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Norsk Lastbaerer Pool Inserts RFID Into the Norwegian Food Chain

The organization is transitioning to plastic pallets and totes with embedded EPC Gen 2 tags, for use by manufacturers of consumer products sold in Norway.
By Claire Swedberg
The pilot will track only the movements of the pallets themselves, though the next step, according to Tom Romanich, NLP's IT business development manager, will involve developing software enabling users to link the pallets with the actual goods loaded onto them, thereby tracking the product's movements. By sharing this data between suppliers and retailers, Vevle says, "This will make both receiving and dispatching more efficient and more accurate."


Lexit's Thomas Skjoldt
While supply chain members purchased their own wooden pallets in the past, Romanich says, the plastic pallets can be leased from NLP for an annual cost of about $10. For those wishing to use the RFID tags, the firm will provide the necessary reader infrastructure and charge a service fee, according to the number of transactions.

The RFID infrastructure package to be offered by NLP will also contain an educational program being developed by Hrafn and GS1 Norway, designed to enable users to accrue even more benefits from the use of RFID. "By raising the knowledge of CEOs, supply chain managers and others, we expect the impact on the whole chain to be breathtaking," Vevle states.

In addition to tagging plastic pallets, NLP has begun attaching EPC Gen 2 RFID tags from Alien Technology to the plastic Maxinest produce trays that it rents to customers, in order to increase visibility within the supply chain. NLP currently has approximately 80,000 such RFID-enabled trays, provided by Linpac Allibert. Each tray has been fitted with two embedded tags with 240 bits of EPC memory and 512 bits of user memory, encoded with such data as supplier details, customer location, and washing and delivery schedules at a distribution center. The tags' data can then be accessed at RFID portals, or via a handheld reader.

Before the RFID-enabled trays are being palletized and shipped to customers, NLP uses then individually validated by a test reader. A palletload of trays is then passed through a portal, which records quantity and verifies that the tags are properly functioning. Customers receive the tag ID numbers by e-mail for upload onto their system, so that they can use RFID to instantly check the quantity upon delivery.

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