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Roba Metals Automates Track and Trace of Pallets, Speeds Searches

Track&Trace solution helps Roba Metals achieve real-time pallet detection and localization—from production to storage to truck loading.

Every step. Every pallet. Monitored In real-time.

Based in the Netherlands, Roba Metals supplies steel, aluminium, and other metal products to customers all around the world. As their global profile has expanded, so have their warehouses—but their barcode scanning system was unable to keep up, leading to delays and lost pallets. With customers expecting turnaround times as short as one day, they needed a real-time tracking solution. 

By deploying the Aucxis ATLAS Track&Trace solution which utilizes Impinj RAIN RFID readers, Roba Metals:

  • automated tracking of individual pallets
  • streamlined operations and freed up employees for different tasks
  • increased the accuracy of pickings 
  • sped up specific pallet searches by 50%
  • reduced wait times for the WMS to load

The down-to-earth approach of Aucxis convinced us to collaborate. Today we are searching together for the best solutions and we achieve great results with our RFID applications.

Gert Machon Production Manager Roba Metals

Roba Metals Uses RAIN RFID to Track and Trace Warehouse Pallets

Bye-bye barcode scanner. Hello, RAIN RFID-enabled forklifts and cranes. 

After a year of collaboration and testing, Aucxis delivered Roba Metals a real-time pallet detection and localization system, linkable to their WMS. Once a product is complete and ready for use, it is packaged and given a barcode with customer information, an ID number, and two RAIN RFID tags. Two tags are necessary for each pallet to be found by two different forms of transport: a forklift for carrying to drop-off zones, and a bridge crane located on the warehouse ceiling which moves in a grid, finding the exact pallet based on X-Y coordinates. With an estimated 100,000 tagged pallets moving each year, it’s important to be confident in the location of pallets!

  • After production, each pallet of product is equipped with 2 RAIN RFID tags in order to be readable by both a forklift and a bridge crane
  • Once it is tagged, a forklift equipped with an Impinj Speedway reader moves the pallet to a temporary drop-off zone
  • A bridge crane equipped with another Impinj Speedway reader moves the pallet from the drop-off zone to a storage area where it will await shipping
  • To prepare for shipping, the reverse movement takes place: a bridge crane picks the correct pallet and moves it to a drop off zone where a forklift will take it to shipping
  • Each forklift has three antennas on the front and bottom to scan floor tags and send real-time location data

When tracking steel, aluminium, and more, RAIN RFID tags help with the heavy lifting.

Faster and more accurate 

RAIN RFID systems are able to identify and locate items without line of sight. The Track&Trace system sped up the pallet location process by 50%, nearly eliminating human errors.

A better work environment 

With faster picking, there is less pressure to find lost pallets and meet shipping deadlines. Warehouse staff reported less frustration and employees are available to perform non-picking tasks.

Real-time asset and inventory data

Each RAIN RFID-enabled forklift reads multiple pallet tags at once—and reads the floor tags, which they cross over at an average speed of 12 km/h. As a result, asset and inventory data is available in real-time.

A solution that grows with your business 

Roba Metals was unable to scale their barcode solution to fit the needs of their operations as they continued to grow. With RAIN RFID, the only limit is storage space, and they have a solution that can be easily expanded to other warehouses.  

Article tagged as:

Asset Management Customer Story Impinj Readers Supply Chain & Logistics Supply Chain Automation

Monday, October 12, 2020


Roba Metals

Since 1937, the independent Dutch family business Roba Metals has supplied steel, stainless steel, aluminium and other non-ferrous semi-finished products internationally.  They can be relied on for custom-designed products and cradle-to-cradle recycling.

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