The world is changing faster than ever before. Referring to this change as a revolution, what is remarkable about revolution is the pace at which transformation is happening towards digitization. New Business models are arising, Customer needs are changing, competition is rising, product alternatives are exploding and the need for speed is ever accelerating. Rapid changes in the business dynamics, companies are forced to adapt the digitization. RFID (radio frequency identification) tags are going to play critical and important role in Industry process automation. Presently many Industries are adopting this technology like Automobile, Manufacturing, and Pharmaceuticals etc., for example Manufacturing Industry can implement this solution for automating vehicle movement of in-bound and Out-bound etc., by RFID tagging to vehicles and integrating with the application (ERP) will help in reducing the waiting time and document preparation and it makes easy movement of vehicles in the factory yard, seamless integration will also help in tracking the warehouse quantities, auto generation of required documents and reducing the Manpower to the large extent and increases turnaround time of vehicles.
Logistics Management System
Logistics Approach: Traditionally the vehicles that come for in-bound (unloading) and Out-bound (Loading) at the plants took a long time to complete the process. Manual interventions points are many. Security had to check the papers of each and every vehicle and vehicle may have to move many points for completing the activity for loading or unloading. A manual weighbridge operating in three shifts and human interventions takes longer duration than the actual process. This severely impact TAT (turnaround time). Because of higher TAT, impacts on turnaround capacity and plants capacity utilization. Freight component is having major share in production cost. Manual processes also threw up several other challenges like historical data of vehicles which couldn’t be checked, getting accurate data for Management Information System is a challenge, it will be very difficult to generate data to know how many vehicles are inside the plant and reason for long hours of waiting and waiting time in each check point etc.
Integrated Logistics Management Solution: Automation approach helps comprehensively and catapults business to next level by improving TAT as well as the capacity utilization of plants, Industrial IoT solutions such as the RFID and Sensors for making integrated logistics approach, this is going to be a smarter and cost-effective automation solution and going to play very important role in entire process, which dealt with inefficiencies at each check point, weighbridge and loading facilities.
RFID based secured windshield stockers can be applied on the entire vehicle fleet and integrate with RFID readers, sensors, antennas, traffic signal lights, Display units etc. This entire solution also can be integrated with ERP application. Customized dashboards and reports will help in providing real time visibility about how many vehicles are waiting in a yard, vehicles inside the plant etc. Integration approach will help in removing the human intervention at each and every check point. Gate-in document will be generated automatically with the help of RFID tag and integration with ERP application, Weighbridge automation with sensors will deliver the desired impact by reducing the truck turnaround time and freeing up human resources. Integrated LED display units will guide the vehicles to reach specified loading points, Gate out procedure and documentation. Many times when it happens, vehicle drivers don’t know when their turn will come for loading or unloading. This will also help in providing status display, loading time and scheduling of vehicles with waiting time at yard. Auto mailer or SMS can be generated and sent to respective stake holders (drivers, Transporters & other stake holders at plant) to make them informed well in advance.
It doesn’t mean that these technologies are new but adoptability of these technologies increase drastically. Logistics point of view one can track products from receiving at facility through client delivery, Quick location and controlling of stock levels, management of incoming deliveries, preparation of orders, packing lists, shipments, self-checkout and more. Warehouse Management Systems help eliminate costly human error that undermines. By leveraging the power of RFID tags, system helps retailers to take full control of merchandise, manage on-going replenishment of shelf stock, search for products in shops and in inventory in order to optimize sales. Checkout process can be automated eliminating waiting in line and reducing errors. Retailers can execute these activities in real-time basis.
Analysis says in 2014, the world RFID market is worth US$8.89 billion, up from US$7.77 billion in 2013 and US$6.96 billion in 2012. This includes tags, readers, and software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs, and all other form factors. The market value is expected to rise to US$18.68 billion by 2026.
By: D V Seshu Kumar, Asst. Vice President – IT, Orient Cement Limited