Can your printer keep up
with the speed of business?
Established in 1943 as a partnership between a grower, a marketer and a wholesaler, Ballantine Produce was designed to meet the overwhelming demand for fresh produce at the end of World War II. During that time, Ballantine has progressed from its first-year production of 50,000 cartons to an annual distribution of more than 10 million packages.
“Printronix Auto ID is a natural fit–as one of our key RFID technology partners, we already knew that the company offered superior products. The Printronix thermal barcode printer has the ability to address the widest range of applications, is scalable for future needs and best of all, is simple to use and operate.” – Jeff Mitchell, Manhattan Associates’ executive vice president, Americas
Ballantine needed RFID-compatible printers for tagging at the case and pallet level. To ramp up to RFID compliance, it was necessary to find a solution that offered:
- Intelligent tag management to identify and overstrike substandard smart labels
- Intelligent media detection to proactively identify media type and avoid wasting RFID labels with a standard bar code print job
- Multiprotocol capability support for evolving standards, such EPCglobal Gen 2
- Ability to track Wal-Mart-required data, including SKU, description, product family, EPC data and grower detail
- Operator ease of use
Manhattan Associates’ professional services team was tasked with helping Ballantine develop the best RFID solution. In early product assessment testing of the tags on reusable plastic containers (RPCs) carrying peaches, representatives from Manhattan Associates worked with Ballantine to find the optimal reader antenna and tag placements until it was able to successfully read between 40 and 45 RPC’s for each 55-RPC pallet load. They’re now using the same tag placement and reader configuration for the pilot project.
In an industry where hourly variations in temperature can affect a product’s shelf life, Ballantine anticipates that RFID will revolutionize the tracking of its produce movement. Ballantine aims to realize increased order accuracy and inventory visibility, and to reduce operational costs, enabling the company to always deliver the highest-quality produce to its customers.
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