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Aruze Gaming America, Genesis Gaming Solutions form RFID distribution agreement ••• SATO provides RFID wine cellar inventory solution to resort hotel ••• Advanced ID Electronics announces NXP RFID-IoT product launch with NedCard ••• STMicroelectronics intros wireless charging kit for wearables, IoT devices ••• Harting releases Industrial IoT starter kits ••• RFID ticket provider FineLine Technologies acquires South Africa-based Traderplus.
By Rich Handley

SATO Provides RFID Wine Cellar Inventory Solution to Resort Hotel

SATO, a global provider of automatic-identification solutions intended to streamline operations, has supplied a new RFID-enabled inventory-management solution to the Tokyo Baycourt Club Hotel & Spa Resort. The system has helped the hotel to improve the stocktaking operations for its staff, according to SATO, and has boosted inventory-management accuracy. SATO claims this is the first system of its kind used by Japan's hotel industry.

The Tokyo Baycourt Club is located in the Odaiba entertainment district, operated by Resorttrust, Inc. The stocktaking operations of its roughly 5,000 bottles of wine for its restaurants, bars and lounges previously required sommeliers to handle each bottle separately and enter details manually into the purchasing system. The hotel sought a faster, more accurate system to streamline operations.

Since switching to RFID, the Tokyo Baycourt Club can now scan multiple bottles with contactless operation and automatically register inventory in its purchasing system, thereby reducing the amount of time employees spend on stocktaking. At one restaurant in the resort, two workers previously spent eight hours apiece on this task. After the upgrade, the operation only required a single employee and two hours of labor—an 88 percent labor savings.

"Thanks to the RFID system, we were able to both streamline our painstaking stocktaking processes and reduce the number of mistakes from human error," said Katsuhiro Kawamura, the Tokyo Baycourt Club's head of operations, in a prepared statement. "It also improves accuracy of inventory management by allowing us to see inventory right away, which minimizes our risk of lost bottles. We are looking at using RFID for other products and expanding the system to hotels in the future."

The Tokyo Baycourt Club's beverages head, Katsuhiko Aihara, added in the prepared statement, "We implemented RFID as a way to strengthen our internal controls. By utilizing RFID in our stocktaking, we digitized our wine list which ensures inventory management transparency. If successful, it will allow us to go paperless and provide labor savings for refreshing our wine stocks, speeding up our response time for customers and reducing total working hours. I expect the system to provide a good return on investment."

The UHF RFID tags used for this system were designed by SATO Material Co., Ltd. a SATO Group company that specializes in the production and sales of industrial rubber products, synthetic resins and RFID tags. Due to interference, RFID read rates are generally problematic when attached to items containing liquids, the company explains. However, the wine bottle buckle-on tags developed by SATO allow for error-free reads from as far away as 50 centimeters (19.7 inches). Because the tags are not directly affixed to the bottles, SATO notes, there is no effect on wine quality. The RFID tags are paired with security labels to prevent them from falling off or being replaced.

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