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The Government of the Republic of Indonesia is currently focusing on building logistics infrastructure to facilitate the distribution of logistics to all regions in Indonesia. The Distribution of logistics to each area requires an electronically connected warehouse so that information about goods in the warehouse can be monitored continuously. There are some problems with one of the logistics companies because the existing warehouse management technology is not sufficient enough, so the complex warehouse functions do not become dynamic. One of the solutions to solve the problem need to use RFID technology, conveyor belt, and robotic arm by using an Arduino microcontroller. This research uses Design Science Research Methodology which focuses on developing and improving the model performance of a system and using the prototyping model for system development. The test results state that the built system works well because it could lift, identify and sort goods by type. So, this research could answer the problem that happened at the warehouse.
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TELKOMNIKA, Vol.17, No.2, April 2019, pp.794~800
ISSN: 1693-6930, accredited First Grade by Kemenristekdikti, Decree No: 21/E/KPT/2018
DOI: 10.12928/TELKOMNIKA.v17i2.11767 794
Received October 10, 2018; Revised November 23, 2018; Accepted January 12, 2019
RFID-based conveyor belt for improve warehouse operations
Syafrial Fachri Pane*, Rolly Maulana Awangga, Bayu Rahmad Azhari,
Gilang Romadhanu Tartila
Department of Informatics Engineering, Politeknik Pos Indonesia,
Sariasih St. No.54, Sarijadi, Sukasari, Bandung 40151, Indonesia
telp/fax: +6222-2009562, 2009570/+6222-2011099
*Corresponding author, e-mail: syafrial.fachri@poltekpos.ac.id
Abstract
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia is currently focusing on building logistics
infrastructure to facilitate the distribution of logistics to all regions in Indonesia. The Distribution of logistics
to each area requires an electronically connected warehouse so that information about goods in the
warehouse can be monitored continuously. There are some problems with one of the logistics companies
because the existing warehouse management technology is not sufficient enough, so the complex
warehouse functions do not become dynamic. One of the solutions to solve the problem need to use RFID
technology, conveyor belt, and robotic arm by using an Arduino microcontroller. This research uses Design
Science Research Methodology which focuses on developing and improving the model performance of a
system and using the prototyping model for system development. The test results state that the built
system works well because it could lift, identify and sort goods by type. So, this research could answer the
problem that happened at the warehouse.
Keywords: conveyor belt, design science research, logistics, RFID, warehouse
Copyright © 2019 Universitas Ahmad Dahlan. All rights reserved.
1. Introduction
The Government of the Republic of Indonesia is currently focusing on building logistics
infrastructure to facilitate the distribution of logistics to all regions in Indonesia. Logistics is a
framework and planning orientation to create a plan for the flow of goods and information
across the enterprise [1]. Logistics costs contribute a big part of the total production costs, and
therefore the amount spent on logistics becomes an essential factor of firm’s
competitiveness [2]. Logistics performance is critical to the economic growth and
competitiveness of a country and has a global measurement called Logistics Performance
Index (LPI). The value of LPI determines by the professional survey results in the field of
logistics [3]. The results of LPI 2016 point to Germany as the best-performing country, with a
LPI score of 4.23 and Syria as the lowest-rated country, with a score of 1.60 [4]. Indonesia’s
LPI dropped from 53rd with a score of 3.08 to 63rd with a score of 2.98 [5]. Five critical
assessments from the World Bank, Indonesia’s three evaluation parameters declined compared
to 2014, on infrastructure, customs processes, and logistics competencies [6]. Therefore,
Logistic business actors need innovation to provide their best services to consumers, one of
them by controlling the movement of goods in the warehouse.
