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Innovation in our industry – What does RFID, EDI and the IOT have to do with me?

In the second in our series exploring innovation within our industry we come across acronyms, and lots of them, which is coming from a company called CCL (Central Conveyors Ltd).

We take a quick look at some of the newer technologies that are making their way into the warehousing, logistics, and materials handling sphere to explore the impact they are having now, and will have in the future.


RFID or radio frequency identification is a system that transmits identity in the form of a unique serial number of a product wirelessly. The benefits it brings include a reduction in time and manpower hours, and an increase in accuracy.

There are a couple of types of RFID, active and passive. Active system RFID transponders (essentially microchips with responders), are integrated into products and information is accessed via a reader, and sent back to a computer. Passive systems do not have transmitters, but reflect radio waves back to a reader. The use of these technologies is intended for products that move anywhere, as you can track and trace them, in real time. These technologies can go on larger products and logistics containers/vehicles, and the less expensive ‘passive’ systems are often found on smaller products.


Electronic Data Interchange, is the interchange of business information, using a standardised format. It has found popularity in the logistics and warehousing space in recent years with the more innovative providers. It is a process which allows the exchange of information, say for example from one business to another business electronically rather than with paper, allowing seamless integration.

The benefits that EDI has include traceability in that the status of a product, can be monitored at all times which is particularly useful when we are dealing with goods such as food or medicine in the supply chain.

Communication can start at the manufacturing plant and go across, land, sea and the air.

It can also help in the continuous replenishment of the supply chain as the manufacturer/supplier, distributor and logistics teams are in constant communication.


The internet of things as a term has been around for years now, so there is nothing new there. What is exciting however is the projections as to how this will impact our industry over the next 10 years. With a projected impacted financially of around 19 Billion US by 2025, the IOT in the warehouse management industry is something you will more than likely become exposed to, sooner rather than later.

The IOT can offer visibility, globally to the supply chain, helping to manage and improve logistics operations for example. Voice activation is now often used in logistics management. Speech control is enabling workers to give orders for picking, packing and other warehouse shipping operations.

Many of these innovative technologies are in use as we speak, and where the market sees an opportunity we can rest assured that further development will occur.

Central Conveyors Ltd, has worked with some of the most forward thinking companies in the manufacturing, warehousing and logistics chain.

Our skilled and experienced staff are happy to discuss your conveyor needs at a time to suit you, so why not get in touch and get the project rolling ?

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