Customers around the world rely on RFID tag technology from Smartrac to enhance supply chain operations and inventory visibility.
Now, Smartrac is putting it own technology to use. The Amsterdam-based provider of RFID transponders and inlays has deployed a turnkey solution to increase the level of automation in the shipping process of RFID reels at its factories around the globe.
After a successful pilot implementation at Smartrac’s U.S.-based manufacturing facility in 2011, the company has rolled out the solution to its facility in Malaysia.
Eventually, Smartrac’s facilities in Thailand and Germany will also adopt the solution, which allows for greater shipping accuracy and a reduction in overall shipping time. RFID dramatically reduced the scanning time for each pallet of RFID tags from 8.4 minutes to just 30 seconds. In addition, Smartrac hopes to make the manufacturing process more efficient while minimizing its ecological impact.
More than 10,000 reel shipments a month pass a Shipment Verification Station (SVS) at each Smartrac facility. Prior to the SVS, barcodes had to be scanned manually to register each shipment in SAP.
In Malaysia, it took just six weeks to implement the solution. All RFID reels arriving from production receive two RFID labels – one placed inside the shell of the roll, and another on the box in which the reel is packed. Both labels are printed directly from Smartrac’s SAP system.
Once a shipment is packed and ready for delivery, it is moved into the Shipment Verification Station, where all data gathered from the labels is sent to SAP to complete the delivery process. Each RFID reel contains more than 10,000 RFID tags.
The SVS detects and triggers the majority of the RFID tags on the pallet inside the read chamber, but it transmits only the tag data (batch number) with a correct prefix to the SVS client. If the batch number/material number combination does not match the stock and delivery data, the Shipment Verification Station will display an error.
Systems integrator Vilant designed the verification process to integrate seamlessly with Smartrac’s existing production systems and software. Rapid verification of customer shipments will raise efficiency and optimize production and delivery processes for Smartrac customers, who use their very product to accomplish the same goal.