RFID-based Intelligent Warehouse Management System

Normally, warehouse management system (WMS) was widely adopted for collecting data of warehouse in order to optimize the operation and management. However, the current WMSs have an obvious weakness in the terminal data gathering because they contain no feature of real-time and automatic data retrieval..

Among all the technologies, Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) is thought to be the most promising one. Because RFID technology meets the two main demands (efficiency and cost-effective) with the advantage of mini-size, strong penetrability, wireless readability, shape diversity, reusability and comparatively low-cost.

Considering practicality and operability, the tags are placed in the pallet as well as the entry of every rack of the shelf. Based on the results, the most suitable location for the installation of the RFID devices are determined. The mast of forklift was also modified to accommodate the RFID reader and antenna. The reader in the forklift is connected to a dedicated vehicle-mounted terminal which is able to communicate with WMS through the wireless network. A RFID middleware is proposed to facilitate the communication and process of mass RFID data among long distance RFID reader, portable handheld RFID terminals as well as WMS system.

The portable RFID terminal adopted in RFID-IWMS has all the function of common RFID handheld scanner. In addition, it also supports the reading and writing of RFID tag. In this design, the goods information is bounded to RFID tag in the pallet. Through reading and writing the RFID tag, the warehouse staff can avoid the manual record.

Forklift is one of the major tools in warehouse used for tasks including goods handling, grounding, and undercarriage. Its working performance has direct impact on the overall operational efficiency of a warehouse. Although supporting devices like barcode readers are widely used, the driver is inevitably required to leave their forklifts, scan barcode labels and input data manually for further processing by WMS system. Without the real-time integration, the data can also become inconsistent, because information and goods are physically separated. With forklift trucks equipped with UHF RFID reader, these failures can be avoided.

Tags : Long Distance RFID Reader portable handheld RFID terminals RFID handheld scanner

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