Euro Pool System: warehouse of the future
Euro Pool System is market leader in reusable standard packagings in the European fresh chain. The company is operating in 25 countries and every year more than 1 billion crates for fresh and packaged food are in rotation.
EPS developed together with the retailer Delhaize ‘the warehouse of the future’. Not only was a new building of 30.000 m² established: EPS and Delhaize also wanted to improve the flow of their logistics processes.
The Delhaize stores return RTIs (empty and used plastic trays, pallets, fish boxes, dollies...) to the
EPS warehouse for processing (sorting, registration, counting, washing, repair, cross docking) and afterwards they are taken into use again. This process was not always efficient before.
Customised software for the automatic registration and steering of the logistics pool
Aucxis was engaged to automate the tracking and tracing of the RTIs in and around the warehouse.More than 2 million RTIs were tagged. The rotation is very high: every day some 3.000 SSCCs (load carriers) return, distributed over about 150 trucks.
Aucxis developed customised software for the automatic registration and steering of the logistics processes throughout the entire flow:
- Yard Management: steering of incoming and outgoing trucks through intelligent, real-time YMS
- Inbound Management: transparency to the stores through a delivery note by means of RFID, Barcode and Vision technology
- Processing Management: higher efficiency in the stores and warehouse thanks to automated scanning and identification throughout the logistics process
- Outbound Management: data exchange between the partners, based on the GS1 standards
Also the module ‘people steering’ plays an important role. Tasks are assigned to employees according to a set of parameters, such as skills, location and availability. They make use of a wearable which registers their activities, for example unloading trucks, counting load carriers, sorting etc.
Finally, Aucxis delivered E-Track, the centralised web portal which enables consulting and managing the different modules over the entire site.
Unique cooperation between hardware & middleware for the RTI flow management
In addition to the software, also an impressive hardware amount was delivered to optimise the counting and sorting of the RTIs, but also to route them to the right destinations, such as quality control, outbound, washing installations,…
For example, the integration of 6 kiosks, 14 inbound and 4 outbound registration gates and a palletiser – all of them equipped with an RFID reader – 35 wearable handhelds and 5 scan stations for quality control. The assembly of the entire project to one streamlined entity was quite complicated.
Efficient and accurate solution for the follow-up of RTIs throughout the different processes
The result of the project is extremely positive: by implementing the track & trace system, the rotation speed of the crates was raised and investments were reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, the following goals were achieved:
- Counting and sorting of trays in the stores is no longer necessary.
- Efficient data interchange (EDI) between all chain partners through individual tray barcode and/or RFID tags, unique barcodes per load and RFID tags on the truck trailers.
- Optimal efficiency through intelligent, completely automated steering of employees.
- Accurate counting and identification of returned goods and creates 100% transparency at all points of the supply chain.
Aucxis is the proud supplier of this registration and control solution which enables the logistics pool management of the Euro Pool System warehouse; ranging from the arrival and allocation of the RTIs, and the hybrid portals (RFID, barcode and vision control) to processing, inventory management, quality control and automatic supply of the Delhaize DCs.
During the Supply Chain Awards 2018, EPS and Delhaize were recognised in the category ‘Project of the Year’ with their turnkey project 'Reverse Logistics Distribution Centre of the Future', a nice recognition of the successful solution!