Zebra unveils UHF RFID Gen 2 card printer-encoder

Firm also unveils Zebra-designed card media


VERNON HILLS, Ill., Jan. 8 -- Zebra Technologies, a global leader in specialty printing and automatic identification solutions, announces the launch of its Zebra R3i and R4i UHF RFID card printer/encoders, a new RFID product series designed to save time and costs, while heightening security in a host of auto-identification, access control and asset tracking applications. The company is also offering genuine Zebra-designed supplies -- rugged, flexible UHF RFID-enabled plastic cards for single-sided or dual-sided card printing. The RFID card printers are now available in North America, with global release scheduled for early 2008.

"We are pleased to once again be the first in the industry to develop an innovative solution that delivers business value and meets our customers' auto-identification and tracking needs," states Steve Park, Zebra vice president and general manager for RFID. "Designed and engineered jointly by our RFID and card printing business units, the new card printer/encoders offer the longer read ranges and unique identification capabilities of RFID technology that will allow enterprises to add higher levels of security and authentication to their new or existing RFID infrastructures."

epcSolutions, Inc., a leading provider of RFID solutions for supply chain management and asset tracking, was one of the Zebra partners engaged in testing of the new Zebra R3i and R4i RFID printer/encoders. Kevin Kail, president and CEO of epcSolutions notes: "Zebra, in being first-to-market with an RFID card printer/encoder, is the only hardware vendor with a complete suite of products for the 'Internet of Things' where RFID tags can be created for tracking virtually any asset in an organization. This is a transformational product because of its excellent performance, deep functionality and clean, easy-to-use design -- plus it has all of the quality and reliability we have come to expect from Zebra."

As a result of the testing, epcSolutions has already developed four applications for use with the Zebra RFID card printer/encoders. Part of the company's GS1 "Any Asset, One Network" solution, these applications include fixed asset tracking, work-in-process, finished goods/inventory, and access control (people tracking).

Zebra R3i and R4i RFID Card Printers: Broad Capabilities, Optimal Flexibility

Zebra's new UHF RFID card printer/encoders are suitable for transponder types: EPC Class 0; EPC Class 1, Gen 1; EPC Class 1, Gen 2; ISO18000-6b and 6-c; and others. Available in two sizes, the card printer/encoders feature 4 MB image memory standard, a 16-character LCD display, and an innovative angled, high-capacity card feeder for faster throughput and fewer rejections. They are designed for use with Zebra-designed form factors, and are also compatible with cards provided by other solution providers. Product options include a magnetic encoder, and built-in Ethernet capability.

The card printer/encoders are ruggedly built, fast and easy to use. The Zebra R4i model can print as many as 130 single-sided, full-color cards or 102 dual-sided, full color cards per hour. They deliver clear, vibrant color printing and print resolution of 300 dpi.

Potential applications and benefits of the new RFID card printer series are wide-ranging and include:

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