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Motorola, Franwell RFID helps H&M Bay operations

Motorola Inc and Franwell Inc have deployed a radio frequency identification (RFID) system at H&M Bay’s cross-docking distribution center in Federalsburg MD. Together, the companies are improving H&M Bay’s frozen food transportation system to ensure its customers’ packaged goods are distributed on time and within proper temperature controls.

Time is of the essence in a temperature controlled environment. Such is the case for H&M Bay, a freight mover in the less-than-truckload (LTL) frozen and refrigerated commodities market. In this industry, cold storage freight transfers must be stored and shipped in environments that meet stringent industry guidelines and government mandates. H&M Bay turned to Motorola and Franwell for an RFID hardware and software system that would locate and record pallet information in real time—giving operators an instantaneous read of inventory as it enters, moves through, and leaves the distribution facility.

By deploying an RFID system, H&M Bay has achieved these business efficiencies:

•Reducing cross-docking labor by 25% by streamlining pallet handling.

•Speeding freight transfers so fresh and frozen foods are transported quickly without exceeding industrywide temperature mandates.

•Increasing temperature-related customer revenues 0.5%.

•Providing real-time tracking of product in cooler and freezer areas to ensure food is not improperly placed in an incorrect storage area.

•Alerting capability helps ensure storage in proper temperature areas.

The initial H&M Bay deployment consists of RFID tags, which are placed on each warehouse storage location along with each pallet to facilitate product control and automate the tracking of inventory in the distribution center’s cooler and freezer storage rooms. As Motorola RD5000 mobile RFID readers detect tagged pallets and tagged storage locations, a message is automatically sent to H&M Bay’s automated inventory system to seamlessly record when a pallet has been removed from its location and where it has been placed.

H&M Bay leverages Motorola MC9090-G RFID handheld mobile computers to commission location tags and make initial assignments to the location. Each forklift truck is also outfitted with a Motorola RD5000 mobile RFID reader and a Motorola VC5090 vehicle-mounted mobile computer for greater ease of use on the forklift, on the ground, and anywhere throughout the warehouse. Motorola RFID industrial-class XR series readers are used on cooler and freezer doors to detect pallet tags as they enter or exit cold storage facilities.

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