Throughput boost for Toshiba

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Toshiba Europe, which handles the customer-specific configuration of every laptop destined for the EMEA region, has implemented an RFID system at its plant in Regensburg, Germany. The system uses Toshiba TEC B-SX4 label printers and UPM Raflatec RFID tags which are coupled to an RFID reader from ADT.

The Regensburg plant, one of the largest plants in Europe had suffered from severe congestion in its warehouses – individual pallets containing 36 laptops were brought in by truck and stored, handling staff then scanned each individual laptop, resulting in 36 scans per pallet and warehouse bottlenecks. The introduction of the RFID system has allowed pallets to flow continuously through a single RFID gate with the entire content of each pallet scanned and booked in a single movement before it is stored for further processing. The new system reduces the problem of congestion and it is hoped increase worker productivity by an estimated 57 per cent.

Extensive label placement testing was conducted at the ADT to identify the optimal tag position. ADT also undertook a site survey to ensure that the final system design met the tight space restrictions and would perform effectively in a challenging environment.

The Regensburg facility revealed that the end of 2006 saw its average throughput of configured and ready for shipment laptop PCs increase from 9,500 to 15,000 units a day. Toshiba anticipate a peak throughput capacity of up to 30,000 units a day using nearly four million RFID tags a year.

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