How We at SMARTRAC Raise Efficiency - Using RFID
The customer is king – that’s one guiding theme for our manufacturing efforts. To provide even better service to the king, SMARTRAC relies on RFID technology to improve RFID production. Utilizing SMARTRAC’s tags, business partner Vilant is implementing a turnkey RFID solution to increase the level of automation in the shipping process of RFID reels at SMARTRAC factories around the globe.
The objectives of this project are to ensure efficient manufacturing and to minimize its ecological impact. In particular, we targeted more accuracy in shipping and a reduction in overall shipping time. After a successful pilot implementation in Fletcher, USA, in 2011, Kulim in Malaysia is the latest SMARTRAC plant to get Vilant’s solution up and running. SMARTRAC facilities in Ayutthaya, Thailand and Dresden, Germany, will follow suit.
Optimized delivery process
Every month, in each and every one of our factories, more than 10,000 reel shipments pass a Shipment Verification Station (SVS). Before the SVS were set up, barcodes had to be scanned manually to register each shipment in SAP. With the new system in place, the scanning time for each pallet has been drastically reduced: from 8.4 minutes to just 30 seconds.
In Kulim, it took Vilant just six weeks to implement the turnkey solution based on UHF technology. All RFID reels arriving from production receive two RFID labels. One label is placed inside the shell of the roll, and the other is placed on the box in which the reel is packed, with both labels being printed directly from our SAP system. Vilant’s software components are EPCIS compliant, and include integration interface capabilities for ERPs like SAP R/3, Oracle Apps and Microsoft AX.
Once a shipment is packed and ready for delivery, it is moved into Vilant’s SVS, where all data gathered from the labels are sent to SAP to complete the delivery process. RFID reels contain over 10,000 RFID tags. The station detects and triggers the majority of the RFID tags on the pallet inside the read chamber, but it transmits only the tag data (batch number) with a correct prefix to the SVS client. If the batch number/material number combination does not match the stock and delivery data, the Shipment Verification Station will display an error.
Thanks to the close collaboration with Vilant, the new verification process integrates seamlessly into SMARTRAC’s existing production systems and software. Rapid verification of customer shipments will raise efficiency and optimize production and delivery processes – thus making our customers more satisfied than ever.