RFID in Europe Magazine Febuary 2016
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European RFID survey
RFID in Europe AISBL is a not-for-profit organization established in 2012. RFID in Europe's principle goal is to promote the adoption of Radio Frequency Identification and related technology solutions enabling small and medium sized organizations throughout Europe to gain competitive advantage through their best use. RFID in Europe connects with European end-users, operators, solution providers, universities, research establishments, non-government and government organizations and all other European stakeholders through own initiatives and promotion of national projects via our international network. RFID in Europe is an extension of a European Commission FP7 Thematic Network called RACE networkRFID initiated in 2009.
Track & Trace
Swedish pilot applies EPCIS standard to food traceability.
eTrace, a project within an EU food safety program, Safe- FoodEra, conducted a traceability pilot with Swedish fisheries last month, to find out if the EPCIS standard is suitable for tracing fish through a supply chain. The successful pilot proved various benefits of EPCIS-based systems including increased profits for retailers. EPCIS (Electronic Product Code Information Services) is an EPCglobal standard designed to enable EPC-related data sharing within and across enterprises.
The initial scope: The pilot represented a joint effort between SINTEF Fisheries and Aquaculture(NO), TraceTracker (NO), Lund University (SE), ROI4U (SE), the Swedish Board of Fisheries (SE) and a selected number of supply chain actors. The initial scope was to track fish all the way through a supply chain, from a fishing boat, through a landing site, processor and wholesaler to a final retailer. Besides testing EPCIS standard, the pilot aimed to provide retailers with detailed information about the source and history of specific, individual boxes of fish.
The ultimate aim was to develop and evaluate traceability systems that increase the ability to perform precise and reliable recalls in the case of food scares. At the same time as the pilot in Sweden, two other eTrace pilots have been started, tracing meat products in Norway and fish products in Iceland.
Tracking from the boat to the retailer: The pilot in Sweden took place from the 17th to the 21st of May. Starting in Simrishamn, catches from three boats were loaded into returnable plastic boxes that were labeled with individual, unique numbers (RFID). The data associated with each box contained information that had been sent to the fishing authority including the ID, date, type of catch and the catch location. In the next step, the raw fish went through the production line to be filleted and then packaged in cardboard boxes for distribution. These cardboard boxes were also equipped with RFID tags, so that they could be registered along the downstream chain. The relationship between the caught fish and the fillet product was established via transformations recorded in an EPCIS database from TraceTracker. The individual ID tags were read once again when the cardboard boxes arrived at the wholesaler, Brødrene Hanson, in Gothenburg. Part of the batch was bought by a retailer, Fisklyckan, in Gothenburg who registered that he received the individual cardboard boxes, and was now ready to sell the fish in his store. Other boxes were bought by a restaurant and a fish auction. By the time the
fish reached the retailer, all of the product details were available online. The retailer could print out a traceability graph showing where each specific fish came from, where it was caught and how it traveled to the store. Significantly, the information could be presented to the customer as proof of the source.
EPCIS in action: At every stage of the pilot the EPCIS standard was employed to streamline traceability data. Data from individual RFID tags were captured using handheld RFID readers and the information was automatically uploaded to TraceTracker’s EPCIS database using an application called TT Data Uploader. An online user interface, the TT Navigator, was available for showing product details.
Marten Gustavsson shows a handheld RFID device (left); Retailer (right)
Positive results on all sides: According to the Swedish Fishery Board, the results have been positive. “The response from the fishermen, first buyers and retailers who have been involved in the project is very positive about the possibilities of sharing information in a structured and understandable manner,” said Mårten Gustafsson, Swedish Board of Fisheries. The participating retailer noticed an increase in sales. “Traceability has been a driver for increase sales,” said Peter Kallstrom, owner of Fiskelyckan, Gothenburg. “By taking part in the eTrace project and promoting traceable food, we have stimulated a strong interest from consumers. Next to the cod, we posted a map showing where the fish was caught and processed. The map told the history that consumers have been waiting to hear, namely that the fish is local. Instead of selling just a few kilos a day, I sold more than 150 kilos over 4 days. This is a very significant increase for us.” Other supply chain partners experienced a decrease in manual data entry. “Having an open, automatic system directly reduces the need to enter information manually,” explained Niklas Hild, the Project Manager of the Swedish eTrace pilot. “Everyone along the supply chain can access the same information on the screen, reducing redundancy. In addition, the pilot showed that RFID and EPCIS works well in harsh environments such as the fishing industry.” EPCIS proved to be a viable standard enabling compliance with European regulations on food safety. “The Swedish Board of Fisheries sees the EPCIS-standard and RFIDtechnology as a potential tool to meet the upcoming demands of the new control regulation,(EG) nr 1224/2009 in EU. This regulation states that all member states must have traceability in the fish supply chains. Also, it seems to be a great tool in fisheries control,” said Mårten Gustafsson. “From an academic perspective, the EPCIS pilot demonstrated IT tools for solving traceability problems that have been clearly documented.” said Henrik Ringsberg from Lund UniversityDepartment of Design Science, Division of Packing Logistics, “Over the last year and half I have been working for the Swedish Fishing Authority carefully charting various issues involved with achieving full chain traceability in seafood supply chain. A lack of supply chain visibility, and a lack of data compatibility between supply chain players is clearly improved by uploading product information to EPCIS databases and available online.”
