RFID Tags in the Manufacturing Industry
The Benefits of Confidex RFID Tags in the Manufacturing Industry—pulp, paper, and packaging
The supply chain is the backbone of a business, and every bit of efficiency and productivity helps make the company more successful and profitable. But no company can have an efficient supply chain without a high degree of inventory accuracy. Most experts suggest that 90 percent accuracy is the bare minimum, with benefits increasing as the accuracy improves from there.
The Accuracy Dilemma
Manufacturers often turn to technology to help improve accuracy and improve operational efficiency, but many technology solutions can’t stand up to the rigors of manufacturing. Bar codes on labels, for example, often become unreadable if they are subjected to dirt, chemicals, solvents, oils or the elements. Bar codes that are difficult to read can lead to errors, reduced rates of productivity and other issues related to this bottleneck. When this happens, the company is forced to find a workaround to keep production moving and process transactions quickly and accurately.
Solution: Confidex RFID Tags
Many organizations have turned to RFID to eliminate their labels issues. RFID tags can operate effectively in even the harshest environments, which makes them a sensible choice. But there’s more to it than just durability. They can communicate continually with most warehouse management systems, ensuring the accuracy of inventory and location records without requiring manual intervention. But RFID tags provide much more than just inventory location.
Fueling the Internet of Things
RFID tags provide the machine to machine communication that is at the heart of the Internet of Things. They enable process reporting at every stage and at each location of the process.
This increased visibility can be crucial in process and mill manufacturing such as pulp and paper. Connected equipment monitors its own process and notifies operations management when processes move outside specified thresholds. These alerts can include specific lots of material that were in the process at the time, potentially helping to provide rapid insight into root cause of emerging issues.
RFID is Adaptable
RFID is designed to adapt to your environment. You dictate where portals are installed to make it most convenient for workflow processes. The tags themselves can be read by many different devices—everything from hand held scanners to gateway portals to mobile units mounted on forklifts. The design of an RFID tag is also adaptable. They can be customized to suit your application and specific requirements. For example, tags can be made of food-grade materials for use in creating packaging for the food and beverage industry. They can be made from materials that dissolve during the process without affecting the lot characteristics, which can be vital in pulp and paper.
Benefits of RFID Technology
- RFID improves visibility and accuracy across the entire supply chain
- Each tag can provide information about materials in transit; inside or outside the four walls
- RFID tags hold much more information than bar codes, so lot and quality characteristics can become an intrinsic part of data capture and recording
- RFID tags operate without human intervention, providing greater accuracy and improved productivity
- Great for use in the harshest manufacturing environments, including high heat, extreme cold and exposure to water and solvents
- RFID tags are accurately and easily read, regardless of their orientation to the reader. This is critical with bulky materials such as large bales that are difficult to reorient easily.
For heavy duty industrial applications and bulk manufacturing operations, such as the pulp, paper and packaging industry, we often recommend Confidex RFID tags for best performance. We choose to partner with Confidex due to their expertise in these specialized areas – understanding the rigors of the environment and the difficult challenges their workflow can face. Confidex also widespread applicability in other industries such as transportation and logistics, traffic management and management of returnables. For an example of the use of Confidex RFID in a bulk manufacturing environment, read this Metasä Fibre case study, for example, to see how they used RFID to make process improvements throughout their operations.