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RFID in warehousing and distribution

From warehouse to delivery – keeping track of goods and packaging

Keeping track of products is critical in warehousing and distribution – whether they are being moved between company sites or sent to distributors or end users. The process may involve multiple stages, such as receiving goods, breaking down consignments and assembling new shipments, with opportunities for error at each step of the way.

RFID is a highly cost-effective way to keep track of goods and the carriers, containers and pallets used to transport them. It makes it easy to locate critical components and check availability and helps reduce lost goods and packaging. It also provides up-to-date data enabling customer queries to be answered immediately. RFID systems help automate distribution processes and simplify the management of supply chains across multiple companies.

Enhancing distribution operations

Even where processes already incorporate mobile devices or barcoding, there may still be opportunities for improvement. It may be that some manual intervention is still required which is not only costly but introduces the risk of errors. While barcode systems are widely used, they have limitations and multiple items may need to be scanned individually.

By contrast RFID tags can be read automatically, simultaneously and without line of site. RFID systems can reduce the costs of keeping track of goods and assets while providing enhanced data on availability.

CoreRFID can provide complete solutions including customised software, supply of hardware and installation, working directly for you or in collaboration with other providers. Systems can co-exist with barcode and other identification technologies.

Benefits of RFID for distribution

  •  Cost-effective way to automate and manage the distribution chain
  •  Saves on carriers and returns
  •  Provides proof of delivery
  •  More accurate data on goods received and despatched
  •  Data can be shared with customers and suppliers
  •  Rapid auditing of stillages, IBCs and other assets

RFID tags for distribution

Ultra-high frequency tags are most commonly used in distribution as they can be read over greater distances, typically up to 10m, and within a few milliseconds. allowing tags to be read virtually simultaneously.

However a wide range of tags is available to suit different levels of impact, temperature or humidity tolerances. And single-use tags are now available at cost-effective prices which make RFID a realistic option for applications where tags cannot be reused. CoreRFID, with its specialist knowledge, can advise on the most suitable tags for your business.

Crates, pallets, bins, kegs and carboys can all be tracked using RFID tags. To avoid duplication of numbers by different companies, the standards organisation GS-1 and its subsidiary EPC Global have developed numbering systems. CoreRFID works with these standards and advises customers on the right technology choices and how to overcome issues with existing systems.

RFID in action

CoreRFID offers a range of RFID systems for distribution including:

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