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RFID as a solution for supply chains

RFID

Here are five examples of how RFID technology increases the operational efficiency of supply chains.

By Andrés Chenevard*

It is no secret that the recent crisis in the supply chain generated by different conjunctures put the global economy in check by hindering the fluidity in the delivery of multiple products, which caused price increases, shortages and congestion in ports.

Today, amid rising forecasts, technology plays an important role in the recovery of this fundamental process for the world economy, by taking advantage of the benefits of RFID tags to have total control of containers and merchandise that move around the world.
In this direction, we will present five examples of how RFID technology contributes to a competent and secure management of supply chains and logistics management, to increase the efficiency of ports and continue to make them the largest links in international trade.

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1. East Coast Warehouse and more efficient yard management
East Coast Warehouse reserved 14.5 acres of its logistics services yard in the Port of New York, New Jersey, for U.S. Customs inspections. Overseas containers are driven from the port to the yard, where their contents are unloaded and stored in holds. The containers are then stacked until they are returned to the port.

With outdoor collection, it is possible to use a combination of passive RFID tags that allow containers to be quickly registered inside and outside the facility; plus the use of newer active RFID tags that light up to identify their location when within reach of a reader.

With up to 1100 containers on site, employees spent a lot of time searching for the right one, to avoid late return fees.

Supply chain management company PINC was the first vendor to offer a cloud-based yard management system that used low-cost passive RFID tags and GPS to locate containers in real time.

PINC commissioned customized temporary high-tech labels with a reading range of up to 15.24 meters (50 feet) that could be quickly and safely attached to haul trucks within the port.

As drivers arrive at the gate, a security guard scans the barcode that loads the container's chassis ID and security seal numbers into PINC's advanced yard management system and assigns a corresponding ID to a temporary RFID tag.

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The guard attaches the magnetic tag to the container and informs the driver where to leave it. The yard management system then starts a timer to alert the port to its location and when the container needs to be returned. Before the container leaves, the guard uses the label's patented built-in handles to remove it and reuse it in another.

2. India and how it improved its logistics operation
The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) developed a logistics database (DMICDC), which provides complete visibility of container movement across India.

By partnering with systems integrator NEC and using Expo 800C RFID tags, DMIC was able to track containers as they were transported between ports, airports, terminals and rail depots.

This application was described by a judge of the RFID Journal Live Awards, as a "fundamental tool to improve commerce within a key area of the world, such as India".

3. Returnable transport items and the guarantee of their transfer
Returnable transportation items (RTIs) such as beer kegs, gas cylinders, chemical drums, among others, are products that represent a significant capital expense for organizations.

RTIs are typically exposed to harsh environmental conditions and extreme temperatures. RFID tags and associated data management technology provide an efficient solution for tracking the location, identity and status of goods in transit and their containers.

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Keg Tag, HID IDT transponders improve inventory tracking and RTI lifecycle management. Anti-collision technology allows readers to obtain information from multiple tags at the same time for reliable inventory tracking and RAIN RFID (UHF) transponders enable real-time inventory.

With a read range of up to 10 meters, EEPROM up to 2560 bits and international frequency ranges of 860 to 960 MHz, compatible with the standards of the United States, Europe and Japan, UHF Keg Tag devices accurately count entire pallets or RTI trucks in a matter of seconds.

This makes it possible to identify each container when a truck leaves a distribution center and arrives at its destination. In addition, it provides complete visibility in the warehouse, on the route and with the end customer.

4. Gitterboxes and the importance of their location
Gitterboxes are standard-sized metal containers that are also used to safely transport semi-finished components within the automotive manufacturing supply chain, among others.

With approximately 40 million cases in circulation, in Europe alone, it is vital to maintain visibility of your location to allow manufacturers to manage stock and minimize bottlenecks that could impact lead times.

This is how in this region of the world an elegant RFID solution was developed through a collaboration between Logistics Arts, HID and Mieloo & Alexander.
In order not to risk damaging expensive automotive components and given the experience in producing RFID tags on metal, HID offered technology of this class that provides consistent read performance in metal gitterboxes boxes.

This solution gives manufacturers, including BMW, VW and Audi, complete visibility into the location of their gitterboxes throughout the supply chain.

5. Cold chain management
The latest sensor tags accurately report temperatures between 120°C and -70°C, offering a cost-effective solution for monitoring the status of large quantities of perishable goods and assets in storage and transit.

It demonstrated how low-cost printable RFID tags allow a single reader to measure the liquid volume and real-time temperature of 200 vaccine vials from 1.5 meters away.

The technology enables instant verification of the origin, authenticity and condition of assets and is used to support a wide range of industrial applications to monitor the condition of products, ranging from pharmaceuticals to dairy.

Finally, it should be noted that according to forecasts of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD, during the period 2023-2027 maritime trade in Latin America will increase at a rate of 2.1% per year, so RFID technology will help operational personnel to execute rapid controls that accelerate processing, reduce deterioration and keep containers safe.

* Andrés Chenevard, director of sales and business development of EMS (Event & Mobility Solutions) for HID in the Americas.

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria. [email protected]

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