Checkpoint Systems, Inc., a leading manufacturer and marketer of RF- and RFID-based solutions for identification, tracking, security and merchandising applications, announced its involvement in a series of UHF RFID technology trials supervised by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) task group 34 (TG34). Conducted at one of METRO Group's Distribution Centers near Hamm, Germany, the Varena trials were designed to improve RFID tag read performance in high-density reader environments and to validate the robustness of the RFID portal dock door solution in preparation for Metro's UHF rollout expansion plans scheduled for 2007.

Utilizing equipment from numerous RFID suppliers in Europe and North America, Checkpoint served as a hardware integrator for the trials. In this capacity, Checkpoint helped with the design work for the hardware solution and procurement, configuration and installation of the 36 RFID-enabled dock door portals which were used to validate successful simultaneous operation of multiple dock doors using a 4-channel synchronized approach under the ETSI 302 208 standard.

Pallets containing 62 individually tagged cases, largely containing RFID unfriendly materials (such as cans, liquids and metal lined items), were simultaneously transported at warehouse speeds through 36 adjacent loading dock doors. Some 4.5 million individual reads were recorded over the course of the trials.

Complying with the ETSI listen before talk (LBT) requirements, the tests achieved a 98.5 percent read rate simultaneously from multiple pallets as they were wheeled through the dock doors. As a result of the successful trial, Checkpoint and Metro are now closely collaborating on the next stage, planning for Metro's roll-out in 2007.