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Bluhm Systeme

Bluhm Systeme: RFID Optimizes Process Flows at Carton Manufacturers

Artikel | von Bluhm Systeme | 05. Juni 2014
A transponder inlay, checked for legibility and correctness prior to application, is inserted in the cartons. Should it be faulty, it will be rejected before labelling and a new inlay will be programmed and applied. A transponder inlay, checked for legibility and correctness prior to application, is inserted in the cartons. Should it be faulty, it will be rejected before labelling and a new inlay will be programmed and applied. BILD: Bluhm Systeme

Small Chip With a Lot Behind

Hundreds of pallets are packed, moved and loaded daily at one of Norway’s leading paper, carton and packaging manufacturers. To optimize the processes, the company has recently been putting its money on RFID technology: all pallets are RFID tagged and labelled. Fully automatically applied by Bluhm Systeme label printing dispensers.

Written by Selma Kürten-Kreibohm, Editor at Bluhm Systeme

Selma Kürten-KreibohmSelma Kürten-KreibohmBefore the fully loaded pallets are stored or loaded at the packaging manufacturer’s facilities, they are always provided with a GS1 transport label and an integrated RFID tag on two adjacent sides. Prior to this, a RFID tag was applied on cardboard lying on top of the pallet and foilwrapped as well.

“In the past, we performed many steps in the logistics chain manually – this was not only time-consuming, but also more error-prone”, says the packaging manufacturer’s Logistics Manager. “With RFID, we are now able to supply our customers even faster and more reliably.” To achieve this, the company approached ACT Systems AS, official distributor of the Bluhm Weber Group and Bluhm Systeme GmbH in the Scandinavian region. ACT and Bluhm Weber jointly developed a solution comprised of two different label printing dispensers which were then integrated at different points in the logistics area.

One For the Cover

The first RFID label is not applied directly onto the pallet, but to a cardboard which then, for the remaining process, remains on the pallet as a cover. The label has important information on pallet tracking in the production and storage process.

A Legi-Air 4050 E label printing dispenser handles label programming and application. The applicator, awarded the Innovation Prize in the RFID category by the “Initiative Mittelstand”, has an RFID printing module supporting all current RFID standards. The system automatically programmes the 868 MHz (UHF) RFID tags and dispenses these onto the carton in a single operation. The system receives all the data it needs via a data link to the customer’s database.

The applicator also has a Bad Tag reject unit to ensure that only pallets with legible tags are brought into circulation: the transponders are read and checked prior to labelling. A faulty transponder is rejected and a new one is automatically programmed. The applicator will not dispense a transponder onto the cardboard unless it is clearly legible.

Safely on Its Way

The pallets now still require a GS1 standard transport label. This is where Smart labels come into play. Not only do they have an integrated transponder to write data to, but they may also be printed on with variable data in the form of plain text or barcodes. Along the entire supply chain, the data set stored on the transponder may be read back, updated with additional data or fully overwritten at any time.

The label printing dispenser will print and programme a Smart label before applying this to the pallet.The label printing dispenser will print and programme a Smart label before applying this to the pallet.

A Legi-Air 4050 PS pallet applicator is used for the application of the labels. P stands for Pallet, S for Stop function. This unit ensures that a pallet will always be labelled. The Legi-Air 4050 PS also checks legibility and correctness of the labels. A faulty Smart label will still be applied, but the applicator will immediately create a new label and apply this over the faulty one. Labelling of the passing pallets makes sense if no RFID tag is dispensed. This applies to standard dispatch labels, for instance. The Legi-Air 4050 P will, depending on application without Stop function, manage to label up to 7 pallets per minute on two sides.

The pallet applicator prints and programmes the specific RFID label with a GS1-128 barcode, the NVE number and product data, among other, and glues this to the pallet. Using the tamp-blow method, the pallet is reliably labelled without direct contact. The stamping arm stops a few millimetres from the pallet and blows on the label with a pulse of air.

The drivers later read the RFID labels to ensure that the finished pallets are correctly stored in the warehouse. Packaging slips, waybills and many other documents are created and printed using RFID.

Pallets for loading must pass RFID reading gates, where information such as the destination, for instance, may be read. This ensures that a pallet is loaded onto its correct truck.

Letzte Änderung am Donnerstag, 05 Juni 2014 10:41
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