Read All About It: RFID Streamlines STP's Logistics

Subsidiary of French postal service notices smoother container management, greater productivity

Granges (Veveyse) — September 2 2004 — Sokymat SA, a supplier of radio frequency identification (RFID) transponders, announced that the French company STP (Société de Traitement de Presse) is using its RFID transponders to optimize its logistics processes associated with the daily press.

STP, a 100 percent subsidiary of the French postal service La Poste, specializes in the sorting and routing of the French daily press.

Acting as the interface between the newspaper publishers and the nearly 4,000 postal distribution centers of La Poste, STP collects, sorts and conveys nearly 3.5 million newspapers every day. To accomplish this, the company provides the publisher's routers with large containers that they fill with newspapers and deliver to one of the company's four warehouses.

STP said it has optimized the management of its 16,000 plastic containers by integrating Sokymat RFID tags that enable the development of real-time tracking applications. The entire pallet tracking solution was delivered by the system integrator and Sokymat partner Athelia, a logistics specialist with experience in RFID-based solutions. Athelia is a leader on gas cylinders, beer kegs and containers management, and tracking systems.

The Sokymat World TAG utilized in this application features a 125kHz, 1Kbit read/write IC. World TAGs, designed to fulfill most of the requirements found in industrial and logistics applications today, feature a polycarbonate housing, operate between 25 degrees Celsius and +70 degrees Celsius, and have been implemented in applications such as waste management, pallet identification, warehouse management and process control.

Until recently, STP used wooden pallets managed with a paper-based system, which created substantial risks of error and delays in the collection and transmission of information. To achieve its quality objectives, STP developed a tailor-made foldable plastic pallet where the traceability problem was faced at the outset by integrating electronic RFID labels directly into the containers. The container ID code can now be read automatically without contact or line of sight using appropriate readers. By avoiding manual data collection, the tracking information collected by the system is more reliable and is available in real-time.

With the new system, STP said it has benefited from smoother container management and greater productivity by eliminating lost pallets and dormant container stocks. Moreover, thanks to the highly accurate real-time information that the system provides, STP can more clearly foresee potential interruptions to the distribution process, enabling it to take corrective actions earlier and more effectively.

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