RFID intelligent warehouse management inspired by unmanned retail stores

The technical team of state grid Xinjiang electric power communication co., ltd. has independently developed an intelligent warehouse management system through exploration to improve the level of intelligent warehouse management and the efficiency of warehouse management personnel and reduce operating costs.

On March 14, the warehouse keeper of Xinjiang electric power communication company held a mobile terminal in the warehouse, scanned the labels of the materials to be delivered, and then took the materials out of the warehouse and synchronously displayed the information of the materials to be delivered on the intelligent warehouse management system.

Warehouse management is a repetitive, demanding and detailed work. With the efforts of Zhang Xuan and the technical team, Xinjiang electric power communication company has developed an intelligent warehouse management system by the end of 2018, making the company's material management more intelligent.

"Unmanned retail stores" to inspire ideas

In recent years, due to the growth of business demand, the pressure of spare parts inventory management keeps increasing. It is very important for enterprises to improve the level of intelligent storage management and reduce the operation cost.

At the end of 2017, Zhang Xuan went on a business trip with his colleagues. When taking a break, he accidentally walked into a unmanned retail store. To Zhang Xuan's surprise, no service staff supervised him from the time he entered the store to the time he checked out.

If our warehouse management can also to this degree of intelligence, it will save a lot of manpower and material resources and time! Zhang Xuan told his colleagues. As the special responsibility of physical assets management, he was very clear about the importance of material management and the direct contradiction between the tense and complicated work of personnel. The inventory quantity was increasing day by day, and the manpower could not deal with it in time, resulting in the omission of goods in and out of the warehouse, the material account was inconsistent, the goods were misplaced and it was difficult to find, which wasted a lot of time.The change of inventory quantity can not be reflected to the decision-making level in time, which misleads the decision-making. Manual input work is tedious, prone to errors and omissions, low efficiency, and can not support the rapid inventory of a large number of goods. Manual inventory workload, low efficiency and long cycle, goods missing or stolen can not be found in time, and it is difficult to determine the location of tally. After returning to the unit, Zhang Xuan reported an idea:  to build an intelligent information system of warehouse management, which can not only save labor costs, but also make the warehouse material data "come alive". The idea was strongly supported by the unit.

Under the careful arrangement of Xinjiang electric power communication company, the technical development department quickly established the intelligent warehousing construction technical team, understood the current situation of warehousing management in detail, put forward targeted solutions, and checked the domestic advanced warehousing management mode to explore the new mode in line with the actual situation of enterprises.

Intelligent storage has four core functions

Technical team learned from a number of library staff, the biggest problem is that current inventory management outbound link lack of validation controls, non-standard outbound situation often occurs after a number of technology than study, technical team, found that the warehouse management system based on RFID technology has many characteristics, such as remote batch read automatic identification, can also be all material information wirelessly uploaded to the system, in the warehousing logistics can realize accurate management for loading and unloading of goods.

RFID is also a process control technology, which can effectively provide value-added benefits for enterprise warehouse management, accelerate the transmission and reading speed of warehouse information, improve work efficiency in the link of outbound, using RFID fixed reader to scan and verify goods in the export, can reduce the abnormal process of outbound.

Intelligent warehouse management system using computer network such as the Internet of things, ensure the warehouse keeper of real-time control of material inventory warehouse inventory dispatch, integration of resources, build efficient operation mode of the scientific and practical, Zhang Xuan said. In the early stage of system design, the technical team communicated with the warehouse management personnel and material users to clarify the needs of all parties. After more than ten technical discussions, the four core functions of the system, such as outbound management, inbound management, inventory management and data analysis, were finally realized.

In terms of hardware configuration, the technical team designs the system integration tag as the "ID card", and installs the collector, flat plate antenna and other devices at the gate of the warehouse to collect the data.When there are articles in and out of the warehouse, the collection system can upload the data to the data management center in real time.In order to achieve "double security", a driving camera is also installed at the door of the warehouse to capture real-time images and record the outbound scene, so as to ensure that each outbound is documented and realize the order image association record.

The process is more optimized and the management is more refined

Before, all you need to do to form for the registration, now have a intelligent warehouse management system, the application of smart phones, tablet computers, handheld terminals and other automation equipment and RFID, QR code scanning technology, the workflow to simplify, optimize, reduced our manual operation, to speed up the warehouse operation, improve the working efficiency. Spare parts warehouse keeper Yi Xiaohong said.

When the warehouse keeper applies the intelligent warehouse management system in the field, he finds that when the spare parts are out of the warehouse, the RFID reader reads the item number and uploads it to the data center. The RFID reader will check the connection with the system's delivery order through the network, and it will prompt the record if any mismatch is found.The system can also take pictures of the phase difference of each outbound situation, to ensure that the responsibility to the person, effectively avoid non-standard outbound situation. The system applies a variety of sensing technologies to material data collection and security system monitoring in a large number, and ensures effective real-time interaction between warehouse management information system and managed materials through wireless communication technology, so as to achieve the purpose of real-time monitoring.

Warehouse management requires regular and irregular inventory. In the past inventory, time consumption. But now when the inventory, the warehouse manager can use RFID handheld terminal to scan the inventory of goods, inventory information through the wireless network into the background database, and compared with the information in the database. If there is any difference information, it can be displayed on the RFID handheld terminal in real time for the warehouse keeper to check.

After the initial success of intelligent warehouse management, we also applied this technology to book management. Compared with the spare parts warehouse, the mobility of books in the staff bookstore is stronger. With the intelligent management system, employees can learn about the situation of borrowing books in real time and arrange the reading time reasonably. Zhang Xuan said.

The intelligent warehouse management system not only improves the efficiency of material management, but also integrates data and serves as an auxiliary tool for enterprise decision-making, thus improving the information level of material management. In the next step, Xinjiang electric power communication company will continue to deepen the application of intelligent warehousing, constantly optimize the functions, and make the material management easier.

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