Scania Parts Logistics faces the challenge of ensuring on-time deliveries to dealers and distributors from the main location in Opglabbeek, together with regional parts warehouses worldwide. In parallel, productivity and process quality are to be optimized. Overseas deliveries in particular require a high degree of attention in the sales departments. Any delay or incomplete delivery leads to operational disruptions and customer complaints. A precise and efficient truck loading process for each order is crucial to success.
- Increase process efficiency
- Avoid loading errors
- Optimize processes in the distribution center
- Maximize productivity
In the global Parts Center, RFID antennas are installed at the three entrance gates to the shipping area and monitor all movements of the transported goods (packages). A network of 128 antennas - each four by four meters, at a height of five meters - covers the entire shipping area to locate stored packages. RFID antennas are also installed at the six truck loading ramps to record movements.
The passive UHF RFID tracking system indicates the destination of the packages as soon as they reach the export warehouse. This information ensures that all items in a shipment are positioned as close as possible to the loading ramp. The space at the six loading ramps is limited in day-to-day operations because the packages have different sizes and dimensions.
The real-time tracking system counteracts the small space available by informing the warehouse staff of the exact position of the unit loads in the vicinity of the loading ramp during the loading process.
RFID/barcode printers write a barcode label and encode the integrated UHF RFID transponder. The packaged and labelled packages are shipped to the export shipping area by forklift truck. At the entrance gates, the UHF RFID labels of the packages and the forklift trigger the permanently installed antennas. The tags are located and the packages are transferred from the export area to the commissioning area. Via a terminal, the employees are informed about the respective shipping destinations and parking areas.
If the transported goods cannot be grouped as a whole unit, the employee can use a conversion application. This shows the forklift operator which pallets need to be rearranged for the optimum loading process.
Loading is released as soon as all packages are ready for delivery at the corresponding picking stations. The responsible employee selects the corresponding loading route via an RFID application at the forklift terminal. Error messages provide information about incorrectly selected routes. The application also provides information about packages that have not been released by the customer service department or if an ADR code for dangerous goods stored with the package requires special processing.
Using a package search function for locating missing goods, employees can find the items they are looking for quickly. The detection rate of the RFID systems at the loading docks is 99.8 percent. Included in this evaluation are around 15 percent of the articles that cannot be transported by forklift and have to be carried manually into the trucks.
Hardware & Software
- Mieloo & Alexander – RFID system integration and support
- Toshiba Tec – RFID/Barcode printer
- Smartrac – Frog 3D UHF RFID Tags
- 99.8 percent detection rate of truck loading
- Real-time error messages and warnings
- Package search function guarantees that missing items are found
- All items can be positioned as close as possible to the loading ramp for shipping
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