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Thai Consumer Goods Manufacturer Tidies Up Warehousing Processes

Lion, one of Thailand's largest manufacturers of cleaning products, is using EPC Gen 2 RFID tags and readers to improve its processes for storing and retrieving pallets carrying its products.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Inside the forklift, a small touch-screen computer runs the Smartsoft middleware, and the driver uses that screen to learn where each pallet should be placed for storage, as well as where to collect pallets required to fulfill orders. The computer is linked to the main server at the warehouse, which runs the Smartsoft software and maintains the database, via a Wi-Fi connection. When the driver picks up a pallet, the software shows the warehouse location of the shelf at which that pallet should be placed.

While driving from the receiving area to the warehouse, the forklift drives through an RFID portal containing an Infinity 510 reader, which collects the pallet tag's ID number. When the driver arrives at the shelf at which he or she has been directed to place the pallet, the RFID reader mounted on the vehicle collects the number of the tag permanently attached to the front of the shelf. The software then links the pallet and shelf tag IDs, in order to confirm the pallet's location before the empty forklift departs, and the system changes the pallet's status once more, therbey indicating that it has been accurately placed on a shelf.

When that pallet is later needed to fulfill an order, the Smartsoft software instructs the forklift driver to that same location, where he or she can then collect the pallet.

Upon leaving the warehouse area, the forklift moves through another gate containing the Infinity reader, which collects the pallet's tag number one last time. The system then updates the pallet's status in the Smartsoft software, indicating that it is headed out of the facility.

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