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Printronix Utilizes Microsoft BizTalk RFID Technology

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Microsoft embraces Printronix’s patented MP2 Smart encoding technology and new economical SmartLine SL4M UHF RFID printer encoder as part of its strategic global initiative to facilitate effortless RFID encoding and printing through its BizTalk RFID Infrastructure

Printronix Inc. a global leader of integrated supply-chain printing solutions, is collaborating with Microsoft Corp. to deliver a turnkey radio frequency identification (RFID) printing solution compatible with Microsoft’s forthcoming BizTalk RFID infrastructure. Ready to meet global supply chain operators’ RFID compliance needs, Printronix’s SL4M is the industry’s most economical, industrial-grade metal printer/encoder designed for global Class 1 Gen 2 as well as ISO compliant ultra-high frequency (UHF) RFID applications. Synchronized with Microsoft’s BizTalk RFID technology, it encodes and prints RFID chips and labels to meet retail, government and other supply-chain compliance mandates. It also is ideal for closed-loop UHF applications.

Announced in June 2006, BizTalk RFID will incorporate Microsoft’s vast technology expertise and developer network to provide an innovative platform solution that is enabling businesses to optimize RFID technology and create greater supply-chain efficiencies. Printronix worked with Microsoft as the company first announced its BizTalk RFID solution to improve greatly the customer’s ability to experience all of the benefits of RFID.

First to market with a UHF EPC printer, Printronix leveraged its RFID installation experiences with top suppliers to Wal-Mart, the U.S. Department of Defense, Target, Albertsons and Best Buy to create its RFID product and solutions portfolio. Printronix then shared its patented MP2 RFID Smart printing knowledge with the Microsoft development team and contributed SmartLine RFID printers to Microsoft’s technology centers in Redmond, Wash.; Paris; Beijing; and Bangalore, India, among other locations.

“Printronix’s contributions helped Microsoft replicate real-world RFID applications in a lab environment and develop an infrastructure that enables companies worldwide to track and ship merchandise more effectively by using RFID,” said Andy Chapman, chief technology officer and senior vice president, engineering and product marketing, Printronix. “What began last year as part of a testing ground for early-adopter validation of Microsoft’s BizTalk RFID technology grew this year into the development of the SL4M RFID printer/encoder. The SL4M utilizes a Printronix-developed device provider, an implementation of the Device Service Provider Interface within Microsoft’s BizTalk RFID, to allow seamless integration for all Printronix RFID devices.”

“Microsoft’s approach to RFID eliminates many existing barriers by providing a uniform way to discover, communicate and manage RFID devices on the Microsoft Windows platform,” said Anush Kumar, program manager for BizTalk RFID at Microsoft. “BizTalk RFID includes the building blocks developers need to build successful plug-and-play vertical applications — everything from track-and-trace to asset tracking and inventory control. With BizTalk RFID, users just connect Printronix’s SL4M or SL5000 MP2 printer, and it works seamlessly.”

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