Catering equipment firm transforms operations with RFID technology investment

A British refrigeration company that rents out more than 20,000 items of catering equipment worldwide is extending its use of RFID tracking globally after successfully deploying the technology in Europe.

Lowe Rental claims to have saved weeks of staff time and achieved an almost 100% accuracy rate since installing the system from CoreRFID two years ago at its HQ in Northern Ireland and its operations in England, Scotland and Germany.

The company rents out more than 20,000 items worldwide including fridges, freezers, catering equipment and temporary kitchens and supplies high-profile events such as Royal Ascot and the Singapore Grand Prix.

Previously each item entering or leaving the warehouse was identified by a six-digit code, which had to be manually recorded by staff using a paper-based system.

Now the codes have been replaced by RFID tags, which are detected automatically by RFID readers at the exits and the information downloaded to the database.

The new system enables instantaneous reporting and has virtually eradicated human error. Audits which took one week under the old manual system can now be completed in under half a day, using a mobile phone reader app which can monitor the tags from up to two metres away.

Lowe is now working with CoreRFID to extend the system to its warehouses in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Dubai.

European operations director, Ian Lowry, said the technology has transformed its operation.

“By automating the whole tracking process, it has allowed us to save time and achieve near perfect accuracy levels. The solution works well in tandem with our existing systems. With the innovation now fully tried and tested, it’s a natural progression to roll out the system to our Asian operations where I’m sure it will have the same massive positive impact it has had in Europe.”

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