ShockWatch® RFID—Mitigate the Risks of Shipping and Handling Sensitive Laboratory Equipment

Get real-time data, reduce costs, and streamline your inventory management Key Takeaways: Reduce damage by 40% to 60%. Monitor damage during handling, loading, unloading, and…

Get real-time data, reduce costs, and streamline your inventory management

Key Takeaways:

  • Reduce damage by 40% to 60%.
  • Monitor damage during handling, loading, unloading, and shipping.
  • ShockWatch impact indicators can be used for inventory management and damage monitoring.
  • Streamline your entire supply chain to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

For laboratory equipment manufacturers, navigating the complexities of logistics can feel like a high-stakes game of Jenga. Delicate instruments, intricate components, and the ever-present threat of damage during shipping combine to create a constant challenge. Delays and financial losses due to mishandling can severely disrupt operations and strain your bottom line.

By its very nature, laboratory equipment is extremely fragile, composed of glass items such as graduated cylinders and lenses that can easily crack or shatter during shipment if not packed and shipped properly.

Breakage aside, laboratory equipment manufacturers face other challenges when shipping, such as temperature and other environmental concerns. A streamlined, reliable solution to safeguard fragile equipment is required – one that offers insights that enhance supply chain transparency. Integrating ShockWatch® RFID technology into the shipping process means you gain onsite visibility into issues that can make or break a successful shipment. 

The risks of shipping laboratory equipment

Shipping laboratory equipment is tricky. Physical damage can lead to equipment malfunctions, render them unusable, or lead to expensive repairs.

Custom-built crates can help prevent damage, but even the strongest container can be subject to rough handling and mishandling when loading and unloading, and during transit. In addition, some lab equipment is composed of multiple intricate parts. If one of these parts is broken or damaged, the entire item will need repairs.

Damaged equipment must be repaired or replaced. This is not only a costly financial issue but also means delays for the end receiver and you, the manufacturer, who have to swiftly replace the damaged items no matter how much production is otherwise disrupted.

It’s quite a problem, but fortunately, there’s a way to mitigate these problems by gaining insight into how shipments are damaged. 

Introducing ShockWatch RFID

Would you like to reduce damage by 40% to 60%? Face fewer repairs and replacements? Want fewer delays, disruptions, claim filings, and a way to ensure reputation?

You need a proactive tool

The ShockWatch RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag is an impact monitoring solution that combines traditional impact indicators’ power with RFID technology’s convenience. This single-use indicator changes color from green to red upon experiencing a pre-determined level of impact.

  • Choose the appropriate impact threshold. 
  • Affix the ShockWatch RFID tag.
  • Each time the asset is remotely scanned with an RFID reader, its condition is automatically entered into your ERP (enterprise resource platform), warehouse management, or other system.
  • Inspecting the indicator is unnecessary because the data is automatically entered.

Combining traditional RFID inventory management with impact-damage monitoring means it can be used to deter, detect, and diagnose damage that happens in the supply chain:

  1. Automatically identify which products need damage inspections.
  2. Assign accountability – when you know where the damage occurred, underlying problems can be fixed.
  3. Automate reporting by simply scanning the product into your software. Any g-force threshold events are reported, removing the need for visual inspection. Thousands of packages can be read and evaluated for damage in mere seconds. 

In addition, when tags are affixed to the companion labels, ShockWatch RFID provides clear instructions that tell cargo handlers what to do when they suspect damage.

Supply chain management is all about data, and ShockWatch RFID tags automatically provide it to mitigate damage while the asset is still in the supply chain rather than having the recipient report it. 

The evidence: How ShockWatch RFID mitigates shipping risks

A laboratory equipment manufacturer needed a cost-effective solution that could track individual product damage and alert supply chain managers of any damage before the product entered the supply chain.

This major manufacturer was experiencing a high rate of internal damage to unsold products being transferred from their plant to their distribution warehouse. At their wit’s end, they searched for a viable solution. 

They chose to implement a ShockWatch RFID impact indicator program. Because they already had standard UHF RFID readers at each dock door, they only needed to configure them to read the “impact event” when signaled from an activated ShockWatch RFID unit. 

Now, they attach ShockWatch RFID devices to all sensitive or fragile laboratory equipment packages before they leave the manufacturing facility. As the truck loaded with these packages passes by the dock door readers, any impact event is recorded in the company’s warehouse management system. Damaged products are subsequently identified and pulled for inspection by the quality assurance team.

One welcome change from implementing ShockWatch RFID was a shift in behavior among supply chain workers – ShockWatch RFID acts as a visual deterrent for unacceptable handling because it assigns accountability for any damage. 

What ShockWatch RFID can do for you

With ShockWatch RFID, you get all the benefits of an impact monitoring program, including:

  • Reduced damage from mishandling
  • Refined supply chain processes that prevent mishandling
  • Lower costs
  • An electronic record 

The tamper-proof devices can be armed in the field and turn red when an impact occurs. Passive RFID technology means there are no batteries to think about.

And – bonus – ShockWatch RFID can replace the existing UHF RFID tags you use for inventory control.

Incorporate ShockWatch RFID tags into existing workflows

ShockWatch RFID labels can optimize your entire logistics program and supply chain, offering a robust ROI and a proactive approach to supply chain management. By offering real-time asset tracking and monitoring, they enable better inventory management and enhanced supply chain transparency and safety. 

The data gathered from RFID integration can do more than monitor the condition of products in transit. It automates and streamlines areas of the supply chain to offer the information needed to make faster, informed decisions that boost the efficiency of your supply chain by:

  • Improved inventory accuracy and visibility
  • Boosting product traceability and security
  • Enabling real-time tracking
  • Reducing theft and lost products
  • Lowering costs for inventory counting

In addition, ShockWatch RFID, by offering enhanced transparency, improves collaboration between stakeholders, aids with planning for production lines, and increases warehouse productivity. 

Embrace continuous improvement through transparency

The supply chain journey of valuable and fragile laboratory equipment is critical to preserving its overall integrity. ShockWatch RFID improves inventory control, identifies damaged goods without a visual inspection, acts as a deterrent to mishandling, helps you identify trouble spots in your supply chain, and saves money.

Have questions? Want to get started? Fill out this simple form, and we’ll be in touch within 24 business hours to discuss how SpotSee’s ShockWatch RFID can improve your laboratory equipment supply chain.