It is clear that the future lies in RFID for products as it brings immense benefits to retailers and to manufacturers in both tracking inventory and maintaining security. However, the supply chain between manufacturers and retailers forms a void where product-level RFID cannot be used. Unisto Electronic Seals has created a unique solution that bridges this gap by providing RFID at the transport level by tagging and securing the trailers. This enables the whole process from manufacture to sale of goods to be tracked at every stage — giving an unprecedented level of control to ensure timely delivery, reduce pilfering, and most importantly, reduce costs. System installations with a number of retailers and an express parcel carrier have shown that the system pays for itself in less than a year.
The key to the Crypta® GateTrak® system is the company's patented re-usable seals that are fitted to each vehicle. These generate a random seal number every time the seal is closed, which remains unchanged until the seal is opened again, enabling the secured status of the load to be remotely verified via the integral RF transponder.
Queuing times at despatch are dramatically reduced as each vehicle is automatically interrogated by the system to determine the load, the veracity of the seal, the tractor ID and the driver ID — a process that takes a few seconds rather than the several minutes of a manual check. This reduces congestion and unproductive queuing time for drivers – very important with the forthcoming EU Working Time Directive constraining driver hours — and reduces the number of security staff required.
On arrival, the integrity of the load may again be automatically checked via the RF link, verifying that the seal number is unchanged and therefore that the load has not been tampered with during transit. Central control therefore knows that the load has been delivered safely and when. As goods are unloaded, their own RFID tags enable them to be individually tracked thereafter.
“GateTrak continuously and automatically monitors the trailers from the moment they are loaded to the moment they are unloaded,” said Mark Hayward, Sales and Marketing Director for Unisto Electronic Seals. “This 'closed loop' is the final missing link needed to create integrated RFID for the entire supply chain — a black hole where products could be lost, delayed or stolen. It even enables companies to keep track of exactly where each trailer is parked in the depot which, with dozens of identical trailers, can be challenging otherwise.”
GateTrak includes a suite of software modules that enables solutions to be created to exactly meet a customer's specific requirements and for them to be easily adapted to suit changing needs.
The Crypta GateTrak system is been successfully trialled with several major UK companies and is fully operational at several sites.
Summary of system benefits
• Saves money by reducing chances of product loss or tampering
• Saves money by eliminating waiting time – optimising drivers' time for driving
• Saves money by reducing guarding costs by up to 50%
• Saves money by improving efficiencies in yard management and asset maintenance
• Saves money by providing real-time data on delivery times to optimise delivery schedules
• Saves fuel as vehicles no longer queue at depot gates
Founded as Stoffel and Co. in Horn Switzerland, in 1926, Unisto specialises in solutions that guarantee the security and authenticity of products and brands from manufacturing origin to point of sale.
An international company, Unisto has a reputation for innovative design. Close collaboration with customers and industry specialists drives the introduction of unique products in response to identified market needs, using the latest materials and technology.
Unisto Electronic Seals, formerly Encrypta, has a history of nearly twenty years of being the pioneers of re-usable electronic sealing systems that are used by most of the leading retailers and distribution companies in the UK as well as being used by companies around the world.
The Unisto name is a symbol of originality and authenticity around the world, assisting our clients to:
• Clearly identify and enhance the image of their products and company
• Protect goods, premises and sensitive equipment or information against tampering and theft