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RFID Stacks Up for Paper Roll Management

Arab Paper Manufacturing is employing a UHF-based solution from Saudi RFID integrator Tanweer United Co. to identify rolls of paper products stacked four rolls high in warehouses and then loaded onto trucks.
By Claire Swedberg

When a forklift driver picks up a roll, the reader antenna mounted on the front of the vehicle captures the roll's tag ID number and forwards that data to the software via a Wi-Fi connection, while the tablet on the forklift displays information about that roll. Throughout the facility, Tanweer United applied locator tags in the floor. Each of these UHF RFID tags is encoded with an ID number linked to a specific location. The second reader antenna on the forklift, which faces the floor, reads the RFID tags as the vehicle passes over them. As the driver deposits the paper roll at the proper warehouse location, as instructed by the software (viewable on his or her tablet), the software links the locator tag at which the roll is unloaded with the paper roll's RFID tag, thereby creating a storage location in the software.

When a customer places an order for a specific roll of paper, the forklift driver will see the picking order on the tablet display, along with that specific roll's location within the warehouse. He or she then proceeds to that location and picks up the roll, and the reader interrogates the roll's tag ID and confirms that action in the software. The roll can then be staged at the loading dock.

When a customer places an order for a specific roll of paper, a forklift driver views a picking order on a tablet display, along with that roll's location within the warehouse.
When rolls are placed onto trucks, the software provides a further step for personnel to ensure products are being loaded accurately. Workers at the loading area, equipped with Alien Technology handheld readers, can read each roll's tag ID after it is loaded, and can also view whether an error is being made before the vehicles leaves with the wrong product aboard. In addition, Perumal says, "Managers can walk around the truck with a handheld reader" and view all loaded products (10 to 15 rolls are typically loaded onto each truck).

The RFID system not only provides automated data collection, Perumal explains, but also spares workers from the safety hazards of having to climb around the rolls to confirm their identity during or after the loading process.

Suneer indicates that the solution, installed a month ago, has reduced labor hours and the costs related to that labor. "Forklift users need to easily scan the RFID tag on the rolls without much strain," he states.

The company plans to test the technology for approximately six months, Suneer says, adding that during that time, "We expect the production capacity and dispatch will increase in [the next] few months." Once the six-month pilot concludes, the company intends to review the results and determine where to permanently deploy the technology.

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