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Verbau improves shipping efficiency thanks to RFID solution

The company Verbau, based in Leuze in Hainaut, is specialised in the production of desserts for supermarkets and other retail outlets. This family business custom-makes their products according to the customer’s wishes. With the know-how and expertise of their staff on the one hand and the best local raw materials on the other, Verbau guarantees the consistently high quality of its desserts.

Not only does Verbau strive for the highest product quality, its processes are also subject to the highest quality standards, and product safety is crucial at all levels of management. The FEFO (First Expired, First Out) principle is one of their guiding principles, guaranteeing the freshness of delivered products at all times and minimising the risk of out-of-date stock.

“The configuration has been made as error-proof as possible.” – Boris Criquet, Packing & Technical Manager

It is one thing to introduce the FEFO principle, but applying it continually is another matter. Regular errors were identified in this set-up, meaning that the product flow was not always optimal. Moreover, the validation of shipments to be sent to customers did not always run smoothly. “It was always a hassle to check whether the right pallet went to the right customer”, explains Boris Criquet, Packing & Technical Manager at Verbau. Every retailer orders different products, and it was not easy to get the right combination on the right truck at the right gate. It was all very time-consuming and prone to human error.”

“Loading is now much faster and with far fewer errors” – Boris Criquet

Verbau commissioned PHI DATA to develop an innovative solution using RFID technology. This solution consists of two fixed RFID gates from Acceliot, RFID readers and antennas, RFID labels and three RFID printers from Toshiba, as well as proprietary PHI DATA technology for integration of the data created with this solution. After a 2-month project, the solution was rolled out in March 2020. “It took some time to affix the RFID tags to the pallets, so that these can be read at any moment. But PHI DATA has been superb in the way they helped us optimise the right configuration”, confirms Boris Criquet.

The finished products are placed on RFID-tagged pallets and go into the stock. Before the delivery goes out, it is checked that the correct pallet has been taken from the stock and goes through the correct gate and onto the correct truck. “The configuration has been made as error-proof as possible: you scan a product before loading it; if it flashes green, it is ok, if it turns red, it is not intended for that shipment”, enthuses Boris Criquet. There are 2 “light towers” with a buzzer at the dock doors, to warn the loaders visually and audibly if an error has been made during loading.

VERBAU products1 300x201 1

“Every time we contact PHI DATA, they provide rapid and impeccable support”– Boris Criquet

More than one year after the rollout, the RFID configuration has already yielded excellent results. The error rate during loading has fallen to a very low level, and products ready for shipment are validated in real time thanks to the integration with the management system, resulting in optimal supply chain performance vis-à-vis customers.

The collaboration with PHI DATA remains excellent, even after implementation. “Our RFID printers have fairly intensive use and therefore need occasional repair or maintenance. Whenever we need to contact PHI DATA, they respond quickly and any problems are resolved without any hassle. We are and will remain a satisfied customer,” concludes Boris Criquet.

Challenges

  • Automate the registering of item movements
  • Simplify the administrative processing
  • Implement efficient location management
  • Accurate and rapid stock-taking
  • Avoid loading errors

Smart Edge solution

Integration with Verbau’s ERP partner and RFID technology that integrates perfectly with the existing ERP system.

Technology 

  • Acceliot’s RFID hardware
  • Integration by PHI DATA
  • RFID printer control with BarTender labelling software
  • Toshiba RFID printers and labels

Advantages:

  • Better productivity in the internal supply chain
  • FEFO process optimisation prevents lost production raw materials.
  • Improved real-time visibility of items and their locations
  • Simple management of the movement of goods
  • Time savings and reduced error margin
  • Administrative work minimised by automatic registration
  • Rapid and correct loading
  • Effective external supply chain

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