Trivilita Installs RFID to Better Manage Bedroom Furnishings
The Lithuanian company, an IKEA supplier, has improved efficiency and reduced shipping errors by using passive EPC tags to track goods.
After newly assembled goods reach the end of the assembly line and are packed onto a pallet, the loaded pallet is then stretch-wrapped and a bar-coded label, encoded with a unique ID number, is applied to the wrap. The bar-coded ID is scanned via a handheld reader, thereby indicating that the item has been produced and palletized. (Some mattresses and beds do not fit on pallets, and those bulkier items are not tagged.) The order is then transported via forklift or hand truck to the warehouse area, located in the same building. There, staff members use a Nordic ID Merlin ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) RFID reader to first scan the bar-coded number on the pallet's label, and encode that same ID onto a Smartrac ShortDipole EPC Gen 2 passive UHF RFID tag that is then applied to the pallet.
At this point, the warehouse-management software is updated to indicate that the item has arrived at the warehouse. Once the goods are placed in storage, a worker reads the tag once more and scans the ID number of a bar-coded label attached to the shelf, in order to link that product with a specific shelf location. When conducting any additional inventories, or to search for specific pallets, workers utilize the Nordic ID handheld.
Trivilita built the software using Grails 2.0 open-source Web application framework. It not only links the RFID label each pallet's bar-code ID, but also stores data related to what is packed onto the pallet, as well as that pallet's movements, including to the warehouse and dock doors, when it was shipped and to whom. The software integrates with Trivilita's existing MS Dynamics 5.0 ERP system.
Shipping accuracy, Vilciauskas says, improved from an initial 98 percent to 99.94 percent during the three months following the deployment. "This is a significant improvement for us," he states. "Our warehouse manager thinks that such a system is a must for any production company."
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