An expert in the deployment of RFID systems, the company began a pilot program, whereby it would deploy its own RFID systems within its supply chain to meet Wal-Mart’s RFID compliance mandate. One of the key challenges in the deployment of this system was the wide variety of products available across several plant locations. Because each facility manufactured products with either a one-to-one, or many-to-one relationship to the package, based on this relationship, RFID labels had to be placed manually on either the floor packaging or master cartons.
Early on, the company utilized the Printronix SL5000e MP™ RFID printer. When Printronix expanded its SmartLine printer family to include the SLPA7000e, the company selected the printer for its ability to encode, verify, print and apply multiple sizes and EPC classes of RFID labels, as well as its competence in preventing the application of bad tags to cases. Results achieved include:
- Automation of the encode-print-and-apply process for faster, more efficient labeling and shipment
- Tagging of both individual pallets and high-volume, high-speed conveyors of for faster shipment to distribution centers
- Meet various shipping label size and read range requirements by accommodating the reliable encoding of tags by Rafsec, Omron and Alien
Following the roll-out of the pilot, the company concluded that using the Printronix RFID printing solutions, a pallet of its products ready for shipment could be processed in just 11 seconds, down from the 90 seconds previously. While there is a high degree of variability, where every item could mean a shift in configuration, the company realizes a high potential that RFID has for speeding up the shipment and receipt of its products.