Today’s business world is increasingly complex; information, data, and communication are progressively critical success factors for every business. To meet the expanding needs and standards of regulatory agencies, while remaining competitive and efficient, the implementation of a track and trace system can become a highly valued necessity. iGPS is a track and trace system utilizing pallets with integrated RFID technology that transmits data such as serial numbers and GRA identifiers, allowing shipment information to be captured instantaneously.
Quantum Solutions Inc. (QSI) implemented an iGPS tracking system for the Kraft Heinz Company’s facility in Garland, Texas. Kraft recognized the need for a system to be able to track their pallets of product, giving greater visibility into the manufacturing and packaging processes.
Reasons for Track and Trace Systems
Track and trace systems are a critical component to packaging integration and processes, allowing a manufacturing facility to track and trace the product back to a specific production batch or the raw materials utilized. Track and trace allows for:
- Greater visibility into the product’s manufacturing and components, providing increased efficiencies and productivity levels
- More efficient supply chain tracking; with the ability to follow materials and products as they travel through a manufacturing facility or a supply chain
- Manufacturers to identify areas of inefficiency and make necessary adjustments to optimize processes
- Manufacturers increased visibility, and thus sustainability, into processes and the ability to identify areas of diminished productivity or waste
Manufacturers can mitigate risk by reducing the scope of a potential product recall with track and trace systems. With an automated track and trace system, manufacturers are able to recall the product in a timely manner by easily identifying what product was impacted and at what point in the process with a click of a mouse.
Paper documentation and data entry is minimized due to the entire process being integrated with their existing systems. All manufacturing and production data can be located in a centralized system. Integration with existing controls systems allows manufacturers to validate that the necessary information was entered before moving the product through the supply chain.
In order to develop and implement a pallet tracking system to allow deep visibility overall, as well as in each supply chain step, QSI was brought in to implement an iGPS pallet tracking system for Kraft. Kraft required that data be collected throughout the entire process, including packaging and distribution.
QSI needed to be able to engineer a system that works with the existing facility and space requirements/constraints, while being able to process and hold the complex tracking, process and packaging information and data in one memory block. Kraft needed the data to be collected into a system for long term storage with easy access to the information.
Quantum Solutions faced a challenge with the facility’s close quarters in the packaging area, making it difficult for the system to determine which RFID tag was associated with which specific pallet. This limitation required QSI to design and engineer a process for storing pallets that allowed for each pallet to be easily correlated with a RFID tag.
Kraft also wanted data to be collected from the raw materials resources all the way through to packaging. Therefore, a lot of complex information needed to be stored on one memory block with the pallet RFID.
Complete supply chain information was required to be collected and integrated into the Kraft inventory database for long-term reference and easy accessibility.
Quantum Solutions developed a system which worked with the existing capacity of the facility. QSI engineers developed and integrated several communication protocols and hardware devices which collected the necessary information for tracking each pallet, including RFID, barcode, product type, date and more.
The iGPS track and trace system implemented and commissioned by Kraft through QSI automatically tracks, labels, and loads data into their inventory database. This process of data logging allowed for improved production scheduling, customer shipping and delivery accuracy and traceability. Product or deliveries that did not meet the established quality standards are easily traced back to their source, allowing Kraft to adjust processes to increase quality and quality control.
Upon the complete implementation of the iGPS track and trace system by Quantum Solutions, the Kraft Heinz Company experienced improved accuracy and reduced costs in a variety of areas. Kraft is now able to identify and track over 99.8% of the pallets without any operator involvement. By reducing the volume of lost pallets, Kraft experienced significant material savings and reduced waste.
Kraft was also able to reduce labor costs due to minimized user input time for the data entry process. Additionally, in the event of a necessary recall, overhead, labor and time costs were greatly reduced due to the easily accessible historical pallet information.
“Quantum Solutions has been a key integrator of our AutoPRN system here in the Garland facility. Their original installation was seamless with little to no impact to production dating back to 2009. The design is robust and reliable with almost no issue since the original installation. The HMI designs are very intuitive and operator friendly as well.”
Engineering Project Manager
The Kraft Heinz Company
To learn more about the track and trace services and solutions provided to Kraft Heinz and how Quantum Solutions, Inc. can design a system for your facility that will increase productivity and efficiency, check out our Services page or contact us using the form below.