RFID enabled returnable asset management for TATA

TATA Steel IJmuiden deploys Mieloo & Alexander’s ScanTrack solution for tracking of (returnable) skids.

Tata Steel Packaging

Tata Steel Packaging (TSP) produces high value steel coils. For the transport of these coils TSP uses a specially designed pallet or skid, made of LDPE to protect the coils that are transported to clients all over the world. TSP operates a pool of approximately 110.000 skids and faces the same challenges with regards to managing the asset inventory as described above:

·         Annual loss and replacement of up to 10% of the number of skids circulating across the supply chain.

·         Labour intensive but inaccurate weekly cycle counts to manage stock levels.

·         No visibility on stock levels at customers.

·         Reduced availability of assets at the distribution points.

Therefore, TSP decided to implement an RFID based tracking solution based on Mieloo & Alexander’s ScanTrack solution.

 

ScanTrack deployment at Tata Steel Packaging

For the specially designed steel coil skids of TSP, Mieloo & Alexander developed a special tag. Each skid consists of two halves that are tagged with a paired tag. The tag is a laminated credit card with perforated breakline to ensure the two skid halves are tagged together. TSP distinguishes altogether 6 different skids; tags for the different skids have a different colour.

The RFID reader technology is deployed both in the packaging line, where it is used to register the outbound flow of skids to customers. To determine the destination of the skid, information from the coil label is used. To capture the return flow of skids, RFID readers are positioned above the indoor off-loading point for trailers carrying the empty skids. The registration process is activated via a handheld device, where a loading or unloading activity is selected.

 

TSP reports the following key benefits of using ScanTrack:

·         Reduction of working capital through accurate stock management and increased turnaround times.

·         Reduction of transport cost as result of more effective skid return management (full truckloads of empty skids).

·         No delays at the packaging lines due to skids out of stock.

·         Clear visibility on stock levels at customer and TSP locations.

·         Reduction of skid replacements as a result of identification of shrinkage locations.

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