Birmingham, Alabama (PRWEB) March 14, 2008
Atlas RFID Solutions (http://www.atlasrfidsolutions.com) announced today that they have designed and implemented an inventory management system utilizing Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology for Vulcan Painters, Inc. This project will increase profitability by reducing operating expense through improved management of materials inventory.
Vulcan Painters, Inc., is the twelfth largest painting contractor in the nation according to Engineering News Record. They maintain a constantly revolving inventory of hundreds of cans of paint and solvents, as well as hundreds of bags of blast and sponge at their facility in Bessemer, AL. Supplies are constantly being shipped to and returned from dozens of job sites across the southeast. Project managers at each job site have different needs and timelines for completion. To further complicate inventory management, many of the paints and solvents inventoried by Vulcan have stringent expiration dates that can lead to waste in the form of discarded product. After much research into the available options, Vulcan selected Birmingham-based Atlas to design and implement a customized, automated identification solution utilizing RFID technology. "The first month alone we realized $12,000 in saved material costs," said Rob Post, Vulcan's operations manager. "If we had had to buy those materials, we would have paid an additional $2,000 to dispose of the containers. Cutting costs, reducing waste and tracking our inventory are all important to Vulcan's initiative to go green. And being able to access inventory from the field is an incredible time saver."
Within the system that Atlas has designed for Vulcan, each item in the warehouse inventory is affixed with a pre-encoded RFID tag. Information about each item is associated with the affixed tag and stored in a master database. Using custom database software designed by Atlas, Vulcan personnel can search for needed items with real-time accuracy. By tracking inventory in real-time, Vulcan can discern whether an item is in the warehouse or if it has been assigned to a specific job. This, in turn, allows Vulcan to more effectively order needed materials and track products so that they can be used on a first-in, first-out basis. Overall, the system allows them to increase profitability by reducing operating expenses, reducing expired product waste, and increasing job fulfillment efficiency.
To manage the RFID solution, designated Vulcan associates utilize hand-held tag readers to scan materials in and out of the warehouse. Additionally, the warehouse entryway is equipped with an RFID reader portal to automatically capture tags as they enter and exit the warehouse. In the event that an item is not scanned out, the portal system acts as a backup and flags any items not scanned on an exception report. This backup feature helps to minimize human error.
There are several key advantages to using RFID technology over a traditional barcode system. With a traditional barcode system, each barcode must be scanned and read individually. With RFID, multiple tags can be read simultaneously and line of sight is not required. This means that the items can be facing any direction as long as the tag is within read range of the reader. Finally, RFID tracking solutions are much more durable in a warehouse environment than traditional barcodes. Barcodes can be easily damaged and they often fail to work when dirty or greasy. RFID tags and the readers are manufactured for outdoor use and built to withstand the demands of a working warehouse.
About Vulcan Painters, Inc.
Vulcan Painters, Inc. is a painting contracting firm specializing in commercial and industrial painting projects, and blasting and coating structural steel and pipe. Their work includes paper mill maintenance during shutdowns. They paint stadiums, power plants, college buildings, hospitals, churches and historic landmarks. Their projects are large and small--they paint the auto plant and they also paint auto parts. They paint floors and coat sewer pipe, and they are MSHA certified to work in mines.
About Atlas RFID Solutions
Atlas RFID Solutions, Inc., was founded to bridge the gap between the firms developing RFID technology and the firms that stand to benefit the most from implementing RFID. Rather than focusing on the individual components necessary to employ an effective RFID system, Atlas focuses on the entire system itself. They develop, integrate, and maintain customized RFID-based systems for clients throughout the world. Numerous companies develop the various components of an RFID system. They partner with the best and use their technologies as a platform to build customized solutions for our clients.