Milwaukee-based Rockwell Automation has opened a radio frequency identification (RFID) lab at its headquarters to aid manufacturers' understanding of how RFID technology can impact their distribution operations. The lab combines existing Rockwell Automation knowledge with a simulated factory environment to allow testing and evaluation of a wide variety of RFID products. "RFID will fundamentally change supply-chain management and the way industry tracks, traces and manages the products that are delivered to retailers and consumers," says Sujeet Chand, Rockwell Automation chief technology officer. "With this lab, we're helping manufacturers look beyond the current, short-term mandates and understand how they can integrate RFID as a tool for improving future manufacturing efficiencies and distribution." The lab simulates a factory conveyer, packaging station and a dock door. It incorporates Rockwell Automation's own products and elements from Alien Technology Corp., FKI Logistex, SAMSys Technologies Inc., ConnecTerra Inc. and Zebra Technologies Corp.