Valtra automates material flows with RFID

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Valtra has automated the material supply process and material buffer management with RFID at its Suolahti tractor manufacturing plant.

The RFID system implemented by Vilant Systems triggers replenishment orders based on material consumption movements directly to the suppliers. Goods receiving is automated with RFID enabled conveyors and RFID gates at the dock doors and material stock levels are maintained in real time. The system improves material handling efficiency and reduces manual errors. The real time material inventory information and inbound shipment data enable prevention of material shortages.

Vatras system is based on RFID enabled forklifts that read material pallets while transporting them from the material buffer to the consumption area and trigger replenishment orders. The system is based on pallets that have reusable RFID tags. Goods receiving dock doors and inbound conveyors are equipped with RFID readers for automatic goods reception. Vilants RFID software controls the RFID readers and integrates the information to Valtras ERP system.

The Vilant Server 5 RFID software system presents real time inventory information of the material buffer. For each material a target buffer amount is set. For single materials the buffered quantity can be followed. The buffered amount, pending replenishment orders and inbound shipments are visible. The information is based on Valtras RFID readers and readers deployed to suppliers. The material flow visibility provided by the RFID system can improve material availability at the factory. Goods receiving automation saves labor cost in the inbound process. Real time visibility of goods movements enhances control and inventory information is more accurate. The real time replenishment for material consumption improve inventory cycle time. In total the RFID system improves many areas of material flow. Improving material flow is one of the key components of modern Lean production improvement methodology. Valtras Supply Chain Manager Timo Husso has expanded RFID development to new areas already:

Thorough preparation work for this system implementation was started already in 2003. We conducted an RFID pilot that gave us satisfactory results and experience. New application areas emerged quickly, too. We have implemented production traceability and internal material movement automation with RFID already. Valtras RFID system is based on Vilant Server 5 RFID software and Vilants RFID hardware products. Prior to production use the system was piloted with Valtras supplier Metalpower.The IT systems were implemented in partnership with Tieto and Liaison.



 

Valtra Oy
Valtra Inc. develops, manufactures, markets and services Valtra tractors. Valtra is the leading tractor manufacturer in the Nordic countries and the second most popular brand in Latin America. The company has manufactured tractors since 1951, but its historic roots reach back until 1832. Valtra tractors are built in the most advanced factories in the industry at Suolahti, Finland, and Mogi das Cruzes, Brazil. Valtra tractors are now sold in over 75 countries worldwide. Valtra is a worldwide brand of the AGCO Corporation, the third-largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the world.

Vilant Systems Oy
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.


 

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