METRO Group, one of the world's largest retailers, has gone live with Intermec Inc. Gen 2 RFID (radio frequency identification) technology in its Cash & Carry wholesale stores throughout Germany. As of the first of April, METRO suppliers have been able to ship tagged pallets with Gen 2 RFID technology.
Metro Cash & Carry, the market leader in self-service wholesale, is using a new Gen 2 RFID infrastructure that includes Intermec's Gen 2 IF5 UHF RFID reader coupled with IBM middleware. The Intermec RFID Gen 2 technology deployed in METRO Group's Cash & Carry stores creates a platform on which to build interoperable RFID products and systems that will effectively track and trace pallets to ultimately improve inventory management.
The Gen 2 RFID partnership builds on Intermec's existing relationship with METRO Group, including Intermec's successful participation in the company's Future Store Initiative and the Intermec UHF RFID inventory tracking systems deployed for the METRO Group RFID Innovation Centre.
In an update of the existing Gen 1 RFID infrastructure at Metro Cash & Carry, Intermec's IF5 RFID reader/writer was chosen not only for its capacity to successfully track and trace pallets, but also for its ability to read mixed-mode tags. The IF5 RFID reader is able to collect information from both Gen 1 and Gen 2 RFID tags and as such is ideally suited for applications in environments where there may be mixed tags.
The ability of Intermec's Gen 2 RFID technology to track and trace pallets at Metro Cash & Carry is only the first step in the rollout of Gen 2 capabilities at METRO Group. Intermec and METRO Group are looking at building on their joint success to introduce case-level track and trace capabilities in the summer of 2006.
"Generation 2 RFID is here now," said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, managing director of MGI METRO Group Information Technology GmbH. "Intermec has been a strategic partner in our roll out of RFID technology. The partnership with Intermec in creating a live Gen 2 RFID infrastructure at Metro Cash & Carry confirms both companies' commitment to pioneering usage of this new technology."