I think the technology could provide benefits for the management of raw materials in our parts rooms or finished goods inventory. What would you recommend?
Radio frequency identification would absolutely be applicable to the pulp and paper industry. We published a story a few years ago about Metsä Fibre, a Finnish producer of wood pulp used to manufacture paper and cardboard, which explained how the company had used the technology to improve efficiency at its four mills. RFID helped the company to reduce shipping errors and increase the visibility of its goods within the supply chain (see
Metsä Fibre Boosts Accuracy, Speed of Wood-Pulp Shipments).
One challenge you would face is that finished paper products often contain a high level of moisture, and water absorbs RF energy in the ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) spectrum. So if you were to put a transponder inside the core of a large roll of paper that still had a lot of moisture, it would be difficult to read that tag. There are, of course, ways to design a system that could work effectively in such a scenario. But I think the pulp and paper industry, as a whole, has never been at the forefront of technology adoption, so its adoption of RFID systems lags behind that of other industries.
—Mark Roberti, Founder and Editor, RFID Journal
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