RFID delivers major savings for Viraj Profiles

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India based Viraj Profiles Ltd., a manufacturer of stainless steel profiles, has successfully streamlined its logistical operations with an RFID technology implementation. With exports to more than 80 countries from multiple manufacturing facilities and warehouses, logistic efficiency is crucial.

Viraj Profiles Ltd. set several goals for its RFID implementation. These included gaining precise real-time location data for all steel profile bundles, fast and accurate bundle retrieval, preventing expensive erroneous shipments, faster inventory and reduced labour costs. By implementing an RFID solution from Vicinity RFID Solutions into its operations - with UPM Raflatac ShortDipole UHF tags and Psion Teklogix UHF Handheld Readers - the company achieved all its objectives as well as a return on investment in just six months.

The large steel profiles are packed in heavy bundles weighing some half a tonne each. The bundles were previously marked with a hand-written code and randomly placed in stacks in the warehouse surroundings, depending on the available space. Finding the right bundles for each shipment took a lot of time and effort and was logistically challenging.

As the first step to resolve the issue, Viraj Profiles Ltd. divided each of its locations into individually tagged zones. Next they started tagging each bundle with UPM Raflatac RFID tags with a serial number printed on the surface for visual identification. Data concerning the bundle and location tags is now easily readable with Psion Teklogix's Workabout Pro handheld RFID readers.

For a quick inventory of the whole warehouse, location tag data from each zone is combined with data from the bundle tags in that zone. The data is then stored on a server when the handheld readers are docked to a  computer, minimizing the chance of human error and providing a 99% inventory visibility. All this takes about an hour instead of the 12 hours it used to take before the RFID implementation.

Packing lists provided by the company's SAP system now also include up-to-date location details and serial numbers for the bundles, accelerating accurate shipments and providing electronic proof of dispatch. In fact, Viraj Profiles Ltd. reports a respectable 20% increase in dispatches.

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