'Smart Labels' May Replace Bar Codes, Omron Corp. Says

By John S. McClenahen A radio-frequency identification system it has designed could change the way goods are handled in warehouses and industrial distribution centers around the world, asserts Japan's Omron Corp. Trials of the system, which would replace bar codes now used for shipping and inventory control, are entering their final stages at the Allington, England, regional distribution center of Sainsbury's, a major UK supermarket chain. Several manufacturers that want to track components through assembly processes are among companies talking with Omron about adopting the technology for their industries, the company says. Each "smart label" contains a small silicon chip and an antenna, and can communicate with base stations located at key points along the supply chain.

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