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The New Motorola MC9190-Z RFID Brings Long-Range RFID and Barcode Reading to Industrial Environments

Posted November 8, 2012

Photo of Motorola MC9190-ZMotorola announced their new  high-performance MC9190-Z RFID mobile computer, designed for demanding medium- to long-range applications in industrial environments. Ideal for manufacturingwarehouse, and transportation and logistics applications that require reading tags that are often out of sight or more than 10 feet away, the MC9190-Z is one of the longest-range RFID handhelds in its class available on the market.

The MC9190-Z handheld RFID reader leverages Motorola’s unique long-range linear antenna that enables more accurate data capture. The ergonomic features of the MC9190-Z also allow more frequent and accurate inventory-counts to better manage on-the-floor, back-room, warehouse and distribution inventory – reducing out-of-stock and excess inventory carrying costs.

With a rugged design to handle indoor or outdoor environments and offering multi-modal data capture that combines integrated RFID, direct part marking (DPM) and barcode reading, the MC9190-Z provides enterprise customers with a lower total cost of ownership.

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Motorola’s VC6090 Improves Operational Efficiencies and Worker Productivity

Posted August 14, 2012

Motorola today introduced the new VC6090 vehicle-mount mobile computer to help improve the productivity and accuracy of warehouse and distribution operations by enabling voice, data and bar code scanning capability in a rugged, size-optimized mobile form factor.

The VC6090 provides the ideal form factor for tight-spaced lift trucks with an all-in-one design that maximizes space utilization and minimizes driver obstruction. With an integrated keyboard with large keys for workers using gloves and an easy-to- read touchscreen display, the VC6090 mobile computer can be viewed and operated in most warehouse environments, resulting in improved decision-making and reduced errors. Integrated voice and data on the VC6090 simplifies tasks for drivers and IT organizations and with Wi-Fi support, drivers can connect to any available wireless LAN (WLAN) inside an enterprise campus or when in range of access points.

Rugged enough to handle any environment the VC6090 is also designed to withstand the constant vibration associated with vehicle mounting. In order to get the most out of your investment, the VC6090 is available with the Service from the Start with Comprehensive Coverage program, providing coverage for normal wear and tear as well as accidental damage to internal and external components, significantly reducing unforeseen repair expenses.

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Five Things to Consider When Using Tablet Computers in Forklift Applications

Posted July 31, 2012

fotoWhy Tablets and Purpose Built Forklift-Mounted Computers Are Not Interchangeable

Tablet computing is one of the fastest-growing categories of consumer electronics and enterprise IT alike. The buzz is leading many businesses to explore new uses for tablet computers, and some are finding their way into evaluation trials on forklifts and other vehicle applications in the distribution center. With their large screens and available Windows operating systems, tablets can seem quite similar to the forklift-mounted computers that are widely used today. They can also be taken off the forklift and used on the floor, which some organizations find intriguing.

However, tablets should not be considered drop-in replacements for purpose-built forklift mounted terminals because there are several major differences between the product categories. If you are considering using tablet computers on forklifts, it is important to know these differences and how they may impact operations. Careful evaluation will highlight compromises in integration and everyday use.

This post reviews some of the important differences between tablets and purpose-built computers for forklifts, and presents the five key issues that must be considered when assessing tablet computers for forklift operators:

  • Is the design and mounting appropriate for a warehouse or distribution center environment?
  • How will the tablet be powered from the forklift?
  • Is the tablet compatible with data collection equipment(scanners, printers, RFID), legacy warehouse management system (WMS), fleet management solutions and other critical enterprise systems?
  • How will tablets impact user processes and productivity?
  • How much will tablets really cost?

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Future Proofing Your Mobile Computers

Posted July 16, 2012

How the Features You Select Now Can Protect & Extend Your Investment Years into the Future

Rugged mobile computers deployed to warehouses, DCs and other transportation and distribution environments often aren’t used as long as expected, and as result cost the organization more than expected. Companies typically replace their DC computers after about 3 1/2 years, which is approximately seven months sooner than planned at the start of the deployment, according to a study. Rugged devices can actually last even longer, but are retired prematurely because the processors, software, communications data capture capabilities contained within the rugged housing are considered inefficient or obsolete.

Extending service life increases the value of mobile computers. When life cycles go down, so does the return on investment, and the total cost of ownership (TCO) goes up. The table below illustrates how changes in the replacement cycle impact the TCO for mobile computing deployments. It reflects how much the purchase price of a $3,000 rugged computer used in warehousing and distribution contributes to the annual and monthly TCO. Note that replacing mobile computers after 31/2 years instead of four (which is about the average intended life cycle) increases the annual TCO allocation by $107, or 14.2 percent.

