At the Warehouse
RFID optimises processes and reduces repetitive stress for workers
Just a few years ago, Marianne Franklin always suffered pain in her wrists when she came home from her job at a bookseller’s central warehouse in Hamburg. Marianne was responsible for scanning manually all books that were picked from the warehouse shelves and sorted for delivery to shops around the country.
Now, with RFID, this step in the order fulfilment process has been eliminated. Marianne now manages other tasks and makes sure each RFID-tagged bin of books passes a reader mounted near a conveyor belt. The reader extracts information from the RFID tag as the container whizzes by.
Marianne’s working environment has improved in other ways since RFID was implemented in the warehouse. In the past, she had to check visually that all bins were full of books which had actually been ordered. She would look at the books in the pallet and compare them with a long list of tiny text printed on the job order. If a book was missing, she would write the title down and follow it up. Now, RFID matches shipments with orders, sparing Marianne this tedious task.
The potential of RFID to improve the working environment doesn’t stop there. Elsewhere in Hamburg, workers at the port are using RFID to manage thousands of cargo containers that come in by sea and are forwarded to cities across Europe by rail or truck.
Workers can account for RFID tagged containers more easily. The tags on containers are scanned by special readers on long poles. A worker walks by, bringing the reader within a certain distance of the tag, and the unique identification on the container is sent via a wireless connection to a database used to monitor the progress of the containers as they move around the world.
After containers have been loaded on to wagons or trucks, the container’s tag is read as the vehicle departs the port. All information is digital, sparing workers another set of forms and assuring companies that the data is accurate.
When the truckload of goods arrives at the retailer’s distribution centre, workers there simply unpack the pallets and wheel them through an RFID portal. The tags on the pallets are read and the company’s system is updated with accurate, real-time information on what goods were received and when.
Once again, RFID has eliminated a time-consuming cross-checking task, freeing up workers for much more interesting projects.
Sign-up for our Newsletter:
How it works
Technology for Life
RFID: More simple than you think more ...