Cylinder Logistics

Overview

Industrial gas companies use cylinders as the main method to supply industrial gases to their customers. The companies make a huge investment in cylinders – a key returnable asset. Cylinder tracking is important as asset utilization and visibility is very significant during these economically challenging times.

Most errors are made during delivery of gas cylinders to a customer. Companies implementing an automated solution in their supply chain can provide more reliable, safer and faster delivery, and achieve better customer satisfaction. TRAKAID™ CyTrack gives your business the benefits of all the four.

Reading, writing and entering cylinder data take up much of workers’ time. Moreover, around 10% of manual entries are incorrect. In a business that depends on accurate tracking of individual cylinders, errors can cause the cylinder to become lost faster.

Barcode and related tracking techniques have been in use for some time, but bar-coding is handicapped: it has to be seen to be read. In harsh industrial environments, barcodes quickly become unreadable due to mutilation or being covered by mud or oil.

Barcodes can also be duplicated easily, making the integrity of the cylinder’s physical location undependable.  Ultimately, this lack of up-to-date data results in the inability to easily locate assets or discover an asset’s operational status when it is most needed.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology overcomes the handicaps of a barcode by replacing it with a unique microchip assembly. The tag is extremely resistant to counterfeiting and its readings cannot be faked. Since RFID tags do not require a direct line of sight, they are embedded in a protective high-impact resistant case to withstand hard industrial conditions and extreme environments. Mud and oil do not hinder the reading, and they have a multi-year lifespan.

The TRAKAID CyTRACK Solution is the first commercial economically viable solution for the industrial gas cylinder industry that utilizes RFID technology to the fullest. It is comprehensive and includes all facets of business including production, logistics, and distribution and provides an economical and efficient way to keep asset location and status data up-to-date. This improves the rotation of returnable assets and avoids cylinder loss.

Challenges


  • Wrong cylinder delivered to wrong customer: possible wrong valve type or pressure makes cylinder worthless.
  • Safety of staff and customers is impacted when cylinders are not tested and serviced as required.
  • Difficulty in reading cylinder numbers: missing – illegible – poor lighting – non readable bar code.
  • Human error in reading and writing cylinder numbers, including transposition errors.

  • No actionable data - including valve detail, test due, cylinder recall, and customer outstanding - available to the logistics team.
  • If physical damage data is collected, no mechanism is in place to transmit it automatically to operations at the plant in order to embargo cylinder for service.
  • Inability to efficiently identify cylinder damage and attribute it to a specific delivery incident.
  • Increased operation time and lost productivity due to manual cylinder identification issues

Companies may implement TRAKAID CyTRACK Cylinder Logistics Solution on intelligent Auto Data Capture (ADC) devices, on a laptop or on a robust tablet with internet access. The Solution covers all aspects of logistics and distribution including delivery and pickup. ADC technology is integrated into the solution to eliminate potential data entry errors and automate data acquisition for faster turnaround. It speeds up the distribution and lowers the cost, and uses mobile web technology that puts intelligent actionable data in the hands of the user at the point of use.

Cylinder Logistics Solution Advantage

  • A focus on “Accuracy! Accuracy! Accuracy!” for cylinder return and loss elimination.
  • Offers complete Logistics Solution with built-in robust processes and controls that help streamline delivery, pickup and audit of truck run.
  • Faster turnaround time for delivery and pickup at customer site.
  • Transparent data load to the central system via seamless interface.
  • Built-in data validation and Information Governance lets you trust your data.
  • Solution built on latest Microsoft mobile, web, and database technology.
  • Cost reduction through process improvement and efficient automation, and error elimination through use of hundreds of built-in data validations

Key Features

TRAKAID CyTRACK uses agile, modular and scalable architecture that is integrated with RFID, mobile, web and multiple latest technologies. It is designed from the ground up with robust processes that utilize these powerful technologies to the fullest.

Complete Real-Time Actionable Data

Intelligent, actionable data is provided to the logistics team at point of use. Get access to accurate data that you can retrieve in a timely manner and use to make informed business decisions. Empower every link in your logistics chain for better performance.

Right Cylinder to Right Customer

Scan and offload the correct cylinder, marked for a specific customer.

Safety of Workers and Customers

Cylinders picked up from customers that are physically damaged, are due for testing, or are on a cylinder recall list are delivered to a company location for servicing. This process stops the use of such cylinders, which can then easily be removed for testing and service. Always deliver the right product to your customers and never compromise the safety of the end users.

Accuracy and Cost Efficiency

Innovative use of RFID technology provides accurate data capture of cylinder movement during delivery and pickup. Eliminates manual cylinder number reading, writing, and entering data into a tracking system, and the data entry errors associated with these processes. This automates operational data, simplifies data access, and delivers a huge cost reduction.

Increased Productivity

Transforms business processes resulting in increased productivity - on average 30%

Customized RFID Tags

Curved RFID tags are designed specifically to perfectly fit industrial gas cylinders.

Enterprise-Class Architecture

Built using latest multiple technologies with architecture that is robust, flexible, and modular.

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