IDC has launched its ZB111 wireless –based, bar code scanner, to provide low cost inventory management systems (IMS) in healthcare facilities – hospitals, clinics and surgeries. Designed to avoid the expense of full- blown Windows CE™ handheld terminals, the ZB111 takes the complexity – and the cost - out of the handheld unit and transfers it to a central server, making the system simple to support and upgrade.
The ZB111 delivers the ideal solution to healthcare facilities that need to track the booking in and issuing of stock across many stores locations. The simple wireless mesh networking of the ZB111 enables separate stores locations to be linked via IDC’s ZB104 Ethernet gateway to existing estate PCs, that can provides wireless management, web-based access, and management of communications from the scanners to a hosted server - a system configuration that keeps system costs to a minimum.
Designed for wireless mesh operation with licence-free IEEE 802.15.4/ZigBee wireless sensor networks, the ZB111 reads all commonly used barcodes and can be used for a variety of logistics applications. The unit offers the operational benefit of being highly ruggedised, and the cost saving advantages of not requiring cabling, power supplies, or installation. It has low power requirements and is rechargeable from a standard 5vDC/ mains charger.
Easy to use, the ZB111 is provided with a keypad featuring ten keys – which can be individually customised if required – and a graphical display, enabling barcode and interactive messages, commands and prompts to be sent to central server- based systems.
The flexibility of IEEE 802.15.4 wireless networking enables the ZB111 to provide secure and robust two- way communications over distances of up to 100m between nodes, with routing over multiple nodes for larger networks and longer distances.
Security and redundancy is provided with encryption and alternative routing of messages in the event of a single node failure. In addition, the ZigBee network is easy to install and extend using routers, and it can be used for other applications for tracking, monitoring and control.
The ZB 111 is the latest addition to IDC’s ZigbeeTM range of wireless mesh products for healthcare applications. The products are designed to bring greater efficiency, accountability and monitoring to any healthcare environment, providing end-to-end visibility of operations at relatively low cost. They cater for applications across a broad range from single sites to multi-site locations employing enterprise- wide client/ server architectures. The technology offers bi-directional message routing between remote access points and centralised IT facilities; and it is designed to operate in electrically noisy industrial environments using low cost, low power, robust networks.
IDC supports its ZigBee medical range with complementary software applications, including “over- the- air” programming, data logging and remote control, in addition to positional tracking. IDC also offers the ability to design bespoke hardware and software solutions based on existing site architectures. Importantly for users of the ZigBee range, IDC is not reliant on third- party software providers; hardware, application firmware, PC- based software and server applications are all designed in-house by IDC software engineers at the company’s headquarters in Derby.
ZigBee is a low-cost, low-power, wireless mesh networking standard, based upon the IEEE 802.15.4 -2006 standard for personal area networks (WPAN). The technology is intended to be simpler and cheaper than other WPANs such as Bluetooth. This cost advantage allows ZigBee to be widely deployed in wireless control, monitoring and tracking applications, where its low power-usage allows longer life with smaller batteries, and mesh networking provides higher reliability and longer range.