Intermec Uses MEMS Technology in Supply Chain Lasers

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:23 pm    Post subject: Intermec Uses MEMS Technology in Supply Chain Lasers Reply with quote

The same precise, mission-critical technology you count on to deploy your anti-lock brakes and airbags now is available to help companies better capture critical supply chain information. Intermec Technologies Corp. today introduced the use of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), a type of nanotechnology, to supply chain data collection equipment. The use of MEMS-based technology offers the first major revolution in laser-based data collection in 20 years, making it possible to produce laser data collection scanners that are significantly faster, smaller, lighter and more efficient than today's legacy scanners.

Millions of MEMS-based devices are already at work around the world, making life safer and more convenient. In fact, in June CNN named MEMS one of its Top 25 Innovations of the last quarter century. A CNN-commissioned panel of technology leaders placed MEMS at no. 11, ahead of ATMs, display panels, HDTV, the Space Shuttle and flash memory in terms of relevance, impact, or future potential to impact everyday Americans during the course of daily life.

The use of MEMS in supply chain applications promises similar behind-the-scenes improvement to a company's supply chain operations. Because MEMS-based laser scanners are able to read bar codes up to 40 times as fast as today's legacy equipment, workers are able to capture information more rapidly and efficiently, speeding the flow of information through a supply chain and improving supply chain visibility.

"Advances in MEMS already enable us to sense and measure acceleration, acidity, temperature, pressure, stress and many other factors," indicates Gartner .

New Intermec EL10 scan engine debuts MEMS-based laser scanning technology
Intermec worked with the internationally renowned Fraunhaufer Institute to develop the use of MEMS technology in data collection applications. The first MEMS-based laser scan engine to be released, the Intermec EL10, features extremely fast scan rates and separate laser emission and collection optics for increased sensitivity, supporting increased scan range and angle, as well as easier scanning of low contrast bar codes. The miniaturization and solid state properties of the EL10's MEMS technology leads to greater durability and lower equipment failure rates, as well.

The EL10 can operate at 500 scans per second, with the potential to go to 4,000 scans per second, compared to standard laser scan rates of less than 50 scans per second. Its micro-mirror and associated drive motor are 1/66th the size of the mirrors used in traditional laser scanner designs, adding to its durability and compact size. In addition to increased speed and smaller size, the new MEMS-based scanning technology from Intermec allows laser scanners to read more sophisticated types of bar codes, such as stacked bar codes and linear codes.

Bar codes have been used by companies for almost 50 years to identify, track and manage supply chain assets. Intermec has been developing bar code scanners, readers and printers since 1971.

Source: Intermec.
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