This excerpt taken from the IN 10-K filed Mar 16, 2006.
Bar Code Scanners and Systems
Intermecs bar code scanning products include wireless handheld computers and terminals, linear and area imagers incorporating active pixel technology, and badge and laser scanners and related systems. These products are able to read or collect data and move that data directly into standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, warehouse management system (WMS), order fulfillment, transportation, logistics and other business applications. Intermec also manufactures industrial handheld computers for use in warehouses and industrial environments. These products are used primarily by non-office workers such as warehouse, delivery, manufacturing and field service workers, and other employees who operate outside the typical office environment. Intermecs bar code scanning products and systems are typically
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used for workforce automation: tracking of work-in-process and finished-goods inventory through manufacturing, distribution and other commercial operations, total asset visibility, and real-time monitoring of inventory levels and order status. AIDC products of the type sold by Intermec replace manual data collection systems that are more susceptible to errors or omissions due to inaccurate keystrokes, illegible handwriting or overlooked transactions.
Enterprise Wireless Networks Products and Services
Intermec was one of the first companies to provide a network architecture that allows customers to use multiple radio technologies within one Local Area Network (LAN) system. Starting in the early 1980s, Intermec installed digital communication systems that linked mobile computers and host servers within industrial workspaces such as warehouses, distribution centers, factories and large outdoor facilities. In 1998, the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineering (IEEE) promulgated a new standard for high-speed network communication via wireless radio signal. The 802.11b standard allows customers to purchase interoperable digital radios for client computing devices.
In the years since the 802.11b standard was established, several large network equipment vendors have begun selling 802.11b and 802.11a/b and 802.11g wireless LAN systems, increasing penetration for this technology among office workers and in public spaces such as hotels, restaurants and airports. Intermec is a Solutions Technology Integrator partner with Cisco Systems Inc. and has extended its systems and devices to include Cisco technology and products. Intermec develops wireless LAN software and services that enable its AIDC products to work seamlessly across a Cisco network. Intermecs device management software allows centralized management of wireless Intermec products on the network.
Intermecs wireless AIDC products include all major radio technologies, including synthesized UHF, 900 MHz, 802.11b/g, 802.11a and Bluetooth. This radio independence allows Intermec customers to choose the most efficient radio technology for their facilities.
Mobile Computing Products and Services
Intermecs mobile computing products include handheld and vehicle-mounted mobile computers and systems and related services that facilitate local-area and wide-area wireless and wired data communications. These products typically contain multiple wireless technologies (wide-area GPRS and CDMA, with 802.11 and Bluetooth) that can operate simultaneously in a mobile computer. This allows customers to communicate remotely with their field employees. Intermec also develops and sells handheld computer application software for designated markets and applications, as well as communication and server systems that can integrate the information into customers enterprise management systems.
Intermec has developed device management software that can interoperate with a customers existing system management software to allow centralized management and control of remote devices such as mobile computers. Intermecs mobile computing systems may also include AIDC devices, specialized peripherals and printer solutions.
To assist its customers with the automation of business processes, Intermec provides professional services such as installation, maintenance, site security and systems integration. Intermecs line of handheld and vehicle-mounted computers have Microsoft Windows®, Windows® CE and Windows Mobile for Pocket PC®, and embedded Windows XP, as well as scanning and Internet Protocol-based data communication capabilities. Intermecs mobile computing product families range from relatively low-cost, handheld batch and wireless data collection devices to higher-cost pen-based computers with wired and wireless network capabilities and flexible vehicle-mount communication systems.
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Intermecs mobile computing products and systems allow a customers remote workers to access centralized computer applications and databases, automatically collect data and send and receive data on a real-time basis. Intermec and its partners offer mobile computing application software for workforce automation, customer-level sales ordering, pricing and forecasting, account settlement and other software products that manage workforce automation and order dispatching, total field asset visibility, real-time proof of delivery, and other customer information.
Printer and Label Media Products and Services
Intermecs line of bar code printers range from relatively low-cost, light-duty models to higher-cost, heavy-duty, industrial models that accommodate a wide array of printing widths, materials and label configurations. Intermec printers can be wired or can be wirelessly attached to enterprise networks. Intermecs specialty printers provide custom capabilities, including color printing, a global language enabler and high resolution (400 DPI) printing that ensures sharp fonts and precise graphics even on extremely small labels such as those used by the electronics industry. Intermecs printer product line includes printers that can read and write to RFID tags.
Intermecs media products include pressure-sensitive bar code labels and thermal transfer ribbons, which are sold to customers worldwide. In Intermec media products, Intermec emphasizes service and value-added technologies, such as the design and manufacture of specialized labels to meet customer requirements for extreme environments such as clean rooms, chemical baths and high humidity.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Products and Services
RFID technology is relatively new to the marketplace. RFID wirelessly communicates important product information that exceeds the information available from barcode between a tracking device, or reader, and tags comprising a computer chip and its antenna, encased in a protective covering. RFID tags are programmed to contain identification, serial numbers, history and other attributes. Certain RFID tags contain read/write memory to allow updates and tag reuse. Unlike laser-scanned bar codes, Intermecs RFID tags do not require line of sight to be read. Customers have expressed interest in using RFID technology as a tool to track pallets, cartons, containers and individual items through their supply chains or as an access security application.
Intermec is focusing on passive UHF RFID technology and is developing, manufacturing, selling and reselling RFID tags, readers, software and related equipment, systems and services under the Intermec trade name. Intermecs RFID products support International Standards Organization (ISO) standards and the new EPCglobal Generation 2 UHF standard (the Gen 2 standard), which are being adopted by customers worldwide. Intermec is working through alliances and directly with other companies to broaden customer access, support global standards and integrate data from RFID collection systems into broader information systems from Intermec.
Intermec has more than 150 RFID patents. In 2005, Intermec offered a Rapid Start RFID licensing program that provided licensees access to certain portions of Intermecs RFID patents. Intermec selected 19 companies to participate, including industry leaders such as Texas Instruments, Avery Dennison, Zebra Technologies, Inc. and Symbol Technologies, Inc. Rapid Start licensees include multiple companies in each RFID product category. Cisco also took a license under Intermec patents relating to the use of RFID technology with wireless equipment.