Normerica INC., one of North America’s largest private-label kitty litter producers, has implemented a new system which simplifies the RFID-tagging process required by some major retailers. The new system, created by Ship2Save and packaging producer Krupack, eliminates the need for an on-site RFID printer and the manual placement of RFID tags, relying instead on tags embedded in corrugated boxes and an RFID-enabled mobile cart system.
Noramerica’s system, deployed in manufacturing plants in Brantford, Ontario and Lethbridge, Alberta, uses Ship2Save’s RFID mobile cart systems. Each cart in the system consists of a PC, an Impinj Speedway RFID reader, an adjustable antenna, a handheld bar code scanner, and a LCD screen. When a Krupack box with an embedded EPC Gen 2 RFID tag passes through the system, it goes through a commissioning process which encodes the embedded tag with the proper shipping information. Validation of the encoding process is signaled through visual and audible alerts, and an uninterrupted power supply allows each station to be moved between conveyor lines with minimum downtime.
The Ship2Save system complies with Noramerica’s RFID requirements, which in turn meet the EPC conformity required for products intended for Wal-Mart Canada. The entire system fits with predictions made in a 2007 Canadian Grocery Industry RFID Pilot report prepared by the Canadian RFID Centre and IBM, which suggested that embedded RFID tags in corrugated boxes “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.”