A warehouse should be view as a buer in supply chains and as a temporary place to
store inventory and play an essential role to reduce variations in supply and demand [7]. In
every process in the warehouse requires a system that can control all the operations that are in
it, this is called Warehouse Management System (WMS) [8]. The primary purpose of WMS is to
control the movement and storage of goods in a warehouse [9]. Logistics problem has always
faced with uncertainty and risk due to their uncertain nature [10], the development of an
ecient logistics system is a challenge faced by logistics companies in Indonesia [11]. One of
the factors is because Indonesia has more than 17.000 islands spread over a territory from
west to east with the total coastal line of 81.000 km [12]. Therefore, it is necessary to build a
warehouse network that is connected electronically so that information about goods in the
warehouse can monitor continuously. According to a report in 2014, there were 60 Third-Party
Logistics (3PL) companies and about 4200 transporter and expedition companies operating in
Indonesia [13]. Logistics companies certainly have warehouses because it has a significant
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eect on the company if they do not have it, the production of any goods will be dicult to
control. There are some problems with one of the logistics companies because the existing
warehouse management technology is not sufficient enough, so the complex warehouse
functions do not become dynamic. The warehouse management process is difficult to lift,
identify and sort goods by type so that the goods can stored in the wrong place.
One of the solutions to solve the problem need to use Radio Frequency Identification
(RFID) technology, conveyor belt, and robotic arm by using an Arduino microcontroller. RFID is
a technology with objectives to unique identification of objects, enable the non-contact and
automatic using radio waves [14]. The function of a conveyor belt is to carry goods from one
point to the end point with regularly and to sort goods by type using servo motors and at the
final process the goods lifted using the robotic arm. Arduino is a user-friendly open-source
platform based on a simple microcontroller board [15]. So, the design and implementation of
RFID-based conveyor belt on WMS using Arduino microcontroller can provide benefits and
convenience for logistics companies.
2. Related Work
A warehouse is a highly dynamic environment with dierent numbers of goods going in
and out every day [16]. The primary purpose of WMS is to control all processes in the supply
chain [17]. Information distortion on the supply chain is one of the significant problems in
creating supply chain inefficiencies [18]. Data warehouse (DW) define as a subject-oriented,
stable, integrated and variation data which sets along with time to support companies [19] and
to run an entire business in a company requires resources that focus on information technology
investment planning [20]. Automated warehouse refers to a dozen or even dozens of shelves
used to carry on goods storage, with the corresponding material handling equipment for cargo
inbound and outbound warehouse operations [21], and several kinds of sensors are necessary
to collect much dierent information around the warehouse [22]. Comprehensive
automatization based on warehouse management can decrease the leaks in the control of
entering the warehouse, out of the warehouse, and inventory [23]. The cost saving by
implementing RFID in a warehouse depends [24]. RFID is a simple, highly secured,
cost-eective, used widely [25], as communication between a reader and a tag, and replacing
barcode technology [26]. RFID reader is the circuit which generates a 125KHZ magnetic
signal [27]. RFID technology recently maturated and improved by computational RFID tags with
sensors and had some of the critical aspects [28]. The filter is implemented on all data to
produce one feature on each data by calculating the standard mean of each signal [29]. The
Arduino Uno is a microcontroller board grounded on the ATmega328 (datasheet) [30], open
source, user-friendly platform for hardware and software prototyping [31].
Qualitative research often concerned with the development of a profound
understanding rather than a broad understanding [32]. It also will design a study, collect data,
analyze data and interpret data same as a quantitative researcher does [33]. However,
qualitative research demands that researchers follow specific procedures and document the
research process in detail [34]. The design of Information systems (IS) that apply contemporary
methodologies can provide new knowledge that could enhance the design of particular IS
artifact [35]. Design Science Research (DSR) in relation to other IS research paradigms with a
long history [36]. In DSR, an error is a finding that a new artifact works when in fact the artifact
does not work [37]. DSR methodology includes six stages is identify a problem & motivate,
define objectives of research, design and development of solutions, building
simulation/demonstration, testing, and conclusion [8]. A DSR process results in several
artifacts, which are methods, constructs, models, or instantiations [38]. The SDLC is a
framework that the software development group follows in every software organization [39]. It
consists of several steps that are planning, analysis, design, implementation, testing, and
maintenance [40]. The Waterfall, rapid prototyping, incremental, spiral, rapid application
development (RAD), rational unified process (RUP) and agile software development are few to
mention as successful SDLC models [41]. A prototype model is a system development which
does not require freezing the requirements [42]. The advantages of the prototyping model are
users actively involved in the development, missing functionalities identified early, and errors
are detected much earlier [43]. Block diagrams represent components of the transfer function of
control subsystems [44].
