Feig Electronics Buys Panmobil to Provide Handheld, Wearable Technology

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Electronics and passive RFID technology company Feig Electronics has acquired mobile scanner producer Panmobil Systems in an effort to provide a wider spectrum of RFID technology and bar-code options to its customers. With the acquisition, Feig is now poised to sell not only its existing fixed reader technology, but also handheld or wearable RFID readers with built-in bar-code scanners, thereby enabling a greater variety of solutions to more companies. The acquisition is expected to widen Feig’s audience of prospective RFID solutions users.

Feig is now selling Panmobil’s handheld products along with its own, the companies report, while the Panmobil brand name will remain for now. The electronics company, headquartered near Frankfurt, manufactures its own RFID hardware onsite. In the meantime, Panmobil’s products will continue to be developed and manufactured, by Feig, at Panmobil’s Cologne site, located approximately 70 miles away. Feig will be able to provide solutions to each of Panmobil’s and Feig’s customer bases—which, until now, have been largely unrelated, says Markus Desch, the technical director of Feig’s Identification and Payment Divisions.

Panmobil has been in operation for about 30 years. The company offers bar-code scanning equipment, says Andreas Binder, the manager of the company’s system and project department, that was also RFID-enabled. Feig, on the other hand, makes a variety of electronic products, including identification systems employing RFID. Its UHF and HF RFID hardware consists of a variety of fixed reader systems, including portal and desktop readers.

As RFID use becomes more commonplace, however, end users have been trying to broaden how they leverage RFID tags on their premises. Over the years, Desch seuas, “We learned from our customers that they were interested in both stationary and mobile products.” He says his firm recently began seeking a company to acquire that already offers such handheld or other mobile devices. Such an acquisition, Desch explains, would enable Feig to offer handheld-based solutions, along with the other RFID reading devices, much sooner than if the company simply began developing new technology of its own.

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