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Frontline Solutions Supply Chain Week In Review

This year's Frontline Solutions Supply Chain Week took place in Chicago, Illinois, September 22-26. In more than 75,000 square feet of exhibit space, attendees explored the aisles of 265 vendors and solution providers showcasing innovative supply chain technologies. Attendees gained valuable knowledge from prominent industry professionals from more than 70 conference sessions, 14 vertical industry symposia, and three distinguished keynote speakers.

Keynote presenters included: Stephen N. David, Chief Information Officer & Business-to-Business Officer, The Procter & Gamble Company; Michael Madden, Chief Technology Officer, J.D. Edwards; and John Fontanella, Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Packaged Goods/Lifesciences and Retail Industry Service, AMR Research - attracted overwhelming attendance for their compelling discussions on optimizing supply chains, Web services, collaborative commerce, and challenges currently facing today's industry leaders.

While attending Frontline Solutions Supply Chain Week 2002, our editors and myself had the opportunity to meet with several vendors to learn what innovative products and services they were bringing to market. Here's some of what the vendors were highlighting.

Accu-Time® Systems, Inc.
The Cyber Series has a cutting-edge terminal design loaded with advanced technologies. The ATS Cyber Series carries your business into the future with a new high speed microprocessor and plug-in option slots. The new hardware architecture continues to support popular features from the existing product line such as bar code, magnetic strip, proximity badges, flash memory, and 10 base T Ethernet and biometrics all at a lower cost to you.

American Microsystems, Ltd.
AML M7100 Wireless Hand-Held Terminal is redefining the standard for wireless data collection technology. Incorporating the best of today's wireless technology, with the reliable performance of open source, embedded Linux®, the M7100 optimizes operational efficiency and productivity — ensuring the rapid, timely processing of mission critical data, even in the most demanding applications.

Applied Wireless ID
A leading independent supplier of readers for the RFID industry, introduced six semi-rugged/general purpose multi-protocol handheld RFID terminals for 13.56, 915, and 2450 MHz bands. All terminals come with Palm OS or Windows CE operating systems, numerical keyboards, and WLAN/bar code options.

Dai Nippon IMS (America) Corporation
When it comes to wax/resin ribbons, our M250 is without a doubt the best single source solution for any wax/resin application. M250 is the only wax/resin ribbon that has the capabilities of working across a wide variety of applications while offering excellent abrasion and solvent resistance that is unparalleled in the industry. DNP's M250 is formulated with DNP's exclusive back coating technology for print head protection. Also, M250 comes standard with DNP's special anti-static properties for easy handling and extra print head protection.

A new generation of terminals, the BHT-8000 series, are easy to use and portable. The BHT-8000 series sets a new standard for compact handy terminals. Equipped with an advanced scanning system the BHT-8000 series can read even wide, high density, low-PCS labels smoothly. The large liquid crystal display provides enhanced visibility. With the advanced layout function, you can reconfigure the display to meet your needs.

Escort Memory Systems
As an extension of an automation system, RFID must be able to integrate with both existing and developing automation technologies. EMS' RFID systems reduce installation costs by interfacing directly to personal computers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC's) and Industrial Network Interface Modules. This connectivity allows EMS to provide RFID systems that are flexible and easy to integrate in a diverse set of industries.

Honeywell Batteries
A leading supplier of replacement battery packs for a wide variety of wireless devices, serving customers worldwide. HB customers range from small town police departments to the world's largest corporations. Honeywell™ Batteries will meet or exceed the original equipment's specs for form, fit and function. Each battery is guaranteed to be free from defects in materials and workmanship, and will maintain a minimum of 80% of its rated capacity for 12 months from date of shipment under normal use.

Intermec Technologies Corporation
The development of Intermec's "Guide to Surviving ADC Implementation" illustrates how vital real-time information is the key to effectively managing the new supply chain. The goal of the new supply chain is to efficiently integrate and manage those processes from one end of the supply chain to the other so costs can be reduced and times be shortened to enhance productivity. From manufacturing to warehousing, distribution to route accounting, field service to retail sales Intermec Technologies Corporation has the solution for you.

Itronix Coporation (USA)
The world's leading supplier of wireless, rugged computing solutions for mobile workforces today announced its newest notebook, the GoBook PRO™. This new semi-rugged computer is the latest addition to the Itronix product line, which includes the fully rugged GoBook and the ultra-rugged GoBook MAX. Because of its affordable toughness, the semi-rugged GoBook PRO will be deployed to organizations frustrated with the high annual failure of commodity notebooks, and that need a more reliable solution.

JLT Mobile Computers, Inc.
A leading provider of flat-panel touch screen computers, is meeting the challenge with a full line of ultra-tough PCs designed for dashboards, bulkheads, and other fixed uses. Temperature tested from –20°C to –60°C (operating) and –30°C to –75°C (non-operating), and with certain models able to withstand full immersion in fresh or salt water, JLT computers are ideal choices for mining equipment, indoor/outdoor forklifts, earth movers, military tanks, forestry vehicles, marine vessels, and other harsh environments.

The LINX VII and VIII are the latest, most powerful and flexible members of the field-proven LINX family of data capture and control computers. Enterprise ready, the LINX terminals offer superior flexibility, reliability, and ease of programming and integration to solve your most demanding data capture and control requirements — immediately. With an array of standard external connectors and interfaces, both units have been extensively engineered with expansion in mind.