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The impact of RFID technology, conveyor belt, and a robotic arm will have a significant
effect on the warehouse. Moreover, it will modernize the current working process and increase
productivity in the warehouse. The purpose of this research is to design and implementation of
RFID-based conveyor belt on WMS, to speed up the process in the warehouse. The scope of
this research is the design of a series of systems using Arduino Uno microcontroller and
designed for a box-shaped object with a maximum size of length=6 cm, width=5 cm, Height=4
cm with a maximum weight of 100 grams. The data is stored in MySQL database management
system and integrated with API in Web Service [45]. This research uses Design Science
Research Methodology (DSRM) and using the prototyping model for system development.
3. Research Method
Figure 1 follows the six stages of classical DSRM that focuses on problem-solving and
system development [46]. As can be seen from the picture, the first stage identifies the
problems that occurred in the warehouse and we found the problem in one of the warehouses
that are in the current process is still difficult to distinguish the type of goods. The purpose and
benefits of this research are to simplify the process of selecting goods with the design and
implementation of RFID-based conveyor belt on WMS, so the complex warehouse functions
become dynamic. The design of solution is made to facilitate us to make an overview of the
design and implementation of RFID-based conveyor belt on WMS. Based on the design, the
demonstration was built with the aim of testing the developed system to see the suitability of the
model with expectations to be achieved. After the demonstration is completed, the test results
state that the built system works well because it could lift, identify and sort goods by type.
Finally, the author will provide suggestions that can be considered by the logistics company,
such as if the design and implementation of this system will be developed in the future.
Figure 2 illustrates the circuit design of RFID-based conveyor belt controlled by Arduino
Uno R3 microcontroller. The connected components are RFID reader, buzzer, RGB LED, I2C
module, LCD, and servo motors. There are additional components such as the Ethernet Shield
used to connect Arduino with the database server. The RFID used in this system is RFID
RC522 which designed with relatively low cost and an antenna works in the small frequency
band, so RFID tag can only be read with positioned in parallel with RFID reader with a range
about 5 cm. There are supporting components in the design of the RFID-based conveyor belt
circuit. But this component is not connected directly with Arduino microcontroller; it is DC motor.
The DC motor with a speed of 100 rpm is supplied with an external power supply used to rotate
the conveyor belt so that it can turn at a constant speed. There is also a robotic arm that is
driven by four servo motors; another Arduino microcontroller controls this component. In the
robot arm is applied ultrasonic sensors to measure the distance of goods. So, the goods lifted
when the range is close to the robotic arm.
Figure 1. Flowchart of research methodology
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Figure 2. The circuit design of RFID-based conveyor belt
4. Results and Analysis
The functionality test has been performed to verify that the system functions are
running as expected. Several experiments have completed, and the results of the tests
observed and analyzed by the authors.
4.1. Tests
Figure 3 shows the prototype RFID-based conveyor belt to performed tests, and an
Arduino Uno R3 microcontroller controls it. In the first process, the goods placed on the
conveyor belt, and it carried over the RFID reader. Then the RFID reader identified the type of
goods based on the information of the RFID tag by adjusting the data on the database. After
identification is completed, the buzzer emitted a sound, while RGB LED and LCD will inform the
result of the identification type of goods. If it is unidentified, the RGB LED will be red, whereas if
it is identified the RGB LED will be blue and the LCD will display output the type of goods. After
that, the servo motor serves as a selector to direct the goods to storage. At the final process
when the goods arrive at the storage, the goods lifted using the robotic arm.
Figure 3. Prototype RFID-based conveyor belt
4.2. Results
Table 1 shows the results of identification of the type of goods displayed by the LCD.
