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SQM Achieves Near-100% Traceability and Quality Control with RAIN RFID

SQM, a global mining company headquartered in Chile, is using RAIN RFID to accurately track Maxibag solar salt shipments.

RAIN RFID for better supply chain and logistics

Chilean mining company SQM is a leading global supplier of plant nutrients, iodine, lithium, solar salts, and other chemicals used in industries such as healthcare, food, technology, and clean energy. For many years, the company mined and exported solar salts in 1.2-ton Maxibags using primarily manual processes, leaving a lot of room for error. 

As part of the organization’s goal of achieving overall improvement in business operations and efficiency, SQM adopted RAIN RFID to ensure maximum traceability and quality certification for its solar salt Maxibags.  

Impinj partner Microsystem S.A., also headquartered in Chile, solved these problems by helping SQM implement RAIN RFID in its logistics operations, boosting traceability and ensuring strict quality control — all in the middle of a global pandemic. 

Using the RAIN RFID solution from Microsystem and Impinj, SQM has been able to:

  • Ensure near-100% certainty and control of inventory data with highly accurate tracking 
  • Provide alerts if a Maxibag does not pass quality certification 
  • Improve overall employee safety by automating dangerous on-ground work 
  • Automate and digitize its entire process from inventory management to shipping 

We have a RAIN RFID solution that allows us to achieve deep visibility into what we have never been able to see in the past.

Rodrigo Jasen, SQM logistics manager for Maxibag traceability solution

Accurate tracking and checking with RAIN RFID

The solution designed by Microsystem S.A., featuring Impinj readers and tag chips, enabled near-100% inventory visibility and automated quality certification tracking. The solution also enabled SQM to extend data to the customer.  

Here’s how SQM’s RAIN RFID solution works: 

  • RAIN RFID tags are added to each Maxibag so SQM can track the location and movement of all bagged inventory at all times 
  • Portals featuring Impinj RAIN RFID readers, including the Impinj R700 reader, capture data as each Maxibag is loaded onto a truck 
  • Additional RAIN RFID readers installed throughout the facility capture, validate, and update the quality analysis certification of each Maxibag prior to shipping 
  • Employees can use traceability software to extract and analyze specific data when necessary, such as verifying quality certification for customers. 
  • SQM can digitally provide customers with information they may need about a specific Maxibag, including the latest updates about its quality certificate. 

Digitizing processes to boost efficiency

Any detrimental change in SQM’s logistics process could have cost several million dollars, but the Microsystem solution was implemented with minimal disruptions. This smooth and largely remote deployment, in the midst of a pandemic, was a remarkable accomplishment by Microsystem and a tremendous benefit to SQM and its customers.

Near-100% certainty and control of inventory data

With RAIN RFID, SQM achieved complete control of inventory data for quality assurance and achieved real-time visibility into what was being shipped and where, down to the individual Maxibag. This level of data, and the ability to quickly analyze it, wasn’t possible with SQM’s previous manual and time-consuming processes.

Alerts on quality certificate status

The solution was set up so that any time a Maxibag doesn’t pass quality certification, an alert is triggered to notify management about the issue. This enables more thorough quality control than ever before.  

Improved employee safety with automation

SQM automated certain risky, on-ground tasks that had previously been completed manually, helping keep facility workers safe. RFID-enabled automation minimized these risks for mining workers, and aligned with one of SQM’s key corporate values: the safety of all employees. 

Automation from inventory management to shipping 

By adopting a RAIN RFID solution, SQM digitized its entire process. The system captures and reports data on Maxibag location and status at multiple read points, and eliminates error-prone manual tasks, making operations far more accurate and efficient. 

Microsystem and the Impinj Partner Network 

For 45 years, Microsystem S.A. has been providing services and solutions that support intelligent information management to boost organizational efficiency. Working in areas such as traceability, document management, data analytics, and IT, Microsystem makes digital transformation a reality for its clients. You can check out Microsystem on the Impinj Partner Directory and learn more about the Impinj Partner Network. 

Article tagged as:

Customer Story Inventory Management Manufacturing Impinj Readers Supply Chain & Logistics Shipment Verification Supply Chain Automation

Friday, March 1, 2024



Since 1968, Chilean chemical company SQM has been mining and globally supplying specialty plant nutrition, iodine and derivatives, lithium and derivatives, potassium, and solar salts. 

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