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Auto ID end user report Analysis
<< single largest ‘teething problem’ was the
consistency of GPRS reception with the
mobile network, especially in the geographic
Peter Trotman: Many customers
view data transfer as the most
areas of the South-East coast, mid-Wales
valuable aspect of the service
and some areas of Scotland. Trotman delivery.
pointed out that, because the GPRS service
delivered by the mobile network operator
was found wanting, MITIE had to withdraw
some PDAs and revert back to local
paperwork systems in these areas. Lai. “This system served its purpose
but did not provide the flexibility to
Initially, SAFE and the customer portal e-pest make changes. Any changes that
was primarily designed as a tool to monitor needed to be made were expensive
and implement operation service visits to a and extremely time consuming to
client and for the details of these visits to be implement.” In the past, poor read
presented live on a customer portal. There rates have been estimated to have
was no interface with accounts package or cost NGF Europe in excess of
other divisions within MITIE. “However, £25,000 per annum; a cost that
through further enhanced development, has reportedly been eliminated
SAFE has been expanded to include HR since the implementation of RFID.
profiles of service technicians and other “As more of our customers move
operational staff, automated timesheets for over to RFID, we will realise further
payroll and, most recently, an interface with savings,” said Lai. “And the
the accounts package SAP,” Trotman removal of the second serial
explained. “Significant enhancements have outer wrapping. NGF Europe wanted the number barcode, leaving only the RFID tag,
been made to the job scheduling ability to verify and validate the original ID will cut costs by a further £18,500 per annum.”
functionality and to monitor the performance label applied to the actual bobbin and
of each technician group and overall compare it to the label on the outer
company. Therefore, since its initial launch in packaging to ensure 100 per cent accuracy ERP integration
February 2007 there have been significant in identifying product. “This process is
developments, and SAFE now feeds different impossible to perform with standard barcode NGF Europe also has plans to integrate
interfaces and reporting systems, which is labelling and is only achievable with RFID its scanning system into its ERP solution
the heart of the company.” Interestingly, technology,” said NGF Europe’s manufacturing to enable ‘point-and-shoot’ transactions.
Trotman reports that this has been so development technician, Peter Lai. Alongside this, the company is also looking
successful that another division of MITIE –
Landscaping, employing approximately 450
staff – has just started to test SAFE and will
shortly be adopting the system as its main

We are often able to offer cost savings due to our enhanced systems
allowing efficiencies and economies of scale. Without our efficiencies through
operational system.
advanced use of data capture, we would not be able to benefit from the
market downturn.”
‘100 per cent accuracy
– Peter Trotman, MITIE.
RFID is an Auto ID technology that is NGF Europe chose the Atlanta 8000 Series into a Proof of Delivery (POD) application
increasingly gaining uptake in the end-user by Belgravium to fulfil all its scanning extending from production right through to
marketplace, with a growing number of end requirements, with software being written the end customer. NGF Europe was excited
users reporting a raft of tangible cost-and in-house. According to Lai, another by the potential that RFID represented with
time-saving benefits; as well as increased important feature of RFID tagging technology regard to possible process improvements.
data capture accuracy. One company within is that it offers the ability to include large According to Lai, that potential has been
an increasingly long list of success stories amounts of customer-specific data on the realised and some major operational
is NGF Europe, manufacture of specialised label, whilst maintaining the same form improvements secured. To date, the
Glass Cord products, used mainly in the factor as the original barcode labels. And implementation of RFID technology has
automotive industry for the reinforcement customers of NGF Europe that have yet focused on the NGF Europe operation.
of synchronous drive belts. NGF Europe’s to deploy RFID can still use the information Alistair Poole, marketing manager at NGF
Glass Cord product is shipped to customers supplied by the over-printed barcode Europe, views the technology as a “key
on bobbins. The cord is sensitive to ultra- on the label, as they have always done. product and service enhancement in terms
violet light and humidity, so NGF Europe of helping our customers meet the ever
wraps each bobbin with approximately NGF Europe first introduced RFID in 2006. increasing demands from global automotive
twenty layers of black polywrap material. “The previous scanning system was DOS- manufacturers for improved traceability and
Barcode labels are then applied to this based and sourced externally,” explained mistake proofing”. >>
8
MANUFACTURING
&LOGISTICSIT March 2009
www.logisticsit.com
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