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Records-Management Company Deploys RFID at the Item Level

Sure-Reach has attached EPC Gen 2 tags to 1.1 million documents, making the Malaysian firm more efficient and better able to locate and inventory its clients' records.
By Dave Friedlos
Jan 04, 2009A Malaysian records-management company is employing radio frequency identification to track more than 1 million paper documents and 500,000 cartons.

Sure-Reach, which stores its clients' records, is using ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 tags at its warehouse in Shah Alam, near Kuala Lumpur, to track the documents throughout the facility, and to improve the process of taking inventory.

Tagged documents and boxes are identified as they enter or leave Sure-Reach's warehouse in Shah Alam.

Peter Chan, Sure-Reach's group managing director, says the company's particular implementation of RFID is a first in the records-management industry, and ensures best practice for its customers. "We understand that there is currently no records-management company in the world that has implemented RFID up to the individual document level," he states. "With RFID, any movement of boxes or documents moving in and out of our warehouse is accounted for automatically, without the need for any manual scanning."

By using RFID, Chan explains, Sure-Reach will be able to perform an inventory of all documents in boxes and individual files in a matter of weeks, rather than months. It will also allow the company to track and trace records throughout its warehouse, as well as improve the efficiency of its operations.

Sure-Reach chose Hewlett-Packard (HP) to roll out the RFID system. HP's Asia Pacific regional manager, Tim Wilkinson, says the Shah Alam warehouse began operating in June 2008, and that HP installed the complete RFID system in September.

Four doorway portals, each containing two Omron RFID interrogators, were installed at the warehouse. In addition, two inventory carts, custom-built locally for Sure-Reach, were provided to scan the tags of cartons and documents located on shelves.

"All the portals are connected on the Sure-Reach network, and communicate tag reads in real time," Wilkinson says. "As cartons or documents pass through the portals, Microsoft BizTalk middleware communicates with the back-end O'Neil record-management software to validate what is being tracked."

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