Zebra Technologies Printer Offers RFID Encoding

The Zebra R110Xi4 printer offers features designed to reduce the cost of radio-frequency identification (RFID) such as on-pitch encoding and variable inlay placements.

Specialty printing and automatic identification solutions specialist Zebra Technologies announced its first high performance RFID printer/encoder designed to address the RFID market for high-volume item-level tagging. The R110Xi4 offers features such as item-level tracking, asset tracking, inventory management and more across retail, manufacturing, health care and distribution channels.

The company said the RXi4 benefits organizations by reducing RFID media costs by up to 10 percent. By providing a printer/encoder with Zebra's exclusive patent-pending Adaptive Encoding technology, the RXi4 can detect the RFID inlay position within the label and automatically configure the printer/encoder without having to manually calibrate for the inlay, which Zebra said helps ensure tag accuracy.

According to a recent survey from VDC, average corporate investment in RFID solutions is expected to grow by more than 200 percent over the next year to nearly $7 million in 2011. This increase can be attributed to spillover demand from retail to manufacturing, health care and other industries for item-level tracking to better monitor inventory levels and track assets, noted Zebra product manager Carolyn Ricci.

"Zebra is responding to an overall RFID market shift from compliance-based tracking to more item-level tracking with the high performance RXi4," said Ricci. "The RXi4's new RFID printer/encoder brings innovation, functionality, and cost benefits to an industry that hasn't seen technology like this rise up to meet the demand head on -- making it a smart investment for organizations with high-volume, mission critical or specialty labeling applications."

Other features of the RXi4 include on-pitch encoding, the ability to print/encode small tags very close together with a distance as narrow as .6-inch/16 mm, variable inlay placement, allowing the printer to automatically sense the RFID inlay position and global certifications, which allows organizations with multinational supply chains to deploy the same R110Xi4 printer/encoder in multiple countries through Zebra's global certification process.

The company also noted by spacing inlays closer together through the on-pitch encoding capability, label converters use less material which converts to lower cost per label, fewer media roll changes and faster printer/encoder throughput. The RXi4 also complements Zebra's existing line of products for item-level tagging such as the RZ400 printer/encoder and P4T mobile thermal transfer printer with optional RFID upgrades for inventory management from the store floor.