06 Aug How RFID is Increasing Efficiency & Reducing Costs
RFID is changing the face of logistics and materials management
Sekisui Alveo has implemented a barcode and RFID track and trace system in three plants in Europe which has completely revolutionised how the company manages its materials and logistics.
Sekisui Alveo is a Japanese group of Companies with headquarters in Switzerland. The Company produces Polyolefin foams which are used across a variety of industries. The foam is dispensed from “foaming ovens” in large rolls in semi-finished form to be treated on different product lines. The final product is offered in wide roll form which can be transported vertically or horizontally. The materials are transported manually using a truck or dolly.
All logistical movements are recorded manually and then entered into an SAP system. This leads to increased cycle time, inventory inaccuracies and time wastages due to staff searching and counting materials. The biggest problem however is that the logistics system cannot be adapted in times of growth and higher production volumes, leading to additional personnel requirements and an increase in logistics costs.
To solve the problem the Company aimed to introduce an automated track and trace system. A mixed solution of RFID and barcode scanners was used to counteract the aforementioned problems. By using RFID tags it allowed the Company the added advantage of being able to track and identify each product. In order to be able to integrate this system Sekisui teamed up with a software company to be able to integrate this into a materials management programme.
The end solution created RFID portals which allowed forklift drivers to drive through. RFID tags were attached to the foam products being transported through the portals which allowed Sekisui to identify the product, the date and the time it was progressing through production. In addition to recording all material movements the RFID system has allowed Sekisui to record production processes, quality control, loading, shipping and receiving data.
The use of RFID is completely changing the face of materials management and logistics. The implementation of such system increases efficiency, reduces costs and allows for more detailed data to be collected.