Peter Kallestrom, the owner of Friskelyckan (above)
Final results: In effect, the pilot proved that EPCIS compliant traceability systems can integrate data from different information sources related to food safety and suitable enterprise management systems. EPCIS based systems were shown to improve the speed and efficiency
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Sonoco-Alcore, a wholly ownedsubsidiary of Sonoco with 30 tube and core plants and six paper mills in Europe, is using UPM Raflatac DogBone RFID tags in its fiber-based cores to help customers reduce costs through advanced inventory tracking. RFID technology allows Sonoco-Alcore to provide customers the ability to reduce costs associated with lost inventory and manual labour many companies currently use for inventory tracking. By embedding RFID tags in roll cores, customers of Sonoco-Alcore can follow rolls through the supply chain process with real-time tracking and location information. Sonoco is using the technology to produce its Intellicore™ engineered carriers. One market already using Sonoco's Intellicore™ carriers is décor paper. RFID tags are embedded in the cores during the winding process and testedto ensure 100 percent functionality.
“This technology is a value-add to our products that can provide cost savings to our customers. It allows for easy tracking and management throughout the product’s life cycle,” says Eddie Smith, Vice President, Sonoco Europe.
"Printing houses can benefit in many ways by using RFID technology. Paper roll traceability at core level enables continuous printing through several phases without loosing important paper type and quality information of the material. Material leftovers from the previous run can be re-used for new printing work. In savings this can result in over 10% savings in material costs," says Mikko Nikkanen, Business Development Director, UPM Raflatac, RFID.
For further information, please contact: Mikko Nikkanen, Business Development Director, UPM Raflatac, RFID, tel. +1 828 275 5162
Scandinavia's leading slatemanufacturer, Minera Norge, uses UPM Raflatac ShortDipole and Hammer RFIDtags converted by AdhTech, superDAGFINN and portalRFID solutions from ACT Systems Skandinavia to automate the locating and delivery processes of its stone products. Minera Norge’s products are used for example in interiors, walkways and floors, and are exported worldwide. The premium quality slate manufacturer is located near the source of its raw materials in Norway where drastic changes in weather conditions set special requirements to RFID tags used. Minera Norge's RFID implementation was recently honoured in the RFID Journal Live 2010 annual industry event with the esteemed “Best RFID Implementation” award.
Minera Norge uses RFID to track pallets from loading to the point of shipment. Each worker uses an ID card with an embedded RFID tag to log into the company's ERP system. After showing the RFID card to a reader, the system provides workers an updated list of incoming orders. By selecting an order for processing, the system in turn requests the specific stones needed for the employee to complete the order.
The weighty stone products are cut into tiles and blocks, then packed and placed on pallets attached with UPM Raflatac RFID tags. The pallets are moved to an RFID reader portal where information on each pallet's unique ID number, product and weight are linked to the corresponding order. The pallets are then stored outdoors on Minera Norge’s large yard using a forklift equipped with GPS system and an RFID reader.
When a driver picks up a pallet, the superDAGFINN software shows data of the pallet on the forklift's screen enabling the driver to quickly confirm it is the correct product. The GPS system, GPStracker, is used to locate the pallets in real time, as they are moved with the forklifts. It also provides drivers with maps showing the exact location of each pallet as well as the forklift, and directions for reaching the specific pallet.
Moreover, the RFID solution is used to automate the invoicing process as it enables forklift drivers to indicate from the onboard screen that a product has been shipped, and send an advance shipping notice to a customer, thus activating the actual invoicing process.
The complete RFID solution was installed and operational at Minera Norge in just four weeks. Since the implementation in May 2009, the company has been able to enjoy the benefits of accelerated and accurate locating of products, which in turn have resulted in faster and correct deliveries for customers.
"The ShortDipole and Hammer UHF tags from UPM Raflatac once again have proven RFID's ability to deliver real results in a challenging supply chain management application."
"It provides excellent reliability even when attached to massive pallets of stone products facing harsh and seasonal weather conditions from freezing snowstorms to rain and heat. Because of its proven performance, passive RFID technology is adopting an increasingly important role as essential part of GPS and WiFi based location solutions," says Mikko Nikkanen, Business Development Director, UPM Raflatac, RFID.
For more information, please contact: Mr Mikko Nikkanen, Business Development Director, UPM Raflatac, RFID, tel. +1 828 275 5162
Würth updates its RFID system
The Finnish tools and equipment supplier, Würth Oy, has been one of the early birds in the field of RFID as they introduced their first RFID system in Finland already in 1995. Automating their picking line with RFID has brought Würth tremendous savings along the years thanks to error reduction, savings in labor costs and more efficient collection process.
Würth introduced its first RFID system already 15 years ago. This low frequency (LF) RFID system was proprietary technology and dependable on specific hardware. When the reader manufacturer stopped making the design used by Würth, the company was unable to get spare parts to their system which caused massive problems. New solution was delivered by Vilant Systems, a Finnish RFID system supplier, and is working reliably at the customer site. The new system is based on Ultra High Frequency (UHF) Gen2 RFID.
The automatic picking line consists of 1,5km of conveyor and over 20 picking stations with over 40 RFID readers. The RFID readers identify tagged picking boxes on the line and direct them to the correct picking stations along the way. The picking boxes are tagged with UPM Raflatac Web inlays and the tags are identified with ThingMagic Astra readers. The amount of daily RFID tracking events is close to 40 000.
The picking line is operated in two shifts, five days a week with over 70% of all orders passing through it every day. The line is crucial to the daily operations of Würth and can’t stand any unintended down time. Vilant Systems was able to provide the hardware, software and the project work to update the whole picking line without any interruptions to the production. The reliable operation and ease of maintenance were two key factors in the evaluation criteria for the new system. With Vilant Server 5 device management and device monitoring functions, Würth’s requirements towards the critical part of their operations were met.
Contact details: Antti Känsälä, Vilant Systems Oy, Tel.: +358 40 507 8874, email@example.com