Germany-based Schreiner ProTech has collaborated with electronics logistics provider, ifm, to develop a product marking system compatible with ifm’s team of retrieval robots.

Schreiner ProTech’s ((rfid))-DistaFerr ESD LongRange Labels, allow ifm’s crew of driverless automated mobile robots (AMRs) to quickly and accurately find, deliver and digitally track products at its facility in Tettnang, Germany.

For ifm, it is critical that its AMR work efficiently when locating an item or finding its intended intra-facility destination. Each AMR travels approximately 30 kilometers per day, placing emphasis not only on finding and transporting the correct item, but doing so in the least possible time. At each stop, an AMR passes a rack system, a type of gate, where the scheduled container can be dropped off and a new one picked up. Information on where and when to deliver an item is conveyed digitally which, explained by the company, lends to optimal capacity utilisation.

Among the common challenges in such a setting are electrostatic discharge (ESD) containers, which have antistatic elements that adversely affect RFID functionality. Schreiner ProTech’s ((rfid))-DistaFerr ESD LongRange Labels are said to be specially adapted to be efficient even on ESD surfaces.

For ifm, the result has been seamless interaction between mark­ing, identification, and digitalisation. The company has stated that there has been 99% delivery accuracy especially to its 155,000 customers worldwide who generate around 1.3 million purchase orders per year.

Ulrich Beller, lean manager for ifm commented, ‘It was crucial for all containers to be uniquely marked and auto­matically identifiable. The RFID labels were the key to this use case. As a result of now having combined two steps in one process we ben­efit from massive time savings and increase in efficiency.’

Katharina Totev, product manager of RFID at Schreiner ProTech added, ‘((rfid))-DistaFerr ESD LongRange is not exactly a niche product. But it has been developed for a specific use case—that is for application to ESD materials. However, what makes this all-in-one solution unique is the combination of our marking and the AMR from ifm.’