Ship2Save today announced that Normerica Inc., one of the largest private label cat litter and pet products companies in North America, has implemented a Ship2Save RFID mobile cart system at its manufacturing plants in Brantford, Ontario and Lethbridge, Alberta. The system provides EPC conformity for merchandise intended for Wal-Mart Canada, whose RFID program began in the summer 2008. The solution consists of one or several carts equipped with Impinj Speedway® RFID readers, where each cart serves as an encoding station to meet Normerica Inc.’s RFID compliancy requirements.
“We understood the urgency of the situation and took into account Normerica Inc.’s motto of effectiveness and efficiency. Our team quickly responded by devising movable RFID commissioning stations using carts that can be wheeled to the designated conveyors,” explains Amninder Singh, Vice President, Products & Services at Ship2Save. “In addition to saving money on superfluous readers, Normerica Inc. is significantly benefiting from foregoing the RFID tagging process and leveraging Krupack’s HIDE-Pack™ technology enabled corrugate boxes”, adds Singh.
Contrary to most RFID compliancy solutions, the Normerica Inc. setup does not require an RFID printer and the subsequent “slapping on” of RFID tags. The corrugated boxes supplied by Krupack contain a passive EPC Gen 2 RFID tag inserted within the box folds during the manufacturing process. Each tag is then encoded as the box that contains it passes through the commissioning process.
Rob Latter, Group Vice President of Krupack, a division of Kruger, is committed to the success of the new RFID technology. He says that “this is one of the greatest innovations to take place in the corrugated industry in the past ten years. The HIDE-Pack™ technology is exactly what the marketplace is looking for. It is simple, cost effective and reliable and we are very proud to be able to offer it to our customers today.”
Each mobile cart consists of a PC, an Impinj Speedway® RFID reader, an adjustable antenna, a handheld barcode scanner, and a LCD screen. These components ensure proper encoding and verification. Validation of the encoding process occurs through visual and audible alerts while an uninterrupted power supply allows moving the station between conveyor lines with minimum downtime.
“Our immediate concern was to properly configure the RFID tags on the merchandise we send to Wal-Mart without disrupting normal operations. We were pleased at the innovative solution that Ship2Save and Krupack delivered in such a timely fashion”, exclaims Simon Than, IT Director at Normerica Inc.
RFID has become more prevalent in retail today with RFID supply chain programs in Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart Canada. While the benefits of implementing RFID in a supply chain increase with the extent of RFID penetration within that process chain, many suppliers of such retailers regard the technology solely as a cost of doing business.
According to a May 2007 Canadian Grocery Industry RFID Pilot report prepared by the Canadian RFID Centre and IBM, embedded RFID tags in corrugate “would simply require encoding and would remove the need for inline tagging or print and apply applicators and reduce the costs that most manufacturers are absorbing today”. The attractiveness of the Ship2Save mobile cart solution resides in reducing manufacturers’ capital investment and also opens the door to more opportunities further along in their manufacturing/packaging processes.
Krupack Packaging (kruger.com) specializes in the design and manufacture of high quality and innovative, 100% recyclable packaging products. Its plants are located in LaSalle (Quebec) and Brampton (Ontario). Its parent company, Kruger Inc., was founded in 1904 and is a major producer of publication papers, tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons, green and renewable energy, paper and board recyclers and wines and spirits. The Company is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, in the United States and the United Kingdom and has 9,000 employees.
Ship2Save (ship2save.com) is one of the industry leaders in cost effective RFID Solutions and is a founding member of the Canadian Microsoft RFID Council, a member of the Microsoft Global RFID Council, an EPC Global Canada Strategic Council Member, a CompTIA RFID+™ Cornerstone Committee Member, and a member of Texas Instruments Tag-It Team. Ship2Save's unique product lines, flexible and proficient software, business development models, and distinctive deployment services, offer customers cost effective and high quality solutions for their RFID needs.