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RFID tagged cases and pallets

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THE Educational & Productivity Solutions (E&PS) business of Texas Instruments (TI), distributed in Australia through Electro-Com , is the first consumer goods supplier to ship RFID tagged cases and pallets based on the Generation 2 (Gen 2) Electronic Product Code (EPC) specification to Wal-Mart.

Starting with a dozen Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) shipped to five distribution centres, TI E&PS, a Wal-Mart next 200 supplier, is tagging cases and pallets of its market-leading graphing, scientific and financial calculators using Gen 2 smart label solutions from Texas Instruments RFid Systems, NCR Corporation and Zebra Technologies.

The dozen SKUs represent 100 percent of the calculator products E&PS ships to Wal-Mart.

Driving to set the standard for best-in-class international supply chains, TI E&PS is adopting EPC Gen 2 solutions as a platform to facilitate advanced data exchange and processing capabilities on a global basis with its retail trading partners.

Advancements in retail supply chain data exchange processes enabled by EPC Gen 2 will allow TI E&PS to achieve improved product visibility and lower out-of-stocks at the retail store.

TI E&PS began its development and implementation of EPC Gen 2 in 2004, deciding to leapfrog legacy EPC Gen 1 solutions, which will be phased out in 2006. In building its Gen 2 implementation plan, TI worked closely with retail partner Wal-Mart.

"TI is ahead of the curve with Gen 2 adoption, and we commend them on being the first to begin Gen 2 tagging of cases and pallets in support of Wal-Mart's RFID expansion plans in 2006," said Simon Langford, RFID strategy manager at Wal-Mart.

"This marks a significant milestone for our business and the industry as a whole," said Keith Hodnett, vice president, Texas Instruments and supply chain manager for E&PS. "Moving forward, we are prepared to expand our Gen 2 efforts with other retail trading partners when they are ready."

Production, interoperability and implementation

In July 2005, Texas Instruments RFid Systems began production of its EPC Gen 2 inlays and straps, leveraging its experience in delivering highly reliable, high volume and easy- to-integrate solutions to label converters and printer customers.

Proving its success driving interoperability of its tags with leading smart label, printer and reader manufacturers, TI has accelerated Gen 2 market adoption by consumer goods manufacturers and retailers.

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