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RFID Brings Visibility to Water and Snow Sports Company

The manufacturer has achieved an increase in productivity and a reduction in shipping errors for its surfboards and snowboards, by tracking each item via an RFID system from EPC Solutions Taiwan as it moves through each process.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 26, 2019

A Taiwanese water and snow sports equipment company has boosted its manufacturing efficiency with a UHF RFID solution that tracks products through each step of the assembly process and as they are then shipped to customers. With the technology, provided by EPC Solutions Taiwan, the company can track production data regarding each ordered product, as well as monitor worker efficiency and warehouse inventory levels, explains Rock Chen, EPC Solutions' engineering manager. The system also ensures that errors are not made when products are packed and shipped to customers.

The company has asked to remain unnamed. It makes paddleboards, surfboards, snow sleds and other equipment for consumers worldwide. This past April, the technology was first installed for two of its product lines: surfboards and snowboards. Based on that deployment's success, the firm now intends to expand the system's use to other production lines in order to increase assembly speed and accuracy across all of its products.

The company's 75,000-square-foot building includes manufacturing and warehousing areas. The firm is growing, and output from its facility has been increasing, requiring greater efficiency in its production processes. As more products are shipped out of the facility, the risk of shipping mistakes, such as a missed product or an item being sent to the wrong customer, has been rising. This year, the firm sought a solution to improve its production efficiency and prevent the incidence of errors.

In fact, the company's goal was to upgrade its manufacturing line to meet Industry 4.0 standards, with machines augmented with sensors and wireless connectivity. That meant automating the collection of data about each item's production in real time as that item moved through assembly. Management wanted to know the status of not only each product, but also every worker station, and thereby identify bottlenecks.

Furthermore, the firm sought a system that would bring visibility to the inventory levels at its warehouse, so that it could respond quickly to replenishment needs. Finally, by tracking the shipping of goods, managers wanted to ensure that every shipment was accurately packed for a given customer's order. The RFID technology has helped to resolve those issues, a spokesperson for the company reports.

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