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RFID Solution for Warehouse

BL ident improves warehouse management in Chinese cigarette factories

As an external system integrator, China Post Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (CPST) creates strategies for increasing efficiency for numerous Chinese companies. In order to improve warehouse management at national cigarette factories, the specialists have been using the BL ident RFID solution from Turck.

  • Turck's BL ident RFID system ensures the right transparency in the high bay warehouse at the Baisha Group

  • Turck total package: BL20 remote I/O system (l.), engine starter (m.) and BL ident Profibus Gateway (r.)

  • Simple assembly: Most read-write heads are available in the standard sensor configuration

To modernize their warehouse management system and to restructure their supply chain management the tobacco company Baisha Group placed its trust in the automation know-how of the system integrator China Post Science and Technology Co., Ltd. (CPST).

Challenge of diversity

The diversity of the products used in cigarette production quickly turned into a major automation challenge. This is because in a large tobacco factory numerous cigarette brands are produced and the multiple components like different tobacco types, cuttings, aromas and other additives, in addition to the different packaging have to be constantly stored in large amounts.

In 2007, in order to structure the intralogistics of the tobacco factories more efficiently, CPST introduced the BL ident RFID solution from Turck into its numerous production facilities - besides the Baisha Group, other firms such as Jinan General Tobacco Company and Shandong Qingzhou Tobacco Company used CPST's consulting services.

The RFID technology offers plant operators many benefits in supply chain management, regardless of the respective warehouse equipment. In contrast to the previously used barcode, which enables the commodity group (e.g. tobacco container) to be identified based exclusively on a serial number, the RFID tags with a memory capacity of up to 2 kByte (FRAM) can also record relevant information such as batch, receipt date or the most recently performed processing steps.

“No programming effort”

The BL ident system, which is sold in China by the company's subsidiary Turck (Tianjin) Sensor Co. Ltd., has proven itself not only in terms of uniform information management, but also as a manageable and comprehensive solution. The modular configuration of the RFID system convinced CPST employees and warehouse operators very quickly: “The Turck products were very easy to implement,” says Cunyu Li, responsible at CPST for electrical installations. “Connecting it to the controller was very easy and there was practically no additional programming effort. I would not have thought so beforehand.”

In order to modernize and make warehousing and intralogistics more efficient at the Baisha Group, the CPST project manager opted for Turck's Q80 read-write heads and the reliable BL67 remote I/O system. Mounted directly adjacent to the transport belts, the Q80 read-write heads detect the tags attached to the transport containers of the incoming and outgoing warehouse goods. The read-in data is subsequently forwarded from the gateways of the I/O nodes via Profibus to the higher-level warehouse management system.

Optimized to the application

For system integrators and users, the Turck complete solution offers numerous advantages: The flat tags can be easily attached to metal, the combination of suitable tags and read-write heads permits application-optimized ranges from the read-write head to the interface module, the robust components are uncomplicated to install on-site.

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