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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.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 29, 2013Trivilita, a 10-year-old bedroom furniture manufacturer based in Šiauliai, Lithuania, reports that it has increased the accuracy of its orders to nearly 100 percent, by deploying a radio frequency identification solution at its facility that tracks which goods are being loaded, as well as for which customer, and also alerts a vehicle's driver before a mistake can be made, via RFID pallet tags and reader portals at its dock doors. UAB Autepra provided RFID hardware and consulting services for the deployment, while Trivilita itself installed the technology and created its own software to integrate with the firm's existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

The company produces beds, mattresses, quilts and pillows for retailers that sell the products throughout the world, and IKEA is one of its largest customers. Quick response to high-volume orders is essential to the company's clientele, but the movement of a high volume of goods can quickly lead to errors. Therefore, Trivilita installed the RFID solution in September 2012, with the goal of improving efficiency by reducing the amount of time employees spend scanning bar-coded labels at the loading dock, as well as preventing mistakes as trucks are loaded with orders. The company is now utilizing the solution to track 5,000 to 6,000 pallets loaded with merchandise as they leave the warehouse each day for delivery to customers' stores.

To conduct inventories or search for a specific pallet within the warehouse, a worker can use the Nordic ID handheld to read each pallet's Smartrac ShortDipole RFID tag.

Prior to Trivilita's adoption of RFID several months ago, the company's warehouse-management system depended on bar codes to track goods as they were manufactured, stored and shipped to customers. Its customers demanded that a bar-coded label be attached to every pallet loaded with goods, Trivilita reports, and it had been able to use those labels to its own advantage, by scanning each one's bar-coded serial ID number as the pallets were loaded with goods at the end of assembly lines, again as they were moved into storage and then once they were shipped. Scanning each bar-coded label, however, was a time-consuming task. In addition, the company sought a way to provide order and product location data to forklift drivers, in order to make the delivery of goods to the dock doors more efficient. Thus, the firm chose to install an RFID system, and to mount mobile computers on forklifts so that the vehicles' drivers could view data related to orders and RFID reads at the dock doors.

The Lithuanian company was not ready to discard the bar-code tracking solution, however, so it installed a system using its own software that enabled the use of both bar-code and RFID labels attached to every pallet, each with an identical number. The company not only began applying RFID tags to every item, but also installed a CAEN RFID R4300P-ION fixed RFID interrogator at each of its two dock doors. In addition, it mounted computers onto forklifts, with a Wi-Fi connection to the warehouse-management software, to display order and location data.

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