The system test was conducted for five experiments, and the types of goods were categorized
into three types: type A, type B and unidentified. The results of all system tests with various
types of goods are declared successful, and each test is carried out in about 20 seconds.
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Table 2 shows the cost of the components used in the design of this system is
expressed in Indonesian currency (IDR). The prices shown are the average prices obtained
from different local suppliers and online stores. Explanations of other components are pipes,
aluminum, bolts, nuts, bearings, pulleys, small wooden stick, gears and small analog electronic
elements such as a breadboard, resistors, and jumpers.
Table 1. System Test Results
Process time
(seconds)
Result
18.05
Success
23.84
Success
18.68
Success
23.89
Success
21.87
Success
Table 2. Component Costs
Component
# Units
Cost (IDR)
Arduino Uno R3
2
250,000.00
Ethernet Shield
1
115,000.00
RFID RC522
1
30,000.00
Piezo Buzzer 5V
1
10,000.00
RGB LED
1
15,000.00
Servo Motor MG996R
2
100,000.00
I2C Module
1
20,000.00
LCD 16x2
1
30,000.00
DC Motor 30V 100 RPM
3
255,000.00
Power Supply 24 V 2 A Switching
1
100,000.00
Power Supply 5 V 3 A Switching
1
40,000.00
MeArm V0.4 + Micro Servo SG90
2
500,000.00
Ultrasonic Sensor HC-SR04
2
40,000.00
Other Components
1
350,000.00
Total
-
1,855,000.00
4.3. Discussions
The RFID-based conveyor belt on WMS will make the warehouse become dynamic and
information about the goods can be monitored continuously. Moreover, it will modernize the
current working process and increase productivity in the warehouse. RFID technology is the
answer to various weaknesses that are owned by barcode technology, because it can only be
identified by bringing the barcode closer to the reader, and also because the barcode has very
limited data storage capacity and cannot be reprogrammed. However, the RFID frequency can
be interrupted by the frequency of other equipment, so the chip will respond to that frequency.
RFID readers are also difficult to identify RFID tags if the LAN network is not connected.
Alternatives are needed to improve system performance in the process of selecting goods.
4.4. Recommendations
There are several recommendations to be proposed for the development of design in
this research. Based on the test results required the development of a prototype conveyor belt
to meet the standards to be a tool that is ready for use. It takes some other components so that
the conveyor belt performance can be better in the future and it is necessary to measure the
performance of the conveyor belt, RFID, and other components.
5. Conclusion
After the development of RFID-based conveyor belt on WMS, it can conclude that the
analysis has been able to answer the purpose of this research. This system can make the
warehouse become dynamic and connected electronically, so the information in the warehouse
can be monitored continuously. The system could sort goods running on the conveyor belt
according to the information on the RFID tag and use the servo motor as a selector to direct the
goods to their storage. This system is one of the solutions to modernize the current working
process and increases warehouse productivity with good integration.
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... When I started this research, little historical qualitative data showed SCM professionals' attitudes, perceptions, and feelings about these RWS in general (Schaefer et al., 2016). On the other end, minimal historical data even showed the convergence of top-high innovative technologies combined to create cyber-physical systems put in use to improve operations and production in retail fulfillment (Pane et al., 2019). Therefore, research that would focus on behavioral acceptance concerning these innovations will enrich the body of knowledge on how humans intended to integrate Logistics 4.0 robots as a part of the intelligent warehouse concept inside DFCs or warehouses (Pane et al., 2019). ...
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This research proposal plays a crucial role in assessing the acceptance of these robotic warehouse solutions by its potential users, who are SCM professionals. Persistent rumors announced loudly the arrival of these robots engineered to replace humans in warehouses. Firms are striving to adopt these high-tech innovations to reduce their cost of production and augment their profits. At the same time, their employees fear to be replaced by these machines, capable of out performances mistakes-free. The paramount objective of this research is to analyze endogenous and exogenous factors that can significantly impact the relationship between SCM professionals and these Logistics 4.0 robots in a collaborative environment.
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