ABB Opts to Use RFID Technology to Avoid Shipment Errors

(UPM Raflatatac, Tampere, July 30, 2009, at 11:00) RFID technology provides significant benefits to ABB Oy in the management of outbound goods streams. An RFID-based system records movements of goods automatically in the stock control system and prevents loading errors of consignments.

Moreover, the RFID-system offers ABB a significant saving in floor space used. When outbound consignments are loaded, it is no longer necessary to assemble goods in a consolidation area. Instead, goods-vehicle trailers can be used for storage. The automation in question covers around two million transactions per year.

ABB's system uses UPM Raflatac's RFID tags that were implemented by Vilant Systems. All transport units belonging to a consignment are marked with adhesive RFID tags at parcel level. The trailer loading docks are equipped with RFID readers, which scan all loaded parcels. Vilant's RFID software has been integrated with ABB's own SAP system.

The registration number of the vehicle arriving for loading is recorded in the SAP-system and the progress of the delivery is automatically controlled. The system knows what the consignment should include and the gate issues an error warning if there is an attempt to load the wrong goods onto a vehicle. Furthermore, the gate will not close until all goods belonging to a consignment have been loaded onto a vehicle. All this makes it virtually impossible to make incorrect deliveries.

ABB has been using pioneering RFID solutions since 2004. Their first RFID application was designed to control the re-usable plywood boxes which were used in standard raw material deliveries. This system, which is still in use, is based on the fact that all boxes equipped with RFID tags travel through RFID gates both at the supplier and at the factory.

ABB Oy's Head of Processes Julle Ala-Lahti has been pleased with the RFID applications.

"Vilant Systems took full responsibility of the implementation. Their consistent and rigorous approach revealed improvement potential in our material flow and offered prompt results," says Ala-Lahti.

ABB's systems are based on the Vilant Server 5 product family and Vilant Systems' RFID hardware products. UPM Raflatac's RFID tags are used as identifiers.

For further information, please contact:

Mr Samuli Strömberg,

Vice President, Marketing, RFID, UPM Raflatac,

+358 40 740 9588

Mr Ville Kauppinen,

Director, Markets, Vilant Systems,

+358 50 328 8001

About ABB Oy

ABB is a leading power electronics and automation technology group whose products, systems and services improve the competitive strength of its industrial and energy-company customers in an environmentally friendly way. ABB employs more than 115,000 people in around 100 countries.

About Vilant Systems

Founded in 2002 in Finland, Vilant Systems is one of the leading suppliers of RFID applications in Europe. Using RFID solutions developed by Vilant, it is possible to automate corporate activities in the supply chain, production and stock control and thus to create significant savings in the management of goods streams. Vilant RFID software and hardware is integrated with customers' own ERP systems, so that physical process benefits and IT system efficiency can be maximised.

About UPM Raflatac

UPM Raflatac, part of UPM's Engineered Materials business group, is one of the world's leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials and the world's number one producer of HF and UHF radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and inlays. UPM Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 14 factories on five continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,600 people and made sales of approximately EUR 1 billion (USD 1.4
billion) in 2008. Further information is available at


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