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Innolux is using passive UHF RFID tags embedded in the ground, as well as attached to containers, pallets and forklifts, to make sure that the correct goods and materials are being received and shipped out.
By Claire Swedberg

Innolux uses two types of pallets to move materials and products. Metal pallets remain within the company's network, while plastic pallets come and go from suppliers. An RFID tag was permanently applied to each of approximately 1,000 of the metal pallets. Those that come from suppliers can be tagged temporarily as the goods are moved into the warehouse, and each tag ID is then associated with input order data. Forklifts are also tagged, so the RFID readers installed at the dock doors can identify which forklift loaded which pallet into each truck, for the purpose of maintaining historical data.

When trucks leave the facility, the magnetic tags are removed from their shipping containers. They can then be used on containers being brought in by other vehicles.

A UHF tag is applied to the right bottom of each arriving shipping container by means of a magnet.
Innolux's software stores data related to each container and the pallets loaded onto it, in addition to which forklift loaded or unloaded that container and at which dock door. In that way, the company can not only capture an alert when a mistake is being made—enabling it to ensure that the wrong goods are never loaded onto the truck—but also retain a history of what occurred in case a question arises. For instance, if a supplier or a customer questions whether something was received or delivered, the EPC Solutions software has stored that information.

"With this RFID auto-scan system," Chung says, "we do not need to touch any button. The data is there." This has increased the firm's efficiency, he explains, since workers now spend less time filling out paperwork or double-checking the goods being loaded into a specific vehicle.

The next step, Innolux reports, will be to equip the company's other facilities with the technology. The system will first be installed at its Chinese facilities, and is scheduled to then be taken live at the firm's other Taiwan facilities after that.

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