UPM Raflatac supplies RFID tags to Spanish healthcare distributor MBA Grupo

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UPM Raflatac, a leading manufacturer of RFID tags and inlays, is supplying UHF EPC Generation 2 tags to MBA Grupo, a major European healthcare distributor headquartered in Spain.

Through its network, MBA distributes medical products related to orthopaedic surgery, neurosurgery, cardiovascular surgery and anaesthesia. The RFID project is led by BC Biocon, a subsidiary of MBA Grupo.

With an annual turnover of more than 102 million euros, MBA has implemented RFID technology to improve stock management and enable product tracking through the entire supply chain, from production in Asturias, Spain to private and public hospitals in Spain, Italy and Portugal.

In the first phase of the project, a proof of concept test was carried out to ensure the feasibility of RFID technology. The results confirmed that RFID technology can be used with a wide variety of materials and packaging  within 48 product groups, amounting to 5,700 different references and more than 300,000 items.

Today, MBA's main warehouse is being equipped with two RFID reader gates to enable order and shipping control. UPM Raflatac RFID tags will be applied to products in stock, thus replacing bar code labels. With the RFID system in place, MBA will improve the efficiency of its goods receipt and shipping with automatic reading in place for the serial numbers and expiration dates on all dispatched products.

The third phase of the implementation will cover the warehouses of MBA Grupo's 23 subsidiaries in Spain, Italy and Portugal. By the end of this year, the hospitals supplied by MBA will be equipped with mobile RFID readers. This will enable MBA to control product stock levels in the hospitals as well as the expiration dates of sterile products.

"In a hospital environment it is vital that all the required equipment is in place when needed and that it hasn't expired. RFID offers a high degree of accuracy for demanding solutions like MBA Grupo's stock management system. In addition to logistic efficiency, UPM Raflatac UHF Gen2 tags offer MBA Grupo total visibility over which products need to be restocked at hospitals," says Mr Marcus Vaenerberg, Vice President of RFID Sales at UPM Raflatac.

About UPM Raflatac

UPM Raflatac is a world-leading supplier of self-adhesive label materials for a wide variety of needs in product and information labelling. In addition, the company is at the global forefront in the development and high-volume production of HF and UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays.

UPM Raflatac has around 2,500 employees and made sales of approximately EUR 1 billion in 2006. The company has a global service network consisting of 11 factories on five continents and a broad network of distribution and slitting terminals and sales offices worldwide. UPM Raflatac is part of UPM.

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