RFID-tagged pallets driving iGPS' growth

By Roger Renstrom
Correspondent

Published: February 26, 2007 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics In Print

Rapidly growing iGPS LLC makes its plastic pallets fully traceable with radio frequency identification technology.

Although wood pallets dominate iGPS' target market, new federal customs regulations require chemical or heat treatment of those pallets and favor the use of plastics.

The Orlando, Fla.-based startup, which does business as Intelligent Global Pooling Systems, circulates a pool of 120,000 reinforced-plastic pallets. Each one incorporates an EPC (electronic product code) asset identifier and uses the firm's iSUM software - which stands for proprietary intelligent stock use and movement.

Schoeller Arca Systems NV, of Vilsteren, Netherlands, makes about 3,300 pallets daily for iGPS, inserting Generation 2 passive RFID tags. Schoeller's Morenci, Mich., plant works around the clock to make the pallets on four 2,300-ton injection presses. The company signed a long-term preferred supplier agreement with iGPS in September.

``We will increase [production] to 6,000 pallets a day in Michigan, and, by September, we will have an additional [contract manufacturing] site, probably in Dallas or Phoenix or someplace outside Las Vegas,'' said iGPS Chief Executive Officer Bob Moore.

Moore and President Rex Lowe, who began working on a business concept in early 2004, formed iGPS in March 2006, Moore said. Pegasus Capital Advisors LP of Cos Cob, Conn., is the firm's financial backer.

``We are now gearing up three extra tools so we will be able to supply 2 million pallets on a yearly basis starting in the late summer of 2007,'' said Schoeller Arca product manager Ludo Gielen.

Moore said iGPS and Schoeller are working to expand production further, to 4 million pallets a year.

Early iGPS trials with hand-built pallets used one RFID tag, but ``the read rate fell down,'' Moore said. Two tags on other pre-production pallets gave better readings, but by October, the firms were tagging all four corners with the same EPC global reusable asset identifier.

``Our integrator said that, for a few pennies, you can have all four [corner] blocks that will give you some absolutely astronomical tag readings,'' Moore said.

The same number is embedded in the read-only area of each of the four tags. The customer uses the tag's read-write area to record the pallet's contents.

Each iGPS pallet measures 48 inches by 40 inches by 5.6 inches and weighs 47 pounds. A pallet consists of a twin-sheet polyethylene top deck that's 1.1 inch thick and a PE underdeck, 1 inch thick, that uses five separate steel reinforcements.

Xterprise Inc. in Carrollton, Texas, supplies the RFID tags, mostly from Alien Technology Corp. of Morgan Hill, Calif.

``We are the first company in the world to buy a block of 25 million [RFID tag] numbers,'' Moore said.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Procter & Gamble Co., Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are among the firms renting or conducting trials with iGPS pallets.


Comments

RFID-tagged pallets driving iGPS' growth

By Roger Renstrom
Correspondent

Published: February 26, 2007 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Flexible Packaging Trends in North America

Our latest RESEARCH report examines trends in FLEXIBLE PACKAGING impacting the North American market including a review of economic conditions, key drivers of growth, materials pricing, M&A activity, sustainability challenges and the outlook for 2015.

Learn more

Plastics in Brazil - State of the Industry Report

This in-depth report examines the Brazilian plastics industry from a historical and geographical context. Our analysts provide insight on economic trends and forecasts, growing manufacturing sectors that utilize plastics, private investment opportunities, market environment challenges, and innovations in R&D.

Data tables and charts on producer prices, trade, plastics production and end market indicators is also included.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events