Executive Briefings

RFID Tech Helps Finnish Dairy Products Manufacturer Monitor Packing, Shipping Process

Valio, a Finnish company that manufactures dairy consumer products, as well as powdered milk and other ingredients for the food industry, is piloting an automated solution for monitoring products as they move through packing and shipping processes, via RFID-enabled wheels on carts, also known as trolleys, that transport the goods.

Aksulit supplied the RFID solution, which features Tagwheel"”a plastic wheel with a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag built into it. The wheel, developed for this deployment by RFID tag and services provider Wisteq, fits onto a trolley on which goods are transported. The solution also includes software developed by Aksulit, as well as readers provided by Impinj, according to Asko Puoliväli, Aksulit's CEO.

Valio is a market leader for dairy products within its own country, but the company exports its goods to more than 60 other nations worldwide. It typically takes the firm 48 hours or less to move its milk and cream products from farm to store. To transport that large volume of goods efficiently, Valio maintains a highly automated facility that employs up to 500,000 rolling carts loaded with products at any given time. Those trolleys are shared with other dairy companies operating in Finland.

At Valio's site in Jyväskylä, milk is chilled, pasteurized, containerized and placed on trolleys to fill specific orders. The loaded trolleys then pass down conveyors and are placed on trucks destined for stores throughout Finland. Most of this process is accomplished via robotics. Orders for goods are automatically picked by cranes and stacked on trolleys, which move down conveyors to staging areas where employees push the carts to the appropriate dock doors and onto trucks. Due to the large volume of trolleys, as well as trucks picking them up, the company has a daunting task in ensuring that the correct product is loaded for each order.

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Aksulit supplied the RFID solution, which features Tagwheel"”a plastic wheel with a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tag built into it. The wheel, developed for this deployment by RFID tag and services provider Wisteq, fits onto a trolley on which goods are transported. The solution also includes software developed by Aksulit, as well as readers provided by Impinj, according to Asko Puoliväli, Aksulit's CEO.

Valio is a market leader for dairy products within its own country, but the company exports its goods to more than 60 other nations worldwide. It typically takes the firm 48 hours or less to move its milk and cream products from farm to store. To transport that large volume of goods efficiently, Valio maintains a highly automated facility that employs up to 500,000 rolling carts loaded with products at any given time. Those trolleys are shared with other dairy companies operating in Finland.

At Valio's site in Jyväskylä, milk is chilled, pasteurized, containerized and placed on trolleys to fill specific orders. The loaded trolleys then pass down conveyors and are placed on trucks destined for stores throughout Finland. Most of this process is accomplished via robotics. Orders for goods are automatically picked by cranes and stacked on trolleys, which move down conveyors to staging areas where employees push the carts to the appropriate dock doors and onto trucks. Due to the large volume of trolleys, as well as trucks picking them up, the company has a daunting task in ensuring that the correct product is loaded for each order.

Read Full Article