- Warehouse Operations
- Asset Tracking
- Spotlight Server 2.0.1, Windows Svr, ASP.NET, Microsoft SQL Server
- Handheld UHF RFID readers
- Fixed UHF RFID readers at dock doors and portals
- Vehicle mount computers and mobile UHF RFID readers on fork lifts
- UHF RFID tags on pallets, floor locations, and storage locations
S3Edge SERVICES PROVIDED
- Specification, design, implementation and deployment services
- Annual support
Toll Group operates an extensive global logistics network across 1,200 locations in more than 50 countries. A diverse range of transport and logistics solutions covering road, air, sea and rail are provided to help customers best meet their global supply chain needs. The focus of the Toll’s RFID Enterprise Application Platform (REAP) initiative was to improve warehouse operational efficiency and to enable granular real time process visibility.
S3Edge was selected as the technology partner to implement the REAP system. S3Edge’s Spotlight software was customized and deployed with a network of fixed RFID scanners, mobile hand-held scanners, and fork-lift vehicle mount computers to address Toll’s business needs.
On May 28, 2015, Toll formally became a division of Japan Post. Toll continues to be headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and retains the Toll brand and is growing globally with the support of Japan Post.
The benefits of the REAP system can be grouped into the following major categories:
- Labor savings – reduces/eliminates many manual labor intensive and error prone data capture activities
- Reduces errors – reduces errors in the core receive, put away pick and ship processes and the associated exception handling error correction costs
- Improved Warehouse Management System accuracy – allows higher utilization of storage without reduced operational efficiency
- Competitive differentiation – differentiates otherwise third party logistics supply chain services being provided.
S3Edge provided the following components Toll’s REAP project:
- Packaged Software – Spotlight Server and Spotlight Mobile
- Customization Services – software customization developed specific for Toll’s warehouse business processes
- Deployment Services – installation, training, back-end system integration, and project management
- RFID devices and tags – handheld readers, fixed portal readers, fork-lift readers, UHF tags
- Annual Support Services – phone hotline, bug fixes, feature releases
UHF RFID technology was used for the REAP project. Three types of tags were used:
- Embedded floor tags: read by the vehicle mount RFID readers attached to fork lifts to identify forklift movement across zone boundaries and as location identifiers for floor-stacked pallet storage
- Pallet tags: attached to pallets and read by handheld and vehicle mount fork lift RFID readers to identify pallets and (by association) the inventory they contain
- Shelf tags: attached to storage locations and read by handheld and vehicle mount fork lift RFID readers during the put away and picking operations
RFID READERS AND DEVICES
Three types of UHF RFID readers were used in the REAP project:
- RFID portals – fixed RFID readers with stack-lights and bi-directional sensors were used at dock doors and choke points in the warehouse
- RFID handheld readers – handheld readers were used in the palatalization and stock taking processes
- RFID-enabled forklift readers – RFID reader and vehicle mount touch screen computers were installed on forklifts
RFID ENABLED TOUCH POINTS
The REAP system includes a set of applets running on handheld and vehicle mount computers used during pallet processing. These touchpoints include:
- Receiving – Goods are received, palatalized and input into the warehouse management system (WMS)
- Zone transfer In – Pallets are moved from the receiving area to a storage zone thereby going through an inbound change of custody process
- Putaway – Pallets are placed into a specific rack location in a storage zone
- Location Transfer – Pallets are moved from one rack location to another
- Picking – Effecting either a full are partial pallet pick operation as directed by the WMS
- Zone Transfer Out – Pallets are moved from a storage zone to a the shipping area thereby going through an outbound change of custody process
- Shipment – Pallets are moved through a dock door and loaded onto a delivery truck
The “before” and “after” processing for each touch point are shown in the REAP overview video.
SOLUTION NETWORK ARCHITECTURE
The network architecture of the warehouse operations tracking SYSTEM is shown in the figure. The handheld, vehicle mount and fixed RFID readers connect with and are controlled by a central Spotlight server. Toll’s warehouse staff use applets on the handheld and vehicle mount computers at each of the material movement touch points.
The Spotlight server exchanges information with handheld, vehicle mount computers and fixed readers as pallets pass through the system. The Spotlight server also exchanges information with Toll’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) in real time to ensure it is always up to date with the latest information. A set of web-based dashboards are provided for Toll’s staff to login to the Spotlight server and operationally run and administer the tracking system.