28 Jun Rockwell Automation opens new RFID lab
MILWAUKEE – Rockwell Automation recently announced the opening of a new radio frequency identification, or RFID, test lab at the company’s global headquarters in Milwaukee. The lab, which simulates a factory warehouse, is designed to help manufacturers facing production and inventory mandates from retailers understand how they can make RFID technology an integral part of their distribution operations.
“RFID will fundamentally change supply chain management and the way industry tracks, traces and manages the products that are delivered to retailers and consumers,” said Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer for Rockwell Automation. “With this lab, we’re helping manufacturers look beyond the current, short-term mandates and understand how they can integrate RFID as a tool for improving future manufacturing efficiencies and distribution.”
The Rockwell Automation RFID test lab replicates situations that are designed to help manufacturers capture detailed, real-time information that drives line production and synchronizes supply-chain tracking and tracing. The lab replicates a factory environment to allow accurate testing and evaluation of a wide variety of RFID products, and lab engineers offer visitors advice on the best methods for leveraging RFID-gathered data to improve factory efficiency and productivity.
Simulating a factory conveyor, packaging station and a dock door, the Rockwell Automation test lab currently incorporates the company’s own products as well as elements from Alien Technology Corporation, FKI Logistex, SAMSys Technologies Inc., ConnecTerra Inc. and Zebra Technologies Corporation to help test and integrate RFID technology in distribution centers and factories.
To mark the official opening of the lab June 21, nearly 75 business and academic representatives from the University of Wisconsin E-Business Consortium recently spent a day touring the facility and learning about the long-term business benefits that can be achieved by integrating this new technology with existing systems.
“RFID technology is still in its infancy,” said Professor Raj Veeramani, director of the UW E-Business Consortium. “The Rockwell Automation RFID test lab will help manufacturers look before they leap, providing them with direction and a way to see how they can integrate this new technology into their existing infrastructure.”
Rockwell Automation is a provider of industrial automation power, control and information solutions.