Jungheinrich Aims to Set Standards in RFID

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Jungheinrich AG, manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse technology, has taken over project management of the “IdentProLog” research project for RFID technology. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) permits automatic identification and localization of items with the aid of transponders and RFID scanners. At the end of the project scheduled for three years, cross-sector standards are to be in place for using RFID in both industry and trade.

Jungheinrich AG, manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse technology, has taken over project management of the “IdentProLog” research project for RFID technology. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) permits automatic identification and localization of items with the aid of transponders and RFID scanners. At the end of the project scheduled for three years, cross-sector standards are to be in place for using RFID in both industry and trade. The German Ministry of Education and Research is promoting the project under the motto of “Forschung für die Produktion von morgen” (Research for production of the future).

“Our main concern is developing basic technologies for RFID communication between forklift trucks and load carriers. The aim is to have them increase the efficiency of material flows in industry and trade,” claims Ralf Baginski, Head of Basic Development at Jungheinrich. For this, standard load carriers already in use are to be further developed as “intelligent” and communication-enabled Euro-pallets, for example, and industrial trucks used for transport (e.g., forklift trucks) equipped with the corresponding identification technology. With the result that in the future, industrial trucks will not only transport more material, but will also be bearers of information.

Thanks to plans to standardize the essential elements, universal applicability has been made possible even beyond corporate borders. Apart from a high degree of reliability, practical tests are to ensure the universal applicability of a future standard. “The extensive use of transponder technology both in the area of “intelligent” load carriers and for the identification of storage slots and load handling stations will, in the future, form the basis for new lean processes in the area of intralogistics,” explains Baginski. Intralogistics refers to the internal material flow, i.e., all transport tasks between the loading ramp, warehouse and assembly or sales area. The use of RFID in this area will lead to a significant increase in versatility, reliability and speed.

The research project is operated by a consortium. On the part of industrial truck manufacturers, the Kion Group (with its Linde and Still brands) is actively involved as well as Jungheinrich AG in its capacity as project co-ordinator. Under the umbrella of the Wissenschaftliche Gesellschaft für Technische Logistik (WGTL), the consortium includes the Institut für Transport- und Automatisierungstechnik (ITA) and the Institut für Fördertechnik und Logistik (IFT). On the part of the industry, Gebhardt Transport- und Lagersysteme (manufacturer of load carriers), PSI Logistics GmbH (EDP system integrator), Deister Electronic GmbH (RFID integrator) and Kuka Roboter GmbH (users) are represented along with the industrial truck manufacturers referred to above. Key companies have already availed of the possibility of entering the consortium in the form of extended, informal membership; the incorporation of other industrial partners is both desired and planned. “We are open to practically any interested company,” adds Baginski.

Jungheinrich ranks among the world’s leading companies in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors. The company has become a logistics service provider with manufacturing operations, which offers its customers a comprehensive range of forklift trucks, shelving systems and services covering the entire field of intralogistics. Jungheinrich shares are traded on all German stock exchanges.

About Jungheinrich

Jungheinrich is the world leader in warehouse logistics technology. Founded over fifty years ago, the company has grown from its beginnings as a European manufacturer of materials handling equipment to an international supplier of industrial trucks, warehousing technology and materials-flow products. Today, it is a major supplier of forklift trucks around the globe, and offers a complete range of materials handling equipment, rack systems and services related to manufacturing logistics.

Jungheinrich’s growth has been due in large part to the high value it has always placed on leading-edge design and technological innovation. This is seen, for example, in the company’s proprietary 3-phase AC motor and controller technology, and in a host of productivity and ergonomic enhancements. Jungheinrich has more than 120 strategically-located service support centers and store operations in the U.S., and sales and service companies in countries around the industrialized world.

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Markus Piazza
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