As discussed in Part 1, RFID technology can make your warehouse more efficient in several ways. Part 2 will discuss RFID Applications.
The following are examples of applications where RFID technology can help businesses increase productivity, resulting in improved operational efficiency in their warehouses and factories.
Product Tracking – Products can be tracked through their entire production. They can be tagged and monitored at several points of the process. When an item is read for data, their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) applications are updated. ERP enables the integrated management of business processes in real time. PLC helps a warehouse determine when and where to send products based on preset factors.
Extreme Environments – A manufacturer that produces materials under extremely high temperatures will not be able to use standard barcode labels that will be unable to survive the conditions. RFID tags can be made rugged enough for extreme environments.
In some cases, the product will not be tracked during its manufacture. Instead, the tool contacting the product on the production line is monitored. Typically, there are three areas during the production process where RFID tags will be read.
- 1st Read – Identifies the number of times a tool has been utilized to determine maintenance needs.
- 2nd Read – Provides line operators crucial information regarding products during the manufacturing process.
- 3rd Read – The RFID tag is read and a barcode label is printed then applied to the product. When the production process is completed, the product can be labeled safely.
Dock Door Verifications – This method was conceived as a way to ensure products were loaded onto the right trucks for shipments. When a fork truck operator moves a pallet to the warehouse’s dock door, the pallet’s RFID tag is read, and the ERP system verifies the pallet is at the correct dock door. If not, a red light and a horn alert workers of the error. Shipping departments become more accurate, reducing the costs from errors and increasing customer satisfaction.
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