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Intermec’s Most Innovative Industrial Printers – PM43 and PM43c

Posted June 18, 2012

Intermec’s PM43 and PM43c ares some of the most capable and reliable mid-range industrial printers on the market today. These printers were designed for a wide range of applications within distribution center/warehouse and manufacturing environments. With full color touch displays, preloaded leading programing languages, support for mobile devices, and an incredible 12 inchs per second print speed, these printers are at the top of their class and will  fit right in to your existing enterprise.

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The Next Generation Warehouse : Long Range Scanning and the Emergence of 2D Barcodes

Posted June 14, 2012

Introduction

Today’s warehouses are rapidly evolving as they seek to keep up with a variety of new requirements and advancements in technology. Processes traditionally using 1-dimensional bar codes are becoming more accurate, more efficient, and more robust through the transition to 2d symbologies. Offering superior data storage capability yet compact in size, these 2d symbols are ideal for cradle-to-grave tracking of products and serialization. As imaging technology progresses, businesses are poised to take advantage of the benefits of implementing 2d while continuing to accommodate the long range scanning requirements typical in the warehouse environment.

Driving this transition is the growing need to track individual parts from assembly to shipment and beyond for information and traceability purposes, largely imposed by company-specific or legislative requirements. A 2D bar code can accommodate significantly more information than its 1d counterpart, and in a fraction of the space, making such traceability possible.

Historically, laser scanners have been the preferred technology in warehousing because of their speed, accuracy, and ability to read at long range. however, as 2d bar codes become more common and imaging technology matures, manufacturers are now discovering what imagers have to offer in terms of flexibility, traceability, and legislative standards compliance.

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Empower your Workforce with the Unitech HT660e

Posted April 27, 2012

Develop your own applications and manage your own integration with the HT660e. This feature-rich handheld terminal is designed to give you more flexibility and control over your mobile data collection applications.

The HT660e is designed for single or two-handed operation in manufacturing, retail and transport and logistics sectors. For scan intensive applications such as warehousing there is an optional gun grip. Choose the set up that’s best for you or mix and match to meet the requirements of each application.

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Supply Chain of the Future

Posted April 5, 2012

Minimize short-term disruptions to gain the agility needed to take on long-term disruptions

Executive Summary

In an uncertain world, investing in mobile computing will enhance your short-term flexibility in order to gain long-term confidence. The traditional instinct of individuals in the face of uncertainty is to sit tight and wait out the situation. The world moves too fast and is too interconnected today, making that approach outmoded.

To be a leader in the future, you will have to accept uncertainty, and minimize it everywhere you possibly can. Uncertainty is not going away any time soon, so the way to handle it is to use effective technology that minimizes the effects of uncertainty.

Remember: By minimizing short-term disruptions, you gain the confidence and agility needed to take on long-term disruptions.

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Integration of RFID Smart Labels for Third Party Logistics

Posted March 27, 2012

Industry Need

Effective warehouse management involves the control and monitoring of movement of materials including receiving, storage, picking, staging, and shipping. The increased use of outsourcing these activities has given rise to the rapid growth of third party logistics or 3PL. 3PL providers typically specialize in integrating warehousing and operation services that can be scaled and customized to a customer’s requirements. The use of 3PL has become a cost effective way for many businesses to reduce supply chain costs and increase customer satisfaction. With any logistics process, opportunities for human error exist resulting in misplaced or mis-directed inventory. However, with 3PL providers handling inventory for a multitude of customers, high levels of accuracy and efficiency as well as visibility within the operation have become critical requirements.

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Intermec Advanced RFID Extensions (ARX)

Posted March 27, 2012

Intermec introduces the first tag motion software toolkit in a standardized reporting format. Intermec Advanced RFID Extensions (ARX) effectively identifies RFID tags of interest and discriminates surrounding tags, providing customers and software integrators the tools to essentially eliminate false-positive reporting of tags.

Getting the Most out of RFID

RFID provides business benefits and a strong ROI for many applications including asset tracking, materials management, and inventory control. Many processes for identifying objects and recording their movements can be automated by RFID. Unattended readers ensure that asset and inventory movements are recorded and alerts issued if the material is moved to the wrong place or at the wrong time. With a well designed RFID system you know all the intimate details of where everything is, where it’s been and where it needs to go. By making your systems smarter, you will be able to:

  • Realize huge improvements in asset and inventory visibility
  • Resolve problems right when they occur
  • Reduce capital and operations expenses
  • Increase flexibility of your data collection systems
  • Achieve new levels of productivity

RFID automated processes rely on the accuracy of reading the right tags: those that pass through a portal, are on a forklift, or are passing by a checkpoint on a conveyor. Because an RFID reader indiscriminately reads all of the tags that it activates, the presence of stray tags, such as those that pass through a nearby portal or are stationary on nearby racks or pallets, complicates the identification of the true tags of interest versus those that are not part of the process in action.

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