First to offer integrated RFID tag reading capability as standard option on stretch wrapper, Lantech will demonstrate Symbol's RD5000 portable reader


Lantech is introducing RFID tag-reading capability as a standard option on all its semiautomatic pallet stretch wrappers, and will demonstrate it at Pack Expo on a Q 300 machine equipped with Symbol Technologies' new RD5000 portable reader. Capable of reading Gen 1 and 2 tags, the battery-powered system will be reading to the case and pallet level during the demonstration, with data transferred over wireless LAN to a laptop computer in the booth.

"We are now offering this system as a standard option on all our turntable stretch wrapping systems, and will migrate quickly to our overhead straddle stretch wrappers as well," said William Caudill, Lantech's marketing manager for automatic stretch wrapping products. "The portable and wireless RD5000 is the most elegant, hands-off RFID solution currently available for this application. We have already quoted systems to the largest consumer goods maker in the U.S., and we expect interest to build in 2007. As a simple drop-in option, it eliminates all brackets, cables, external antenna and any interface to the machine or control system, working independently of the machine with its own motion-sensing." The compact reader measures just 7" x 9" x 2" (LWH) and weighs less than four pounds. Although it is battery operated, Caudill says the system can be wired to the machine's power supply as a customer option.

The RD5000's integrated wireless LAN is compliant with 802.11a/b/g standards, allowing it to communicate with any standard WiFi network. The unit is sealed to an IP66 rating against water jets and dust, and runs under the Windows® CE operating system for robust application support.

"Our development machines with the reader mounted on the film delivery system have proven that stretch wrappers have a natural advantage in tag reading by repeatedly exposing five sides of a pallet load to the reader's antenna," added Caudill. "The wireless, portable design of this unit makes it a great retrofit solution, too, because there is no interface or power connection of any kind between the stretch wrapper and the RFID reader."

Lantech currently has development systems at Exel, Kimberly-Clark, Alien and Wal-Mart-related facilities. "In collaboration with our industry partners, we’re evaluating the most appropriate methods for an industry-standard RFID implementation so that our customers will benefit from products that have been tested and proven successful in real-world applications," Caudill stated.

Lantech’s economical Q-300 semi-automatic stretch wrapping system is an ideal RFID-development machine, with capability for processing 25-35 loads per hour up to 2 m (80") tall and weighing up to 1814 kg (4000 lb). The machine's electronically controlled, variable wrap force and 200% pre-stretch on the film ensure consistent, tight loads with economical use of film, reduced labor and improved ergonomics. Pre-stretch up to 300% is available as an option.

The Q-300 features Lantech’s patented Power Roller-Stretch® system and E-Z Thread™ roll carriage to make film-threading safe, easy and consistent, reducing the chance of mis-threading and ensuring the highest film yield.

The Q-Series of turntable stretch wrapping systems also includes low-cost automatic models for affordable automation, and high-speed automatic models designed for high throughput or fully automatic operations.

Lantech's packaging and productivity solutions include semiautomatic and automatic stretch wrapping; automatic case handling; automatic palletizing; shrink packaging and pallet-load conveying systems. Lantech is the originator of stretch wrapping technology and world's largest manufacturer, with 55,000 systems placed around the world. Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, with manufacturing operations in the U.S. and the Netherlands, Lantech products are sold and serviced by a network of 175 distributor locations.
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