Lavastoviglie case study

RFID: Traceability even for washing machines and dishwashers

Client company:

manufacturer of large household appliances for important international brands

Scope of the solution:

application of RFID tags on products and automated tracking of goods leaving the loading docks

Loading errors

The client company turned to KFI to automate the shipping processes and to implement a traceability system to more easily manage recalls of already distributed products.

Originally, having received the shipping order, WMS would send the picking command to the automatic warehouse, making dishwashers and washing machines pass to the shipping area. Here the operators would scan the barcode of the items to record their unloading from the computer system. Finally, the household appliances were loaded onto the means of transport for delivery.

However, manual scanning operations involved some critical issues, including:

  • inventory inconsistencies between physical and system stocks (failure to scan some products);
  • errors in order fulfilment (quantitative and qualitative errors in the loading of vehicles).
  • waste of time in reading the barcodes hidden by the packaging (breaking down the pallets and opening the packaging).

The solution
A process without blemish

KFI proposed the implementation of an RFID tracking system, capable of identifying items and detecting their passage through the loading bays.

At the beginning of the production line, a KFI AP150 automatic labelling machine was installed. This, based on the production order received from MES, retrieves the information necessary for writing the RFID tags (product code, serial number, etc.) in a special database and applies them to the basins that serve as the base for household appliances.

Near the two loading bays of the warehouse, however, RFID gates with fixed antennas and readers have been set up. These allow the automatic detection of the data encoded in the tags of the outbound/outgoing washing machines and dishwashers (up to 18 simultaneously), updating the system stocks in real time.

Apart from these outfits, the operators were equipped with special wearable readers that allow them to take advantage of the RFID technology to also carry out the inventory.

soluzione per la tracciabilità RFID

Brilliant results

Thanks to the installation of two displays, operators can constantly monitor the labelling operations and, through traffic light logic visual signals, the correctness of the outgoing items. This has allowed greater accuracy in order fulfilment and the definition of a fully automated process for sending/dispatching the goods: from the input sent by ERP to the transit through the bays, through the picking from the warehouse and the handling along conveyor belts.

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