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KBA Optimizes Paper Logistics With RFID

Monday, August 25, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

(August 24, 2008) Paper logistics is a major factor when it comes to enhancing the competitiveness of large-scale printing plants. Among industry insiders, the reliable location of stored paper pallets in sheetfed production is a critical cost factor which all too often is sorely neglected. KBA now offers the perfect solution: a wireless identification system that automatically provides accurate, real-time data on the precise location of sheetfed goods.

Again and again KBA engineers have underscored its pole position in large-format sheetfed press technology with process and systems innovations, eg for the production of packaging. At Drupa 2008, for example, KBA unveiled a new optional feature, PileTronic, that is unequalled in the entire industry. This is because PileTronic is the only system on the market that allows pile logistics to be managed 100 per cent automatically, with full electronic tracking documentation. The key element is Siemens’ Simatic RF600 RFID sensor system.

The RFID system’s primary task is to log goods and items automatically. Capturing all the relevant process data using MIS software, and applying it intelligently, allows the enormous economic potential of this technology to be exploited to the full. RFID middleware, in the shape of Simatic RF-Manager, assumes the role of mediator between the read/write devices and the host IT systems. 

One major, capital-intensive issue confronting many printing plants is the absence of reliable, real-time figures – or indeed, any figures at all – on substrate movement and inventories. As a result, and depending on the size of the press fleet and the number of job changes necessary, a substantial number of partly-used piles may be left over at the end of production. These must be re-entered in the stores records, often giving rise to errors even in the most conscientious book-keeping. The consequences can be painful: time-consuming searches for errant pallets, presses idle for lack of paper, and special deliveries to make good a shortage. All this will be reflected mercilessly in the bottom line. The potential for cutting costs by optimising substrate and warehouse logistics is often sadly underestimated.
  The PileTronic option offered by KBA is an innovative approach to organising paper logistics at the presses in large-scale printing plants, and documenting the actual number of piles consumed and partial piles left over.

The system kicks in as soon as the paper is delivered to goods reception. Each pallet is furnished with two Simatic RF630L smart labels (pliable RFID data storage media) to which an RF660R read/write device transmits an unambiguous identification number via a wireless ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) band (between 865 and 868 MHz in Europe, 902 and 928 MHz in the USA). The incoming goods are booked in under this ID number with specification of the volume or quantity, order number, format and grammage etc. Affixing two labels to each pallet in the RF600 system not only provides a redundancy safeguard against accidental loss or failure but also ensures that the pallet will be detected by the RF660A antennae regardless of the direction in which it is transported. 




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