IBM and Intermec Speed Generation 2 RFID System Implementation at METRO Group's Future Store

IBM and Intermec Technologies have completed the installation of a fully functioning EPC Generation 2 RFID (radio frequency identification) system at the METRO Group's Future Store in Rheinberg, Germany. Within a tight two-week timescale both companies were able to upgrade METRO's Intermec IF5 RFID reader working with IBM RFID middleware to read multi-vendor Gen 2 smart labels.

Core to the project was the upgrade of the existing standard specification IF5 RFID reader and IBM WebSphere Device Infrastructure and Premises Server software to fully functioning Gen 2 specification. Pallets of goods labelled with Gen 2 tags received at the Future Store are scanned at the goods receiving dock door portal by an Intermec IF5 reader. The reader uses the IBM RFID middleware to collect and filter data, execute business processes and integrate the RFID information with software applications for ERP (enterprise resource planning) and warehouse management applications.

"This completes a further stage in our implementation of Generation 2 RFID," said Dr. Gerd Wolfram, Managing Director of MGI METRO Group Information Technology GmbH. "Again it has demonstrated IBM and Intermec's strong leadership in migrating quickly and seamlessly from our existing RFID systems to the ISO-based Gen 2 solution."

"Following this successful Gen 2 implementation at the Future Store, the next stage is to implement Gen2 in METRO Group's distribution centre in Essen," said Dr. Bernd Bker, IBM Business Consulting Services, Retail Industry Executive. "Our clients want more intelligent, more sophisticated readers, so they can push processing to the edge of the network. Our software has helped them achieve this."

"At the Future Store we now have the world's first real-life implementation Gen 2 tags in a retail supply chain application. This is a further significant step forward in the practical implementation of ISO 18000-6c and Gen 2 -- which is being incorporated into ISO," said Scott Medford, Vice President of RFID at Intermec Technologies. "The speed with which we completed the upgrade of METRO Group's Intermec IF5 reader with IBM as the system integrator perfectly demonstrates how products with a designed-in upgrade path can be deployed and then upgraded via software to accommodate new features, standards, or regulations."

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