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Firmware upgrade for SATO RFID printers adds self serialisation functionality

SATO, a leading supplier of systems for automatic identification and data capture, has released new firmware for its proven CL4 series of industrial printers for printing smart labels with passive RFID tags. The updated printer feature supports the automatic issuing of serial numbers, which can be written to the chips in addition to Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), enabling businesses to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.

It is becoming increasingly important to be able to identify objects uniquely and unmistakably across many sectors including retail, garment and industrial production environments. Having access to detailed product information allows conclusions to be drawn in the product chain in case of complaints in order to optimise processes and to protect against counterfeits. Until now, issuing and administering serial numbers has confronted users with technical challenges and was costly because it required special software and databases or manual administration using spreadsheets. These expenses are now no longer necessary.

SATO’s advancement is based on a standard recently ratified by the major RFID chip manufacturers, which specifies the unique transponder identification numbers (TIDs) entered in the chips during the fabrication process. This standard, titled "Multi-Vendor Chip-based Serialisation" (MCS), facilitates coding in accordance with the Serialised Global Trade Item Number format SGTIN96. This format appends a 38-bit serial number to the 14-digit GTIN number (previously known as European Article Number, EAN-13) so that every item has a unique number.

With the new CL4 firmware, companies can automatically issue SGTIN numbers, administer them and write them to RFID chips. For this purpose, the software reads the TIDs programmed into the chips by the manufacturer and uses them to generate unique item numbers. This saves users time and money and gives them the benefit of significantly better data transparency. Duplicates are impossible with this method and this is especially advantageous for companies that operate several production facilities worldwide. The CL4 series with the new firmware currently supports the following RFID chip types: Impinj Monza 4 and 5, Alien Higgs 3 and 4, and NXP G2iL.

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