Paxar had previously been designated as printer/encoder partner for RFID product supplier Alien, making it the first company to receive Alien's qualification in both printer/encoders and smart labels.
"The qualification of Paxar's smart labels, coupled with our previously announced partnership for printer/encoders, means that users of Alien's Class 1 RFID technology can go to one qualified source for their RFID printing/encoding solution," said Rick Bauer, senior director of RFID technical research at Paxar.
"Users will benefit from the fact that they have one company to look to, one company to make sure the entire solution works in their environment."
David Bledsoe, Alien Technology director of OEM and consumables, claimed that customers can have confidence that RFID products qualified under Alien's partner program will perform at the highest levels of reliability.
"Paxar has shown outstanding commitment to delivering the highest quality in printer/encoders and smart labels, which will provide substantial benefit to users of Alien's transponders," he said.
According to a recent IDTechEx report, almost three times the volume of RFID tags will be sold in 2006 than over the previous 60 years since their invention. This is primarily because retailers such as Metro are demanding, for the first time, that suppliers fit tags to pallets and cases to save cost and improve service but many other applications will be growing very rapidly.
This exponential growth will continue and, by 2015, the value of sales of RFID tags will have increased by thirteen times over the figure for 2005.
This suggests that suppliers and manufacturers are being won round to the advantages of IT technologies such as RFID. There have been worries over the expense of implementation and the cost benefits.
Writing in forbes.com last year, for example, Chana Schoenberger points out that one manufacturer makes a 5 per cent margin on tagging $10 cases of tuna fish. But with tags costing 20 to 25 cents, and the associated labels bringing the cost up to $1 per case, RFID might cut deeply into margins without immediate benefits to the company.
But this mindset looks set to change as companies begin to accept the trend towards hi-tech manufacturing and supplying.
RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology, which hooks miniature antennas up to tiny computer chips smaller than a grain of sand to track items at a distance, is being driven hard by retailers such as Metro, which see RFID as the natural replacement of industry's current bar code-based tracking systems. This will allow companies to automatically track inventory throughout an entire supply chain.
Information from RFID-tagged cases on a pallet can be read automatically using fixed, mobile or handheld readers rather than requiring individual bar code scanning.
Both Paxar and Alien Technology are global leader in the identification and tracking of consumer products worldwide. Users of RFID technology can order smart labels directly from Paxar, with pre-qualification from RFID product supplier Alien.