VERNON HILLS, Ill. -- Zebra Technologies (Nasdaq: ZBRA), a global leader in delivering on-demand printing solutions for business improvement, has been awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin Corp. to provide radio frequency identification (RFID) label printer/encoders, media, and printer management software. Lockheed Martin, the largest U.S. defense contractor, will use Zebra equipment and supplies to create smart labels for items it ships to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), to satisfy the DoD's RFID requirements. Zebra is the first printer manufacturer to earn a contract to supply Lockheed Martin with RFID products.
Zebra will provide Lockheed Martin with RFID printer/encoders, smart label media, and ZebraNet Bridge software for printer management.
Zebra and Lockheed Martin previously entered into a separate agreement to jointly market Lockheed Martin's I-GUIDES software to help suppliers meet DoD Unique Identifier (UID) marking requirements. Lockheed Martin itself will use I-GUIDES software with the new Zebra printers to meet DoD labeling requirements.
"Zebra's specialized printing capabilities and Lockheed Martin's I-GUIDES software support DoD's goals of improved logistics at lower cost while also providing a solution that can withstand some of the harsh conditions under which military equipment is used," said Denton Clark, auto identification technology manager at Lockheed Martin's Maritime Systems & Sensors business.
According to a VDC study and AMR Research, Zebra is the RFID market leader with more printer/encoder sales and installations than any other company worldwide. An industry pioneer, Zebra first made its name helping customers harness the power of bar codes, and has now captured the largest installed base of both high frequency and EPC ultra-high frequency (UHF) models in every category and market segment, covering the widest range of applications.
"Our close collaboration with the DoD and international standards bodies has given us tremendous understanding of customer needs," said Bob Cornick, vice president and general manager of RFID for Zebra. "Zebra's selection as a smart label technology provider to Lockheed Martin is tangible proof of Zebra's ability to demonstrate real value from RFID in the supply chain."
Zebra has been researching and developing RFID technologies for nearly 10 years. It was the first company to produce an integrated, on-demand RFID printer/encoder more than five years ago. Today, Zebra has the broadest printer/encoder product line for use in supply chain applications. Zebra is playing an active role in the development of RFID "smart label" technology, standards and applications for supply chain and business improvement programs designed to help suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense, Wal-Mart and other retailers meet the RFID EPC compliance labeling requirements.
Lockheed Martin will initially use the Zebra printer/encoders and supplies to create EPCglobal Class 1 RFID labels and will migrate to the EPC Gen 2 standard in accordance with DoD requirements. Zebra's RFID printer/encoders support multiple RFID protocols and are easily upgradeable to support Gen 2. Zebra is the only manufacturer to have publicly demonstrated Gen 2 capability in a printer/encoder. Lockheed Martin will use ZebraNet Bridge software to remotely configure and manage its dispersed network of Zebra printers.