suppliers to include an ePC-compliant RFID tag on all case- and pallet-level shipments to the retailer by January 2005. These RFID smart labels must conform to the ePC specifications developed by the Auto-ID Center.
Zebra Technologies is a sponsor and active participant of the Auto ID Center's ongoing research and pioneered technology to encode and print smart labels on-demand. The on-demand printing process enables end-users to print, program, and verify data in one step. Zebra is currently involved in global ePC field trials where Zebra's RFID printer/encoders are producing ePC smart labels for consumer goods manufacturers, logistics providers and retailers.
"Wal-Mart's backing of this program will be the catalyst that drives consumer goods manufacturers, logistics providers, and other retailers to establish RFID programs and begin developing the new business processes that deliver on the value of this technology," said Dr. Clive Hohberger, Zebra's vice president of technology development. "Zebra has been at the forefront of RFID development. We invested early in RFID to develop printing solutions that enable current customers, manufacturers, and retailers to seamlessly weave RFID into their business processes. We are ready now to support industry compliance requirements and applications with Zebra smart label printer/encoders, software and integration partners."
In addition to its current line of RFID printer/encoders, Zebra will be releasing several new ePC-compliant RFID products, currently being field tested, to help companies meet the requirements of this retail industry initiative.
Industry experts predict that with Wal-Mart's backing of this new RFID compliance program, other major retailers and service providers-who share many of the same vendors-are likely to follow suit. In fact, the federal government is currently evaluating RFID supply chain options as well.
Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA) delivers innovative and reliable on-demand printing solutions for business improvement and security applications in 90 countries around the world. Information about Zebra bar code products can be found at www.zebra.com