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Paper Mill Optimizes Manufacturing and Stock Control

By deploying an RFID system from iTag, a papermaking firm has reduced the need for manual operations and has sped up its processes.
By Edson Perin

Inventory entry and exit is currently RFID-controlled, which has reduced the process of production control by manual tokens. "We now have only one employee responsible for verifying the data and reporting that makes requests for iTag services," the executive states, "and we have also reduced staff on our expedition, with two operators today."

RFID processes start with the production of jumbo ("mother") coils, which give rise to smaller ("daughter") coils. At this stage, the weighing and filling of all information necessary for internal control are performed. During issuance, the system automatically matches the tags with the parent coils in order to avoid operator errors. With each label issuance, the sales department instantly becomes aware of the existence of a new product in stock, along with its availability, which starts the picking process (the assembly of orders that will pass through the portal before being sent to customers).

Tagged paper reels
After the sorting order has been issued and completed, the goods are released from stock and are thus available for issuing, with invoices and slips created automatically, and with weight and other data filled in, thanks to integration with the RFID system, which ensures the operation's efficiency and reduces the incidence of errors. "There have been gains in all areas," the representative reports, "such as people, operations and controls, and we can say that we feel very safe today with the operation, and that RFID did meet expectations."

The RFID deployment complies with GS1's passive EPC UHF standard, which allows users to access product information from anywhere in the world via a tag's Electronic Product Code. "This facilitates export operations," the executive notes, "as well as the universal recognition of products by another RFID system, such as a customer."

An RFID portal has been installed in a project-specific structure with antennas and eight readers, which are evenly distributed between the side brackets. All readers are from Acura, with adhesive tags from iTag containing a Monza R6 chip Impinj. "We use 10,000 labels per month and these are not reused," according to the company's representative.


Paul Drolshagen 2019-09-11 01:44:00 AM
RFID, as the name suggests is rather an identification than a localization technology. One would only know where an item is/was when its tag is interrogated/has passed a read point. There is no information where exactly an item is located in a warehouse. Here a 3D inventory tracking system for lift trucks can help. For every known item on the forks or in the clamps the system, in the moment the item is put down, measures and saves the x,y,z coordinates of the storing place. When the item is to be retrieved truck drivers would be guided to the requested item and the system would control the pickup of the correct item and warn a driver in case a deviating item is loaded. The system requires to have each new item introduced at first pickup. Here RFID may help. However, the system could collect the ID of a new item from the production machine. There are two more advantages in addition to error warning at pickup: one would know where precisely everything is located and there would be no recurring costs for RFID tags.

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