RFID technology achieves high read rates in France

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Supply chain management, Rfid

A test in France of radio frequency identification (RFID)
technology to track products throughout the supply chain achieves
almost full read rates, its manufacturer claims.

Israel-based Power Paper and France-based reseller NBG ID this week announced they are testing two large-scale RFID deployments at the distribution centers of a leading global logistics company. The logistics company was not named in the press release.

Read rates are one of the technical problems holding back RFID adoption as the missing information generally means a pallet can become misplaced in the supply chain.

RFID has long been touted as the future of logistics for all companies by allowing retailers and suppliers to track goods throughout the supply chain. However high prices for tags and systems has held enthusiasm at bay. Privacy concerns have also limited its use at the consumer level. However mandates from such giant retailers as Wal-Mart and Metro is slowing forcing processors to make investments in the system.

The deployments use tens of thousands of battery-assisted passive UHF RFID tags from Power Paper's PowerID division.

Using an RFID-enabled forklift, the logistics provider has taken inventory of shelved pallets carrying alcoholic beverages in its distribution centre bonded warehouse.

The pallets, which belong to one of the logistics provider's retail customers, are tagged with PowerID labels and cross-referenced with PowerID labels affixed directly onto metal shelves to provide location information, the companies stated in a press release.

Power Paper claims the deployment is achieving 100 per cent read rates. NBG ID's patented RFID-enabled forklift also reduced inventory tracking time from once every quarter to once every week, the company stated.

"This results in the retailer paying excises and duties on alcohol once a week, according to an accurate, instead of an estimated, inventory count,"​ Power Paper stated.

In a second deployment PowerID labels were placed on a retailer's mixed pallets upon exiting the distribution centre. The mixed pallets usually contain products that include metals, liquids, and foils, which reduce RFID read rates.

The PowerID label is read at reader gates found at the dock door of the distribution centre and at the dock door of the retailer's stores. The reader gate assures the shipment of pallets to the correct stores. Power Paper reports a 99.7 per cent read rate for the project.

NBG ID chose PowerID's battery-assisted, thin and flexible, environment-friendly labels for the projects after comparing their performance to that of other passive labels and active tags, the company stated.

Power Paper claimed that both projects have demonstrated a strong business case for RFID. Pallet tracking with PowerID reduced shrinkage and misrouted pallets.

As part of the testing, NBG ID developed a software middleware suite for pallet tracking on shelves utilizing an RFID-enabled forklift. The combined software and hardware achieved 100 per cent read rates of shelved pallets, the company claimed.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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