From a press release just received: Siemens Energy & Automation, Inc., in collaboration with URS/EG&G's Systems Development & Engineering Services, has unveiled the next generation of supply chain, RFID technology. The RFID PathMinder combines the RFID integration and domain expertise of URS/EG&G with Siemens advanced automation and RFID product technology to deliver the reliable, real-time, asset tracking required in supply chain logistics, retail distribution centers and manufacturing. "The RFID PathMinder is much more than housing for an RFID reader," said Alex Stuebler, Siemens RFID business manager. "It was designed from the ground up to easily consolidate multiple technologies that have been carefully selected to support application specific needs." The RFID PathMinder offers a wide array of optional, fully integrated functionalities, including RFID reading (UHF), advanced event triggering, pre-processing/filtering RFID readings, wireless networking, PLC control, motion control, optical data matrix reader interfaces, status indicators (light column, audio alarms, HMI) and UPS protected power. The RFID PathMinder can also be configured to include an all-flash memory based industrial PC (Siemens Microbox controller) to support application specific software locally. "Siemens is well known for providing industrial grade automation and control technologies to customers throughout the world," said Stuebler. "URS/EG&G has a long history in developing and deploying industrial grade systems in many global market segments. Together, we provide systems-level solutions that take the business enterprise to the next level." "URS/EG&G considers RFID as one of many enabling technologies that can be strategically applied to realize the next generation business enterprise," said Reg Hunter, director URS/EG&G Systems Development & Integration Services. "The next generation business enterprise is much more competitive. It dramatically increases situational awareness, which enables proactive decision-making, reduction in work-in-process and increased asset utilization along with streamlining process and information flows. The reconfigurability of RFID PathMinder provides a system building block that can be configured to meet current application specific needs and also, easily be evolved to support process needs in the future."