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riha Group Case Study
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Automated Pallet Tracking in Food & Beverage Logistics

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The riha Group offers a comprehensive range of alcohol-free drinks – from fruit juices to premium mineral water. In addition to its three local branches in Germany, the group also has international plants in Switzerland, Spain, Costa Rica, and Poland. Their product line covers five globally marketed private label brands, filling services, and a number of trading brands. Because of the variety of brands and forms of packaging being shipped, strict requirements for tracking pallet data within their international distribution network must exist to identify and trace all products from point A to B.

Without proper pallet tracking, manufacturers run the risk of costly product recalls, as well as negative impact on brand image. Often entire batches of affected product must be recalled due to insufficient pallet identification, even when errors exist for only a portion of a given shipment. Manual documentation of pallet data on outgoing delivery notes is neither comprehensive nor practical enough for a company like the riha Group – too many pallets must be tracked at once and the distribution network is too complex.

The riha Group’s loading gates were each equipped with an MS-890 scanner, which is connected to the LOMAS®logistics management system via TCP/IP. When a shipment is activated, pallets are booked onto a shipment delivery note. As they are scanned at the loading gate, pallets are compared to the shipment delivery note by the LOMAS® logistics management system where information on each product, such as shelf life and date/lot codes, is checked. Thanks to the data tracking system’s modularity, pallets can continue to be booked at the same time using handheld scanners to scan the delivery note.

The data tracking process is automatic for goods receipt, dispatch and return, saving both time and manual labor.

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