Always in stock – never in stop
RFID solves availability issues at paper mills by introducing cost efficient and reliable Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) system
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"If the manual process ever gets neglected, there are no cores - and no paper can be produced. The RFID enabled VMI system automatically replenishes the stock - so the days of stoppage at manufacturing are over."
The Customer Challenge
Sonoco Alcore delivers cores to paper manufacturers, where production processes run continuously day and night. Due to end product variations, core consumption of a certain type is not constant. The end customer needs to monitor the core warehouse levels of different core types and trigger replenishment orders manually. Usually this is done by office staff, who are not on duty on production night shift and week-ends. If the manual process ever gets neglected, there are no cores – and no paper can be produced. Hence the customer either overstocks products for safety reasons – meaning extra costs. Or in the worst case runs out of stock at the worst time causing high line stoppage costs at paper manufacturing.
The Turck Vilant Systems Solution
Sonoco implemented an RFID based vendor-managed inventory (VMI) solution with Turck Vilant Systems. This enables Sonoco to offer paper core VMI as an automated service to its end customers.
The cores are equipped with RFID tags during Sonoco manufacturing process. Core shipments to customers are registered in the VMI system. The RFID readers at the paper machines of a customer paper mill identify which cores have been consumed by the paper machine. As the core input and output to the customer warehouse is automatically monitored, the system automatically keeps real time track of core inventory. Whilst being ramped up for VMI a Sonoco customer warehouse levels, delivery times and reorder as well as alarm levels are configured individually in the RFID system to match the customer process requirements. Sonoco also equips the customer paper machines with RFID readers.
All RFID readpoints are controlled with Vilant Engine application, and the entire process is managed by Vilant Visibility Manager Server (VVM). VVM is also used for integration of VMI process information for logistics as well as the billing of consumed cores.
The RFID Solution enables
- a fully automated vendor-managed inventory (VMI) solution for paper core customers
- Monitoring of core inventory and consumption as well as automated replenishment orders
- Real time process visibility
Sonoco Alcore is part of Sonoco, a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and supply chain services. Sonoco Alcore is the acknowledged leader in high-quality, innovative, value-creating tube and core solutions.
Sonoco Alcore delivers tube and core solutions and services to our customers in the paper, film, man-made fiber yarn, metal and construction industries.
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