Zebra Technologies – Campbell Hausfeld RFID Manufacturing Case Study

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Here in Leitchfield, Kentucky we assemble air
compressors, basically anything from a 4 gallon compressor up to a 240 gallon air
compressor. Our goal is to meet the needs of every consumer. We do the typical
cast-iron compressors, which are long lasting long life hard duty to the
oil-free units which are typically shorter life span. Campbell Hausfeld
identified a problem here in their manufacturing and distribution facility
and tracking production of finished goods and tracking the shipment of those
products from their distribution facilities. We had to determine a way to
move our products from our assembly lines to our distribution warehouse. We
were currently using the barcode system, so our first instinct was to go with a
fixed mount reader and allow it to do the work for us. But based upon the
different variations in our product mix we determined that that was really
impossible. So instead we were contacted David Sommers and we decided to go with
an RFID as you do not have to have one on the site for the program to operate.
Basically units come from the manufacturing process and they are
transferred over to distribution. Our solution: we deployed RFID and we
accurately counted the number of units produced
going from manufacturing to distribution. The product is now just put on the
conveyor. It goes by the RFID reader which reports production. At the same time
we’re loading a large percentage of the product on the shuttle trailers to our
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee facility. So all of those trailers they get loaded, we don’t
have to scan any products on those anymore. It’s all by RFID. We ended up
putting RFID readers at the dock doors directly at the end of the
conveyor system to reduce the amount of time that it takes the person unloading
the line. RFID has helped them improve accountability of what’s being
manufactured on a daily basis. Also in the shipment process we know what’s
being loaded is accurate and not only do we count the accuracy, but the outbound
shipments are loaded quite a bit faster. In RFID we are achieving high read rates
and encode rates with the Zebra RFID solution with the printers and media.
This helps drastically on the accuracy of our inventory levels. For the last 25
plus years we’ve been taking a physical inventory every year. So with this
implementation of the RFID, the cycle count program that we currently use,
we’ve been able to eliminate that expense from the company. We jump behind
the Zebra brand name. They have been a leader in RFID since 2003, and I think
by being a Zebra partner it brings credibility to our business. We’ve used Zebra around here in the plant for quite a while. I know them to be strong pieces
of equipment. They’re reliable, you can depend on them. They are workhorses, they work with very little maintenance in a very harsh environment. We trust Zebra.
Zebra produces the best products, the most reliable products, and we’re
comfortable implementing them and recommending them to customers that we
want to keep for a long period of time.


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