RFID applications

January 29, 2014

3 Min Read
RFID applications

RFID, starting at the stretch wrapper

Aiming to cut costs and boost efficiency for customers, Exel, contract logistics and freight management company based in Westerville, OH, is implementing a pioneering radio frequency identification (RFID) order fulfillment program at its Harrisburg, PA center.

The first step in the program involves delivery of a Q-300 semiautomatic stretch wrapper from Lantech (www.lantech.com) with fully integrated RFID tag-reading capability. At the stretch wrapper, the XR400 RFID reader and wireless bridge from Symbol Technologies (www.symbol.com) are mounted inside the mast, with ST's AN400 area antennae are on adjustable brackets attached to the roll carriage. Since a load rotates several times during wrapping, the application provides "an ideal opportunity for extremely reliable and complementary read point in achieving optimal, system-level read rates," notes William Caudill, Lantech mktg mgr for automated products. "The reader is active only when the machine is wrapping," he adds, "so it can't generate false leads from a pallet on a passing forktruck." Tag data transmission from the wrapper to the warehouse management system is wireless, so the machine can be moved around the facility. Symbol's XR400 reader has reportedly been Gen 2 certified.

Lantech, 800/866-0322. www.lantech.com

Symbol Technologies, 866/416-8545. www.symbol.com

German retailer pilots RFID pallet-level inlays

Food retailing and specialty stores company REWE Group is moving toward the end of an extensive pallet-level radio frequency identification (RFID) program at its Norderstedt, Germany distribution center.

Following what it describes as RFID mandates from major global retailers, REWE, with more than 11,500 retail outlets, launched the program in mid-December and will complete it on May 15. Its purpose is to strengthen its competitive edge by optimizing the joint supply chain with its suppliers.

The program uses UHF Gen 2 inlays provided by UPM Rafsec (www.rafsec.com) , involving two different label types, a standard 4- x 6-in label and the UPM Rafsec FlagTag(tm) which, developed together with SATO (www.satoamerica.com), is seen as a universal solution for tagging pallets with problematic content including fluids, metal and glass. With the FlagTag, the portion of the label containing the UHF tag projects vertically from the pallet surface to create free-air performance from the tag perspective.

The pilot's first phase involves up to 30 of REWE's suppliers. In order to help them access quality RFID labels at a competitive price of 23 euro cents each, REWE says it decided to bundle the projected need to one supplier. The partners have had easy access to a label pool via the REWE RFID intranet to order the labels.

REWE says that, in comprehensive tests at the distribution center, the FlagTag UHF tags "demonstrated excellent readability to guarantee outstandingly reliable pallet labeling throughout the entire supply chain."

UPM Rafsec, 828/651-4788. www.rafsec.com

SATO, 888/871-8741. www.satoamerica.com

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