Confidex Ironside RFID Tags Deliver Reliable Visibility for Rent-All’s Audio-Video Assets in Fast-Paced, Challenging Environments

When leading Dutch video equipment rental company Rent-All provided the tools needed for entertainment production, it traditionally employed a manual system to register goods from metal trusses, to lighting and audio equipment as they were sent to, or returned from, its customers. Close management of its high-value times was essential, but the manual process of registering the items was time consuming and could introduce errors. Additionally, when goods were picked to fulfill customer orders, locating each piece of equipment created another challenge.

So the company deployed an RFID system from Aucxis RFID Solutions to bring visibility to its assets, and leveraged RAIN RFID tags from Confidex that are optimized for both flexibility and durability. Choosing the right tags for the job was a challenge. Rent-All’s fast-paced environment demanded technology that could accomplish bulk reading of goods at a distance, while on the move. And the tags also needed to be operable whether attached to trusses, speakers or mixing consoles; while being applied discretely to be invisible on materials used on stage. That means the tags would have to be strategically mounted on each unique type of equipment.

Aucxis worked with various hard and soft label tags before determining the best option: Confidex’s Ironside Slim long-range, on-metal tag. The form factor of Ironside Slim makes it an optimal tag for different shape and size of assets while still providing excellent performance for reliable inventory.

Challenges

  • Manual registration of incoming and outgoing rental materials was a time-consuming and error-prone process.
  • Finding material to fulfil orders sometimes required searchers in the warehouse as the location was unknown.

Benefits

  • Automatic inventory of items during loading and unloading saves labour for more meaningful tasks.
  • Increased shipping accuracy reduces the need for secondary deliveries.
  • A real-time overview of the lifespan of each article includes a number of movements, turnaround times, maintenance and failures.

 

The Solution

Rent-All conducted a proof of concept and pilot before deploying the system companywide. The company’s warehouse management software leverages the Aucxis RFID-based solution including its HERTZ middleware, to understand where palletized goods are located within its automated site in company headquarters in Bemmel, Netherlands as well as its other sites throughout Europe.

To fulfill orders, the loading process at the docks moves rapidly. When materials with RFID tags are loaded or unloaded, they pass through an RFID gate. These gates come with integrated Impinj R420 readers and antennas that capture the unique ID on each Confidex tag and Aucxis’ HERTZ middleware integrates with Rent-All’s ERP system to provide insight into each point of data capture. With the solution, Rent-All can improve the speed in which items are loaded and unloaded thanks to automatically detecting each unique ID. It has reduced errors and therefore the need for secondary deliveries. And a real-time overview of the lifespan of each article enables the company to better manage maintenance and predict failures thereby preventing those failures.

The Confidex Ironside Family is providing reliable RFID data capture when applied to materials from metal to plastic and on a wide variety of form factors, even in challenging environments. In fact, Rent-All has applied the tags to more than 260,000 rental items to support its automatic detection system. With the RAIN RFID tags on its goods, and Aucxis’ readers and software to capture and manage each asset’s movements, the company has a full view into the location and status of its fleet of assets. And that ensures Rent-All can manage equipment as it passes through the supply chain: to theaters, television studios, fairs and festivals across Europe. Confidex’s Ironside™ product family is optimized for high value assets, returnable transit items (RTIs) as well as metallic industrial assets. The patented antenna design, with industry-leading performance and robust IP68 structure, ensures smooth asset tracking in any environment.

RFID technology whitepaper: How stores turn into ‘Omnichannel Hubs’ and become the heart of a seamless shopping experience

10 September 2020 – Online and offline shopping belong together. Driven by the reality we are currently living in, consumer behaviour is shifting rapidly and has become more digital than ever. Just to share a fun fact, experts say that we are now five years ahead of where we would normally be when it comes to the adoption of digital shopping. In this world, the availability of merchandise has become more important than ever.

The adoption of the ‘new normal’ forces retail organizations to look at opportunities and ways to fulfill e-commerce orders from their store network. In order to be able to sell online, retailers use their store stock for the fulfillment of online orders. Thus, stores are becoming ‘Omnichannel Hubs’ or so-called ‘mini DCs.’ This model allows retailers to continue to make sales while decreasing the number of people who are actually in the stores.

One of the key questions amongst retailers is how they can leverage their store stock to make sure they don’t miss sales opportunities due to an inaccurate view of their inventory levels. To tackle this challenge in an agile way, smart implementation of technology is essential. Retail IT-departments are lining up to make their organizations as successful as possible by choosing wisely from a wide variety of available technologies. In this context, RFID is a proven enabler for creating end-to-end stock visibility on item level in real time, item-level, real-time stock visibility.

By Zebra Technologies

Source : www.fashionunited.uk

Zebra Unveils Mobile Computers for Retail, Logistics

The RFID company’s TC21 and TC26 devices, designed to increase productivity in these sectors, are aimed at businesses of all sizes.

Zebra Technologies’ TC2x family

BY EDSON PERIN – RFID reader maker  Zebra Technologies has launched a pair of corporate mobile computers known as the TC21 and the TC26, aimed primarily at the retail and logistics sectors. The equipment was developed specifically for Latin American businesses, taking into account the needs of companies in the current world and offering a solution to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic—namely, maintaining social distancing and boosting efficiencies.

