Home Internet of Things Aerospace Apparel Energy Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

Cultivating RFID

Horticultural firms achieve benefits from tracking returnable transport items, while nurseries, governments and researchers develop business cases for monitoring individual plants.
By Jennifer Zaino
Sep 22, 2014

Holambra, a municipality in São Paulo, Brazil, is known as the City of Flowers. In 1989, Cooperativa Veiling Holambra (CVH) was established to market flowers and plants from roughly 400 farmers to domestic and international distributors and wholesalers. CVH rents more than one million returnable transport items (RTIs)—including metal trolleys, plastic buckets and trays—to producers and clients, to move flowers between different areas of its 80,000-square-meter (262-square-foot) warehouse and auction facility in Santo Antonio de Posse, a city roughly 250 kilometers (155 miles) from São Paulo.

Until recently, CVH tracked and managed the RTIs manually, a process that was labor-intensive and error-prone. This spring, following a 12-month project to design, test and implement an RFID system, CVH began tracking RTIs automatically. The company installed 25 fixed portals equipped with Impinj readers at dock doors and other strategic locations throughout the facility, so any RTI, empty or full, must pass through a portal as it is moved from one location to another. Plastic RTIs are identified with Confidex Pro ultrahigh-frequency EPC Gen 2 tags; metal RTIs are tracked with Smartrac Dogbone tags. Coss Consulting, a Brazilian RFID service provider, developed custom software for the system.

"By automating the RTI material counting with RFID in all areas and processes and tracking their life cycle," the flower co-op reports, "CVH is now able to count RTIs faster, with better accuracy in their operation, and produce key information on the fly for its business managers, saving a huge amount of labor time." Each tag is encoded with a GS1 Serialized Global Return Asset Identifier (SGRAI) number, which can be used to manage regular maintenance and repair records.

Next up, CVH intends to orchestrate a flower supply chain to further improve logistics. The co-op plans to install the RFID asset-tracking solution at its flower producers' and clients' facilities. CVH is not the first horticultural company to adopt RFID for managing RTI assets. Container Centralen (CC), a Dutch horticulture logistics supplier, has been employing the technology in its European and U.S. operations for a few years. Now, the industry is developing the business case for using RFID-tagged RTIs to improve supply-chain and business processes. In addition, there's growing interest in tracking individual plants to boost inventory accuracy, regulate a budding legalized marijuana industry and manage water conservation.

Planting the Seeds
In 2007, Container Centralen began piloting passive ultrahigh-frequency RFID technology to manage its assets. Two years later, the company's U.S. division began identifying its RTIs with active RFID tags, and in 2011, the firm fitted all the RTIs used in its European operations with EPC Gen 2 RFID tags.

CC's European clients—small and large growers, wholesalers, transport companies and retailers—generally subscribe to long-term trolley hire contracts. Some 22,000 customers use the trolleys on their own premises, and typically exchange those filled with flowers or plants for empty ones, or vice versa. CC RFID-tagged its 3.84 million trolleys to combat the use of counterfeit containers and theft. RFID readers were installed at 60 CC depots and four repair shops. Customers use handheld readers to authenticate a tagged trolley before making a swap.

"There is a very clear indication that before the introduction of RFID, there was an inflow of copies of our trolleys, and we can see, when we run the same analysis now, that this negative trend was broken," says Flora Spaeth, the firm's European sales manager. That's good for Container Centralen and good for its customers, she says, since rising repair costs for counterfeit items would impact the fees for use of the company's trolley pools.

To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 2,737 words and 5 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2016 RFID Journal LLC.
Powered By: Haycco