Pallet with active RFID offers immediate track and trace data

“Lightning-GARD pallets are the only pallet in the market with an active RFID that continuously beams information to a Cloud-based dashboard to report a variety of customer-specified critical factors,” according to Jeffery Owen founder and CEO of Lightning Technologies.“ Users determine the threshold for temperature, humidity, time in transit, impacts, shelf life and location; the dashboard displays the readings in real-time, highlighting any pallet that deviates from the settings.”

These pallets are constructed of engineered plywood sourced from sustainable plantations, then coated with a proprietary polyurea spray called ExoBond. The resulting pallet is extremely durable, lightweight, fire-retardant, sustainable, hygienic, easily sanitized and repairable, skid-free, and come in standard and custom sizes, sas the company. While a typical wood pallet’s average lifespan is only three months, the Lightning pallet is estimated to be able to last more than 10 years.

“We have gone through extensive lab testing and real-life simulations at Virginia Tech and feel comfortable in making the claim it will last 10 years,” Owen says.

What sets it apart from the other 2 billion pallets in the United States and another 6 billion around the world is its active radio-frequency identification device (RFID). By contrast, pallets with passive RFID can only share location information when they encounter a reader—typically at inbound receiving or outbound shipping—meaning the data is historic rather than current.

“Food, beverage, perishables, pharmaceuticals—manufacturers and retailers increasingly need to monitor their products as they pass through the supply chain,” Owen explains. “Having condition information facilitates track and trace, allows more targeted recalls and protects brands. It also helps retailers prioritize stocking and replenishment with items whose shelf life is the shortest.”

Makers and sellers of high-value and sensitive products—such as electronics—also benefit from the information the active RFID tags collect and share. “They can be notified immediately if there’s a significant impact on the load, or quickly locate a shipment if it deviates from its designated path in the case of theft, for example,” adds Owen.

GARD is an exclusive and proprietary RFID, embedded into the product before coating. A customized dashboard allows the producer and retailer to track and trace throughout the product’s entire journey, eliminating any darks spots in the supply chain. “The customer feedback we are getting is that the pallet is performing beyond specifications,”  says Rex Lowe, founder and CEO of GARD Pallet. He has been in the pallet industry for 28 years and is a pioneer of modern-day pallet pooling.

Lowe predicts the Lightning-GARD pallet will not only bring positive disruptive change to the food sector, but also the pharmaceutical, healthcare, aerospace and electronics industries.

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