The high demand for e-commerce has forced companies to have more agile and secure processes, greater consistency between sales channels and faster delivery options. It has also become necessary to maximize efficiency with fewer employees in the workplace, with workers maintaining social distancing and avoiding physical contact as much as possible. Zebra’s new releases feature an Android-based operating system and are intended to offer a solution to these challenges.

“The TC21 and TC26 improve the productivity and efficiency of workers from companies of all sizes, including small and medium-sized ones, since the functionalities and applications can be adapted according to a client’s needs,” says Vanderlei Ferreira, the president of Zebra Brazil. The integrated scanner, the high-quality voice transmission and the various wireless connectivity options of the devices are intended to keep workers and decision makers in touch, without the need for personnel to physically approach each other.

The system is designed to allow the evolution of workflows without interruptions, Zebra reports, providing efficiency to a business’s entire operation. With long-lasting batteries, the devices can cover 10- to 14-hour shifts. The batteries are removable and can be charged without requiring the equipment to stop functioning. Since the units are resistant to falls and external factors, such as dust and rainwater, they can be utilized for both internal and external operations.

“The new devices in the TC2x family provide companies with a significant return on investment, both in the short and long terms,” says Paulo Takahashi, a sales engineer at Zebra Brazil. “Due to the pandemic, companies must adapt their operations to recover not only their businesses but also the economy as a whole. Mobile technology solutions bring visibility, efficiency and, consequently, better customer service.”

Source: www.rfidjournal.com

RFID tray return system, roaming robots at new Jurong West hawker centre

RFID tray return system, roaming robots among innovations at new Jurong West hawker centre

RFID tray return system, roaming robots among innovations at new Jurong West hawker centre
Roaming robots will be one of the new features of the newly-opened hawker centre at Jurong West Street 61, including an incentive to return used crockery and cutlery. Photo: Siau Ming En/TODAY

SINGAPORE – Each time a customer returns a tray of used crockery and cutlery at designated areas, the machines at the new Jurong West Hawker Centre will dispense 20 cents as an incentive.

This was one of the new features of the newly-opened hawker centre at Jurong West Street 61 on Sunday (Oct 8), including the use of three roaming tray-return robots and payment systems that accept both cash and cashless options.

The new centre houses 34 cooked food stalls, 14 market slab stalls and has a seating capacity of about 500.

It is managed by social enterprise Hawker Management – a subsidiary of food centre operator Koufu, on a not-for-profit basis. Each cooked food stall, for instance, has to provide two meals that are priced at S$2.80.

Senior Minister of State, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health, Dr Amy Khor, Member of Parliament for West Coast GRC, Mr Patrick Tay, and Member of Parliament for Pioneer Constituency, Mr Cedric Foo, jointly officiated the opening of the new hawker centre.

Mr Tay said: “This hawker centre and market is a much-awaited addition to the community. I am pleased to see that residents are enjoying the variety of stalls and the modern conveniences offered. The social initiatives that will be rolled out also makes this hawker centre a natural gathering place for residents to bond and enjoy their meals together.”

Hawker Management’s Chief Operating Officer David Yang said these robots and payment systems have already been used at some Koufu food courts.

“We have managed food courts for a very long time. So when we were awarded the hawker centre, we looked at the efficiencies that we have done for food courts, we adapted it and brought it over”, he added. The robots for instance, helped achieve a 50-60 per cent tray-return rate, as compared to the 20-25 per cent rate in other places.

While the robots in Jurong West are there to help diners who may not be able to carry their trays to the return area, a Hawker Management spokesperson said the 20-cent incentive, which operates using radio frequency identification, was to encourage diners to return the trays on their own. No deposit by diners is required. This is the first hawker centre in Singapore to have such an incentive-based tray return system, said Hawker Management

In other hawker centres situated in One North and Yishun managed by the Timbre Group, customers are required to pay a dollar deposit when they get a tray from hawkers to carry food items to their tables. When they return the tray at the designated return point, an automated system will dispense the dollar deposit to them.

Customers at the new Jurong West hawker centre were also seen using self-payment kiosks on Sunday. The kiosks allow them to either drop cash into machines or use cashless options such as NETs and credit cards.

Hawkers new to the trade occupied six cooked food stalls at the centre as part of the Happy Hawkerpreneur Programme, set up by Hawker Management to groom aspiring hawkers.

One of them was Mr Jackson Tan, 24, who runs a stall selling vegetarian food in different culinary styles.

Previously an operations manager, he noticed there are relatively limited and traditional vegetarian choices here and decided to sell vegetarian dishes to promote these healthier options to the younger generation.

His stall offers about 10 to 12 dishes, including kimchi ramen, mock fish burger and vegetarian pizza that cost between S$2.80 and S$5.90.

Through the programme, Mr Tan said Hawker Manager waived the stall’s first month rental and covered the costs of the signboard, among other things.

Another new hawker was Ms Lim Peck Ngoh, 42, made the career switch after spending more than 20 years working as a planner and buyer in the engineering industry.

She now runs a stall selling nasi lemak, which is based on her 72-year-old mother’s recipe. Her mother used to operate a business in the Outram area.

“I had a plan to start up this F&B business a few years ago and I found that this was a great opportunity for me to (take) my first step – I intend to have a food chain locally and expand overseas.”

Engineer Chew Han Yi, 33, said the new features at the centre were innovative but questioned if the elderly could have difficulties following the English instructions for the self-payment kiosks.

He added that while the 20 cents incentive was one of the better ideas to get Singaporeans to return their used trays, some could try to abuse the system in order to obtain the extra coins.

Source: www.TodayOnline.com