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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
Before the pallet is shipped, its tag is removed. That tag can later be reused, upon being associated with a new, incoming pallet.

Employees also use Unitech RH767 II handheld readers to periodically make spot-checks throughout the warehouse. The workers utilize the readers to collect the numbers of the pallet and location tags, which the readers then forward to the Smartsoft software via a Wi-Fi connection. The software confirms that each pallet is in the proper place, and if a pallet is detected in the wrong location, the employee receives an alert so that he or she can have that pallet relocated to the correct area.

The project developers considered using bar-coded labels to identify the pallets and shelves, but the deep shelving units within the warehouse hold more than just one pallet. "The bar-code reader beam could not reach bar-code labels on the inner boxes," Sudsertsin explains.

Before deploying the RFID system, forklift drivers sometimes placed pallets at an incorrect location within the warehouse. At other times, they might move one pallet in order to reach another located behind it, and then fail to reposition the first pallet at its correct location, thereby causing it to become lost. The RFID system prevents this from happening, by alerting drivers whenever a pallet has been placed at an incorrect spot. The Smartsoft software reduces the likelihood that the drivers will make such errors, since it alerts them in the event that pallets are misplaced.

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