Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) has announced a partnership with Intermec, Inc. (NYSE: IN) to deliver new wireless distribution systems that bring together best-in-class wireless scanning and Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technologies to improve performance and streamline workflow within distribution center (DC) and manufacturing operations.
Linking Intermec solutions to backend warehouse management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems requires consistent, reliable wireless connectivity. Because warehouses, DCs and terminals are challenging radio frequency (RF) environments, with floor to ceiling steel racks and changing inventory levels, they often suffer from RF dead spots or poor signal coverage, leading to lost information, which in turn can create lower workforce morale and performance issues when additional inventory work is required on top of already stressful workloads. Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology provides a solution to these challenges.
Ruckus ZoneFlex access points (APs) leverage the company’s patented BeamFlex technology to deliver reliable Wi-Fi performance, extended reach and automatic adaption to changes in the physical environment—items crucial for warehouses using Intermec technology for managing their supply chains. Warehouses, distribution centers, loading docks, marine terminals and other sites around the world with mission-critical mobility requirements and limited IT resources already use Ruckus products and technology to build more robust, adaptive and affordable wireless LAN (WLAN) environments.
Modern supply chains have increasingly higher customer service level requirements while reducing costs. Intermec delivers a complete lineup of rugged, reliable and versatile solutions for the distribution center. Its bar code scanners, rugged mobile computers and Vocollect voice solutions are deployed globally by leading warehouses, distribution centers, and other enterprises that rely on accurate and timely data to track, manage and move products.
Insource Technology, the largest privately held IT integration company in Texas specializing in network infrastructure and ERP systems, has installed Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi to work with Intermec products in a number of leading warehouse and manufacturing companies such as: StarPak, Polytex, Superbag, Exel Logistics, Tifco Industries, Utex Industries and MOGAS Industries.
"The combination of Intermec scanners and Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi has proven to be highly effective in streamlining our customers’ warehouse operations," said David Black, president of Insource Technology Corporation. "Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi technology was a perfect match to help provide us with better, more reliable performance in our customers’ loading dock areas and have made their overall operations definitely much smoother."
As logistics facilities deploy supply chain management technology from Intermec to further streamline and accelerate their operations, there is a growing need for strong wireless connectivity. In addition to traditional AIDC terminals and mobile computers, facilities are also deploying new technologies such as voice-prompted data collection and VoIP that require even better wireless performance.
"Intermec provides a broad range of rugged mobile solutions for warehouses, distribution centers and logistics operations," said Andy Stento, senior director of Channel Sales and Strategic Alliances, Intermec. "Ruckus provides excellent Wi-Fi infrastructure that excels in challenging RF environments like these. Together, Ruckus and Intermec enable high-performance, cost-effective warehouse supply chain management, which means hassle-free operations and low TCO."
Ruckus BeamFlex Technology is Key
Ruckus BeamFlex technology, the industry’s most advanced adaptive Wi-Fi antenna implementation, combines a compact internal antenna array with expert control software to continuously optimize the connection for each connected client, bypassing interference and physical barriers. Highly sensitive antenna elements also deliver the industry’s most powerful Wi-Fi receiving capabilities. This dramatically increases range and performance of the Wi-Fi network while automatically adapting to constantly changing RF environments like warehouses and DCs.
Another key capability is BeamFlex+. BeamFlex+ automatically adapts Wi-Fi signals to the changing orientation of handheld devices through the use of polarization diversity with maximal ratio combining (PD-MRC). This enables Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi access points to provide better reception for hard to hear clients and more consistent performance as clients constantly change orientation. For instance, an Intermec scanner may be held upright for some tasks, and laid flat on a table for others. Because they have an array of internal antennas, Ruckus APs are uniquely able to listen better as these devices change orientation, ensuring the best connection at all times.
Ruckus ZoneFlex access points can be configured and installed in minutes, and automatically perform functions such as creating mesh networks or prioritizing voice and video traffic, making them easier to deploy and maintain, especially since fewer APs are needed. Ruckus also offers unified management and remote monitoring for indoor and outdoor APs, and can support a range of deployment models to ensure the best price/performance.