Making the Invisible, Visible: RFID Inventory Management Levels Up with Impact Indicators

May 13, 2021

RFID impact indicators can tell you just how severe the damage might be

The Impact of Impacts: Embrace RFID with Impact Indicators

Stakeholders throughout the supply chain need to know not only where items are, but also when things go wrong.

  • In the pharmaceutical industry, impacts and temperature variations can destroy certain therapeutic drugs, making them unusable for patients.
  • In the automotive industry, parts managers need to ensure that only non-damaged components go to the manufacturing line to preserve product quality.
  • In the aerospace industry, impacts can throw sensitive instruments out of calibration rendering them unfit for service without immediate attention.

There are countless other industry examples where knowing the condition of each shipping container immediately, without having to open and inspect each pallet before put away, vastly improves the process of receiving product into the warehouse. A successful, highly optimized supply chain means making the “invisible” condition of every shipped item instantly visible to supply chain workers and systems.

In a world where supply chains are growing increasingly complex, smart, resilient, connected, and optimized supply chains are the keys to business success. To thrive, businesses of all types must reduce inefficient, error-prone processes, replacing them with intelligent, efficient technologies that integrate seamlessly with existing workflows.

ShockWatch RFID Unactivated SpotSee Impact IndicatorsRFID sensors revolutionized shipping and warehousing when they were introduced in the 1990s. Locating cargo no longer depended on someone logging its receipt and entering that data into a tracking or inventory management system.

With RFID, when tagged cargo passed a sensor on the loading dock, it was automatically logged into the system. Error rates and manual labor decreased.

Today, RFID does much more. SpotSee’s ShockWatch® RFID tags integrate with existing UHF RFID readers to track cargo using passive RFID tag signals and record whether an impact has occurred during shipping. With a variety of impact thresholds available from 5 to 75 Gs, you can focus on events that have the potential to cause damage. This is called “exception management,” and it helps you optimize operations and tightly manage costs.

A Simple, yet Groundbreaking Upgrade to RFID Inventory Management

With SpotSee’s combined RFID and impact indicator solution, you can access a condition report each time the passive RFID tag is near a scanner – like during handoffs between carriers – regardless of how many service handlers are involved. Importantly, the ShockWatch RFID tags can be read by any UHF Gen 2 compatible scanner. As a result, you can know instantly whether parts can be put into inventory or need a thorough inspection, or whether something happened during transit that requires replacement items to be shipped.

The ACSIS supply chain visibility platform takes RFID tagging a big step farther. As a system of record, it captures all data about the lifetime of an item and its attributes as it travels through the extended supply chain. By interrogating the data embedded in each RFID tag, the system knows the condition of each container without manual inspection. The ACSIS solution delivers event management and actionable analytics to handle issues and exceptions such as substituting or reordering a damaged part, all integrated with ERP systems.

Impact Indicators + Passive RFID Tags Ensure Accountability and Enable Optimization

The combination of impact monitoring with RFID tracking together with a supply chain visibility platform can revolutionize logistics. Rather than installing and monitoring two tags, supply chain managers can rely on a single, integrated solution that simplifies monitoring and reporting, improving supply chain speed, reducing the risk of shipping errors related to damaged components, and ultimately improving the delivery of products to your consumers.

Because carriers see the RFID tag, they know this cargo is being watched. They become more careful. Customers say the ShockWatch RFID impact monitoring solution has helped them reduce damage by 40 to 60 percent.

Passive RFID tags with impact indicators easily isolate possibly damaged shipments

Easily Add Impact Indicators to your RFID Inventory Management

Learn more about SpotSee’s innovative combination of impact indicator and RFID inventory management technologies and get its full details and capabilities here. Find out about ACSIS 100% supply chain visibility solutions here. And please get in touch with further questions.