"The RFID system we’ve implemented provides us with a real-time view of our products’ security and location so we can ensure that we will meet our customers’ expectations," says Doug Lilac, Pliant’s Technical Director for Innovation. "The goal of this program is to commercialize practical and cost-effective bulk packaging solutions that incorporate RFID technology."
Pliant Corporation is a leading producer of value-added film and flexible packaging products for personal care, medical, food, industrial and agricultural markets. Based in Schaumburg, IL, Pliant operates 22 manufacturing and research and development facilities around the world and employs more than 3,000 people.
"IBM RFID asset tracking and inventory management allows Pliant to identify and manage in-transit goods in real-time, giving it unprecedented insight into its supply chain," said Sebastian Taylor, Global RFID Services Leader, IBM. "In addition to lowering costs and increasing productivity, RFID ensures that the right information is available at the right time to enable more strategic business decisions."
IBM Global Business Services consultants collaborated with Pliant to develop a comprehensive RFID technology roadmap, helping Pliant prepare and validate the RFID equipment in its labs.
Pliant’s IBM software and solution, which has been in place since December 2005, leverages IBM’s Data Collection Server software and WebSphere RFID Device Infrastructure. The software installed on Pliant’s network helped to create RFID labels which were printed and deployed on pallets and the pallets were tracked as they moved between the two Pliant technical centers in Newport News, Virginia and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. IBM consultants worked with Pliant to create Web pages on a network database to track the content and movement history of each pallet so that its location was always known. A wireless handheld RFID reader loaded with the WebSphere RFID Device Infrastructure is used to scan the pallets within the plants to immediately look up pallet content information.
With the support provided by the IBM Global Business Services team, Pliant now has a proven product concept to access real-time tracking information for shipments between its two facilities. This setup allowed Pliant to download and monitor critical information which helped protect business-critical applications.
This announcement is another example of IBM’s push to advance the adoption of advanced telematics technologies -- sensors, actuators, RFID and other networked devices -- that link organizations and people for economic growth, improved healthcare and education, and enhanced security. IBM’s RFID solutions help pharmaceutical companies eliminate counterfeiting, enable shipping companies to track cargo around the world, and enable shopping to be more efficient for consumers.