StockBot RFID robot for inventory tracking in your warehouse

The RFID inventory tracking robot StockBot in a warehouse

RFID technology and how it works in warehouses

In the retail industry, accurate inventory tracking and data collection are crucial to a company’s profits and ultimately success. As well as the need to improve inventory tracking on the shop floor, a question that arises regarding this topic is: “How can inventory management be improved in a warehouse?”

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is becoming more popular for those looking for innovative ways to improve their warehouse inventory management. For example, many companies are using RFID in order to scan items that are inside boxes, for improved stock location and tracking, and to ensure the correct items are sent to customers.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a radio wave-based inventory tracking technology. RFID tags differ from barcodes because individual RFID tags communicate with reader devices even when they are not in a direct line of sight.

In a warehouse, an RFID robot is able to navigate around the warehouse by scanning RFID tags. These RFID tags, which have previously been placed on items, are tracked by antennas located on the side of the RFID robot, which can detect multiple tags at the same time. A radio frequency identification reader (RFID reader) processes information the antennas have scanned from the RFID tags.

There are two types of RFID tags, active and passive. Active RFID technology has a local power source enabling it to work hundreds of metres away from a reader. Passive RFID, on the other hand, is based on the radio emissions of a reader device, giving passive tags a shorter read range, but a lower cost per unit.

RFID technology is easy to set up, you simply install the required number of tags and start gathering data.

Some applications of RFID in warehouses include:

  • Stock management – including being able to check stock levels throughout the warehouse and communicating this information
  • Product traceability – effective assessment from the production stage to the logistics expedition
  • Inbound and outbound handling – using RFID to track stock that arrives in and leaves the warehouse
  • Pick and Pack – A robot equipped with RFID readers and antennas makes it easy to find items thanks to the localization data provided by its autonomous navigation capabilities” for pick and pack operations.

Advantages of RFID technology in warehouses, including accurate stock information

One of the most significant advantages of this technology is the ability to assign a unique number for a specific range of items, this can be useful if your warehouse receives and stores goods from multiple suppliers simultaneously.

In terms of space optimisation, RFID technology allows you to have an insight into where items are located and how much stock is available, in order to avoid overstocking and understocking, due to potential product losses. As well as a more accurate perspective of the stock situation, RFID allows you to track average delivery times, and track inventory exit and entrance more frequently and reliably, which will help ensure that the item is sent out correctly and reduce the number of returns.

RFID technology helps to reduce human errors which can have a significant impact on warehouse management. All of this also helps to free up staff to work on higher-value tasks, such as optimizing management of the warehouse and providing a better customer experience.

StockBot, PAL Robotics’ inventory tracking and data collection solution

StockBot is PAL Robotics’ Inventory tracking and data collection retail solution. The platform provides accurate stock information to smartly manage stores and warehouses, such as a 3D map with the product’s location and access to applications such as out-of-stock situations, misplacements detection, and price tag checking, while seamlessly integrating with retailer’s systems.

StockBot offers the following main benefits in inventory tracking:

  • Time: The solution is faster than a manual inventory
  • Cost and repeatability: Staff don’t need to be deployed to do inventories and more frequent inventories are performed
  • Quality and accuracy: quality control of areas where automated inventory is taken, eliminating errors, as human performance depends on external factors that sometimes can’t be predicted or controlled.

The retail robot is ready to use with a single setup and without changing the layout of the store or warehouse. In addition, the inventory-tracking robot adapts to work across large stores and warehouses as well as in the smallest spaces.

StockBot has two versions, each providing different data: StockBot RFID, which displays the tag IDs (EPCs) and location of these tags and StockBot Vision, which displays pictures along with the location of each picture.

An example of successful deployment of RFID robotics technology through the inventory tracking and data collection solution by PAL Robotics, StockBot RFID is at world-leading sports retailer Decathlon.

If you have any other doubt about our stock-management robot StockBot, take a look at our FAQs in the StockBot section.

If you would like to learn more about our retail robot StockBot, take a look at our blog about robotics and technology to read more. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts to ask more about StockBot’s capabilities for improving operations in your store or warehouse, or to book a demo.

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