Zaltbommel: pallet box management
Throughout the year, the Dutch Cooperative fruit and vegetable auction market “Veiling Zaltbommel” handles the supply of its 300 member-growers. The products are sold through the Dutch auction clock system and through mediation.
Every year 16.000 wooden and plastic pallet boxes filled with hard fruit are supplied to the auction market and stored in 70 ULO (Ultra Low Oxygen) cold stores.
Aucxis was engaged to automate the manual registrations of the in- and outgoing movements and relocations of the pallet boxes at the market's cooling complex, so a correct view, in real time, of the number of pallet boxes in the cold stores could be obtained.
For the concept elaboration, the following aspects were to be taken into account:
- Every pallet box had to be provided with a unique pallet box label with integrated RFID tag.
- The filled pallet boxes needed to be detected by RFID on the forklift trucks.
- Every in- and outgoing movement in every ULO cold store needed to be recorded.
- Aucxis had to develop an all-embracing solution which could be easily integrated into the market's existing processes.
The RFID solution
Aucxis developed a supply input application which enables the market staff to print labels while inputting the pallet box data. During this printing process, the RFID tag in the label is programmed by the printer. In this way, every pallet box is provided with an RFID label which also comprises information on the grower and a barcode, which is used as a back-up.
The tags are read and registered respectively by the readers and the Windows terminals integrated at the forklift trucks. In other words, every box pallet movement is registered through the RFID detection from the forklift truck. In the corridors and at the cold store entrances tags have been integrated into the floor. These are read by the forklift truck's reader in order to detect its location. All detection related data are visualised on the forklift truck terminal and are buffered and transmitted to a SQL database via a Wifi network. As this database is replicated to the market's database, all registered data is available in real time in the market's ERP software. Aucxis also developed a WMS package and a web portal for control and reporting.
Accurate information regarding the number of pallet boxes in every cold store is available to Veiling Zaltbommel at any moment.
The manual registrations of pallet box movements became redundant.