17 Feb Wireless RF communication for Nike Distribution Centre
The Nike distribution centre in Laakdal, Belgium, is one of the largest distribution centres in Europe, and the logistical hub of Nike EMEA, home to all logistical activities coordinated between 700 factories and 25,000 customers. During a large expansion of this facility in 2019, Nike Europe extended its customer service centre by adding a new building for storing and handling clothing, fashion products and sports equipment.
A highly advanced automated 3-tiered warehousing facility has been added for storing and handling goods, an office block with social amenities and a technical facilities area. Like the original building constructed 12 years earlier, the entire new site has been built using sustainable materials and energy-efficient operations.
Following the opening of the new facility, it became clear that due to its sheer size, the team working inside some of the warehousing areas required means of wireless communication with their main office.
Contacta’s partner in Belgium, PVS NV, had a working relationship with the site and had suggested trialing the Contacta RF wireless communication system. In a planning meeting with the technical team at Contacta in 2019 concerns were raised about the high level of electromagnetic and other devices operating inside the facility, and whether these would affect the performance of the RF system.
As the Contacta RF system has access to 40 different channels on the 2.4GHz frequency, the team was confident there will be plenty of scope to handle any possible interference. A test was conducted on-site using a Contacta RF-TXS Transmitter and RF-RX1 Receivers. The systems performed very well to the full satisfaction of the Nike staff using them.
The customer purchased two RF-TXS fixed transmitters, which supported flexible wireless communication in two areas of the facility. Workers have been supplied with 20 RF-RX1 Receivers and a variety of listening options. Two RF-DC20 charging cases have also been supplied for convenient drop-in recharging of the units.
The ability of the Contacta RF system to work on a wide range of channels meant each area has been programmed on a different channel without interference.
In January 2021 Tom Van de Sande, CEO of PVS NV, Belgium said:
‘We have been using the RF products since the very start… the systems performed very well in these dense metal environments.’