warehousing & logistics

The example here is an outline of a process from goods receiving, through the storage and handling of goods in the warehouse, transfer to the production or packing line and on to despatch. 

1. Goods received.

In this example an RFID portal reading unit could be placed in goods receiving to read items or cases or pallets as they are unloaded from the truck. The data is instantly available to the Warehouse Management System and the database updated. Orders can be reconciled and goods identified for immediate cross-docking and transport. Other items can be stored and shelved appropriately.

Benefits over barcodes

The benefit of RFID over barcodes in a warehouse system is that, if barcodes were used, all received items would have to be scanned by workers and their labels would have to be clearly visible, making this a much more labor-intensive and costly process.

 

 2. Shelving and storage

When stored on shelves with readers, the readers automatically record what items have been placed there and when they are removed. All of this happens without human hands ever touching a scanner, keyboard or clipboard.  Split cases (ones which are broken up and items repacked) has its items reassigned to a tagged case by scanning the item's bar code or RFID tag and the case/pallet tag.

small warehouse
3. Production/packing

Picking goods from the shelf against an order initiates an assignment of the pallet or case to a truck or dock. Cases/pallets are moved along conveyor belts, triggering readers along the way that track the movement. Conveyors can also be triggered to adjust flow to redirect the cases and pallets when required.

If for any reason items are missing from the schedule and need to be picked quickly, pre-programmed handheld readers can be used as a back up the system to locate items with the needed unique id. This is a much more time-efficient way of picking "lost" items. 

4. Goods despatch

When cases/pallets are loaded back onto trucks, door-mounted units again record the activity, updating the central database and also initiating a sequence that confirms orders and produces documentation such as advance shipping notices (ASNs), packing slips and invoices which need to go forward to the customer.

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