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Metsa Fibre Boosts Accuracy, Speed of Wood-Pulp Shipments

The Finnish company has employed a UHF RFID solution from Vilant to track the locations of bales of pulp, from the point of manufacture to their delivery to a European paper mill.
By Claire Swedberg
After a shipment leaves the importing port, the final tag reading takes place at the customer's site—typically, a paper mill. (At present, only a single paper plant is utilizing the system, though Metsä Fibre declines to provide its location.) As the pulp bales are consumed for the manufacturing of paper products, each bale is identified via an Impinj portal reader, installed on a conveyor.

Since the system's installation in December, Nousiainen says her company has seen an improvement in order shipment accuracy, since the tagged items cannot be erroneously sent to the incorrect customer simply because one bale looks very similar to another. What's more, the management can now receive information much more efficiently regarding a particular order's status and a specific bale's location. Because each bale can be identified automatically, she says, the system also decreases the amount of manual work that might previously have been spent searching for orders, or identifying a particular bale.

In the future, Nousiainen says, Metsä Fibre hopes to provide status information to customers with regard to the time and date that an order was filled or shipped.

Metsä Fibre intends to employ RFID technology at all of its production units, Nousiainen adds, and at all ports and sites at which it maintains pulp storage facilities. "This solution is meant for worldwide usage," she states. "We are convinced that the usage of RFID tags will become general-solution in the pulp business, since the benefits are very clear."

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