LXE, Inc.
A leading manufacturer of rugged wireless products and solutions that improve the performance of supply chain execution applications, announced the introduction of the ultra-rugged MX4 wireless handheld computer. The MX4 is much more than a PDA. It is a true industrial mobile computer that is designed for harsh environments — including water submersion of up to one meter. "We developed the MX4, because we saw that many companies were trying consumer PDA products, but were dissatisfied with their high rate of repairs and replacements and the resulting poor return on investment," explains Dick Sorenson, LXE's Director of Product Management.

MARC Global
A leading supply chain execution software and services provider that has earned a reputation for excellence within the high-integrity, highly regulated industries from pharmaceuticals to food, and improved efficiency and customer response-ability for clients in the automotive, high-tech/electronics, retail, third-party logistics, apparel, and footwear industries. The MARC SCE suite offers a solution so powerful that it can easily handle incredibly complex operations in multiple locations around the globe.

NiceWare International, LLC
NiceLabel™ enables label design, printing and integration into desktop, enterprise and mobile environments. Features include: Pocket NiceLabel for label printing on from Windows CE devices; NiceWatch for monitoring data to trigger a print job from any platform that can communicate through a TCP/IP socket or a file drop; and NiceForm which enables the designer to create user-friendly data entry screens to facilitate label printing without previous programming experience.

Printronix Inc.
Printronix Inc., the leading manufacturer of integrated enterprise printing solutions for the supply chain, unveiled an expanded product line and range of on-demand printing solutions to help businesses reduce costs, streamline operations and improve information flow. These breakthrough products and solutions represent a first-to-market, cost-efficient way to manage enterprise print applications. The product line included: PrintNet® Enterprise, Online Data Validation/ODV™ Data Manager, Mobile Print System, T5000e, and TN5250/3270 Emulation.

Savi Technology
A leading provider of real-time solutions for global supply chain security and asset management, and Alien Technology, the provider of ultra-low cost RFID tags and hardware, announce that Alien agrees to support Savi's Universal Data Appliance Protocol (UDAP). This provides customers seeking cost-effective RFID solutions in supply chain and logistics applications the opportunity to easily integrate Alien RFID hardware using the industry's only openly licensed protocol (UDAP).

Sony Chemicals Corporation of America
The world leader in thermal transfer ribbon technology introduced a specialty resin ribbon which uses UV-light curable technology to allow thermal transfer printing and thermal-printed images in demanding environments. TRX-1 resin ribbon creates the most durable thermal transfer images available that are specially designed to perform within a variety of demanding environments, and offers extreme chemical, abrasion, and high temperature resistance. The TRX-1 series of ribbons feature Sony's SmoothCoat™ backcoat, which provides unparelled printhead protection, therefore extending printhead life.

Texas Instruments, Inc.
TI-Rfid Systems is a leading supplier of RFID technology used in thousands of applications worldwide. TI technology is being utilized for saving lives in mine shafts, protecting property and inventory, tracking assets from manufacturer to the store shelf, speeding transportation, and making life easier and safer for millions of people and businesses.

Tolt Technologies, Inc.
The Mobile Productivity Suite is a collection of software development tools and applications designed to extend the enterprise to all mobile workers whether on-premise, in-vehicle or in-the-field. The suite includes Tolt's Mobile Enterprise Enabler, a powerful application framework that enables rapid and affordable deployment of fully customized mobile/wireless solutions on Microsoft Windows CE & Pocket PC devices. Tolt also showcased the T4 Mobile Computer. The T4 is a series of highly-reliable, full-screen terminals available in a wide range of configurations with screen size ranging from 6.4" to 15.1".

TVL, Inc.
WiseTrack® has an integrated yet modular approach to the asset management solution, supported by a central and comprehensive SQL database. WiseTrack® Process and Design is comprised of four phases: 1) Capture and Enrolling Assets, Users, Locations, using bar code, RFID or other Auto-Discovery 2) Deploy Assets and Assign Details 3) Moves, Adds, Changes, Inventory Audits 4) Disposal, Expiry or Reassignment.

X-ident USA LLC
IQ-Paper® labels can be used in a wide range of logistics and warehousing applications. This new technology enables a high degree in process automation increasing labor efficiency, productivity, and accuracy since data is automatically captured. The labels are delivered on a roll, with the size of the inlay and the number of inlays on a roll determined by application needs. Available in white or pre-printed, the IQ-Paper® labels can be individually printed and programmed using a standard thermal direct or thermal transfer printer that has been equipped with RFID capabilities.

Zebra Technologies, Inc.
A worldwide leader in on-demand bar code printing solutions, launches the industry's first high resolution, OEM print engine designed to perform flawlessly in mission critical, print-and-apply applications. The new 3.2 inch (81.28 mm) 110PAX3 with 600 dots per inch (dpi) resolution is a breakthrough for companies needing to print fine text, detailed graphics, or condensed, two-dimensional bar codes onto small labels and have them applied automatically to products such as cellular phones, pharmaceutical vials, and computers.

I, along with my editorial colleagues, enjoyed the chance to meet with the vendors at Frontline Solutions Supply Chain Week, as well as talk with other publications in the industry. With the 2002 event now over, it is safe to say it was a success! With the new technology and innovations in the marketplace, I can hardly wait for the 2003 event. See you in Chicago!