Wilson Sports bats 99+ compliance with Zebra RFID technology

When Wilson Sports moved on deck to address Wal-Mart's call for the next round of suppliers to meet the retailer's RFID mandate, the Chicago-based sports equipment company turned to Zebra Technologies to ensure solid performance. Wilson selected Zebra R110Xi printer/encoders for labeling shipments outbound for Wal-Mart with Alien Technology EPC Gen 2 Squiggle tags.

09/01/2008


When Wilson Sports moved on deck to address Wal-Mart 's call for the next round of suppliers to meet the retailer's RFID mandate, the Chicago-based sports equipment company turned to Zebra Technologies to ensure solid performance. Wilson selected Zebra R110Xi printer/encoders for labeling shipments outbound for Wal-Mart with Alien Technology EPC Gen 2 Squiggle tags.

“One of the reasons we went with Zebra was the ability to do a quick implementation,” says Ed Matthews, director of information services. “We were going through a major upgrade at the same time with [enterprise systems vendor] SAP and wanted something quick and simple.”

Matthews had great confidence in selecting Zebra for having pioneered one of the earliest Wal-Mart-compliant implementations while with Madison, Wis.-based Pacific Cycle . Even still, Matthews and his team put Zebra through the paces in tests against competitive systems to see just how RFID technology had matured with time.

“We ran tests with competitors to ensure it was the right choice,” he says.

The quality of tags coming out of the printer/encoders and the read rates both performed nearly faultless, with 99+ performance on both counts.

“I knew Zebra to have good products to begin with, but was impressed at even how much better they were,” says Matthews. “Costs have come down, and the technology is much more plug-and-play.”



The Zebra R11oXi printer/encoder in use by Wilson Sports is XML-enabled for seamless integration with applications running on SAP Auto ID Infrastructure (AII).

The Zebra R11oXi is XML-enabled for seamless integration with applications running on SAP Auto ID Infrastructure (AII) hosted on an IBM AS/400. Order information is easily translated into smart label formats that the Zebra printer/encoder manages as output to tags.

Each label includes human-readable text, a bar code, and an EPC number encoded to the Gen 2 tag. Tags are then hand-applied to cases and pallets for shipment. When the SAP migration upgrade is complete, Wilson plans to integrate RFID data more comprehensively with its operations by encoding additional information such as ship-to address, SKU number, and item quantity.

Matthews says Wilson has been pleased with RFID tag performance, especially given potential challenges with metal baseball bats and tennis rackets. The company has experienced no degradation of read performance due to interference from metal.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Controller programming; Safety networks; Enclosure design; Power quality; Safety integrity levels; Increasing process efficiency
Additive manufacturing benefits; HMI and sensor tips; System integrator advice; Innovations from the industry
Robotic safety, collaboration, standards; DCS migration tips; IT/OT convergence; 2017 Control Engineering Salary and Career Survey
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This article collection contains several articles on how automation and controls are helping human-machine interface (HMI) hardware and software advance.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Automation Engineer; Wood Group
System Integrator; Cross Integrated Systems Group
Jose S. Vasquez, Jr.
Fire & Life Safety Engineer; Technip USA Inc.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me