Business

Lisburn refrigeration rental firm Lowe extends tracking system to USA

An operator using a hand-held reader for Lowe Rental's RFID tracking system

LISBURN-based Lowe Rental, which supplies refrigeration equipment to some of the world's most prestigious events and venues in sport, food and hospitality, has rolled-out a new type of electronic tracking technology to its US operations after successful trials in Europe and Asia.

It will roll out the high-tech RFID tracking system at its depots in Las Vegas in Nevada and at Fairburn, near Atlanta, Georgia.

It comes after a successful deployment of the technology at its Lisburn headquarters and at operations in England, Scotland and Germany over a period of two years.

In September, Lowe then began to further extend the RFID system to its Asian depots in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Dubai.

The system saved weeks of staff time and recorded an almost 100 per cent accuracy rate. Previously each item entering or leaving its warehouses 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Now the codes have been replaced by RFID tags, which are detected automatically by readers at the exits and the information downloaded to the database.

The new system enables instantaneous reporting and 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.

Lowe, founded in 1977 and now the world's leading refrigeration rental company, rents out over 10,000 items worldwide including fridges, freezers, catering equipment and temporary kitchens.

It supplies high-profile events from Royal Ascot to the Singapore Grand Prix, the world's largest food and beverage exhibitions and some of the biggest retail stores worldwide.

The company's European operations director Ian Lowry said: "This system has transformed our 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.

"It's a natural progression to roll out the system to our US operations after the massively positive impact it has had in Europe and the potential to make a great difference to our efficiency in Asia."

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