Guardfreight International

Overview:

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Andrew Harrison
Director of
Guardfreight International

Andrew Harrison, of Guardfreight International, has created a new satellite-tracked lock or cargo shipments. It is hoped that the “E-Containerlock” will help to prevent £70 billion worth of cargo from going missing every year.

Challenge:

Andrew Harrison came to the NTAILS project and described his concern that E-Containerlocks may not get returned after shipment containers have reached their destination. He asked if a QR code could be used to increase the chances of them being returned, potentially from somewhere on the other side of the world.

The NTAILS team gave me great insight into the options available to me and through that confirmed that the use of QR codes was most suitable for my application. Suggestions were also put forward as to how best to utilise, create and manage the QR codesfor my specific application.

Shropshire Therapies

Challenge:

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Ghislaine Headland-Vanni
Shropshire Therapies offers a range of therapies, treatments and packages such as Clinical Hypnotherapy; Energy Healing; Stress Management; the ancient Egyptian art of hair removal using sugar paste; and relaxing facials using ultra-premium Arbonne botanicals.

Ghislaine Headland-Vanni, owner of Shropshire Therapies was very interested in investigating innovative ways to generate web traffic and interest in her business. Ghislaine quickly identified automatic identification and data capture technologies such as Quick Response (quick response) codes and their technical ability with a view to incorporating them into her business activity.

Beaming Success

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Jason Dabbs, Director of Beaming Success
Based at the University of Wolverhampton's Science Park, Beaming success delivers products that are at the forefront of digital display technologies.
Working closely with some of the UK's largest AV display specialists they deliver a complete solution for display and advertising needs.

Challenge:

The company wanted the project to investigate creating a system to connect physical objects to Facebook. The idea was to allow users to like a showcased object in Facebook (i.e. car, exhibition stand etc.) by just "touching" (i.e. swiping a card or a wristband).  The assist was to be a proof of concept investigation and would illustrate uses of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.

The Students Union

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Automated Student Union process
The Students Union is an independent charity run for students by students.  It offers opportunities for students to engage in social activities and provides advice and support for all matters affecting students.

Challenge:

The Students’ Union utilise a multi-faceted web portal for students at the University of Wolverhampton.  The web portal allows students to join sports teams, sign up for societies and social activities and to engage with their Students’ Union.    To access the system, students must provide their student number to allow staff to locate them on the system.  At peak times, this is time consuming and laborious.  The challenge was to automate this process by utilising the existing Radio Frequency Identification Chip (RFID) chip located in each student card.

BURKE BROS

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Gary Burke -Managing Director at
Burke Bros

BURKE BROS is the UK and International Removal Group for home, commercial and overseas moves – setting a high standard in a demanding industry. The team achieve their goals by combining a professional, top quality service with the understanding and action on their clients’ specific needs.

Challenge:

Gary Burke first came across the NTAILS project to better understand if AIDC technology could be used for tracking containers. He attended a free NTAILS seminar, “Using Barcodes in Manufacturing and Warehousing” and also visited the Demonstration Centre. As a result, he decided to collaborate with the NTAILS team to investigate the use of AIDC technologies within his business.

Joel introduced coloured QR coding into our international side of the business designing coloured QR/bar codes representing different countries and these have been used at Exhibitions at Earls Court London and Birmingham already. Our national marketing campaign has changed and has resulted in new web designs and has made the company become more innovative. We extended the placement so that further projects could be worked on which is helping Burke Bros move ahead of our competitors with technological solutions to our business and marketing plans.

Bronze Software Lab

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Richard Howells, Founder and Director of Bronze Software Labs
Bronze Software Labs, an award-winning West Midlands mobile application development company, builds custom mobile applications specialising in mobile augmented reality technologies.

Challenge:

Bronze Software Labs specialise in the mobile engineering sector and build bespoke enterprise-level applications to enable engineers to satisfy data entry requirements in the field – providing instant visibility, saving time, avoiding duplications and errors. The company was looking for advice and guidance in newer technologies, particularly in the deployment of Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) within these mobile applications.

Stone’s Throw Media

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Matt Weston - Founder and Director of Stone’s Throw Media

Stone’s Throw Media is an award-winning creative video production company based in Wolverhampton. They produce professional videos and animations for organisations and companies who wish to improve visibility, enhance engagement and increase retention.

Challenge:

Founder-Directors of Stone’s Throw Media, Matt Weston and Mike Chinn, came to the NTAILS project to explore the potential of innovatively using automatic data capture technologies such as Quick Response (QR) codes and incorporate them into their business activities.

RAPRA Limited

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Cristina Ionita, Marketing Officer at RAPRA Ltd

Established in 1919, RAPRA is a not-for-profi t membership organisation run for the benefi t of its member companies to assist with a multitude of enquiries. RAPRA works as a solutions hub to connect these companies to its vast network of preferred providers.

Challenge:

Steve Shaw and Tracey Ashmore fi rst heard about the NTAILS project through word of mouth. They came to the NTAILS centre to see the range of automatic identifi cation and data capture technologies on display. As a result, they decided that this information would be of great interest to their member organisations. They wanted to learn more about all aspects of the technologies on display with a particular emphasis on Quick Response (QR) codes and Near Field Communication (NFC). This would help them better promote the benefi ts of the technologies to members.

Malthouse Engineering

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Roy Taylor, Managing Director at Malthouse Engineering

Malthouse Engineering specialise in flame cutting steel profiles. What makes them different from other profilers is that they can flame cut profiles from 5mm up to 500mm. The company has 20 flame cutting machines across their group. All these profiling machines are able to cut with one or multiple heads meaning they can offer one-offs or batch production runs.

Challenge:

Most ‘jobs’ require different operations on raw materials to turn them into finished goods. Establishing what stage a job had reached has always been a manual process. Malthouse Engineering asked the NTAILS team for assistance with creating a more automated process for tracking the location of the job card which accompanies the materials as they move around the workshop.

The format of the STEP programme enabled all participants to benefit in a meaningful way. The associate could apply their knowledge in an industrial environment. Malthouse Engineering benefitted from the NTAILS’ support and the NTAILS team were able to display their skills against the challenges of a complex industrial environment.

Liz Munro

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Liz Munro,
Broadcast Compliance Consultant

Liz Munro is an experienced BBC television news reporter and former editorial policy advisor. Her company provides assistance with Editorial Compliance to radio stations and television broadcasters.

Challenge:

Liz Munro came across the NTAILS project, through social media channels, whilst she was conducting research into QR Codes. She came to the NTAILS Centre to discuss her requirements as well as to tour the facilities and to experience the range of automatic identification and data capture technologies on display. As a result, she wanted to learn more about QR Codes and Near Field Communication, with a view to utilising them within her business.

After doing a tour of the NTAILS Demonstration Centre I realised the potential to adapt QR technology to my area of business. I was thrilled to put what I learned into practice to make it easy and simple for potential new clients to get in touch.

Essential Supply Products Ltd

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Isla Buchanan, Projects Manager at ESP

Essential Supply Products Ltd (ESP) is one of the leading independent manufacturers and converters of disposable tissue products in the UK. Based in Malvern, Worcestershire the company was formed in 1990. ESP supply products to wholesale distributors serving the Away from Home (non-consumer) market in the janitorial, hotel, restaurant, facilities management, catering, industrial and healthcare sectors.

Challenge:

A stocktake is conducted once at the end of every month. It aims to produce an accurate snapshot account of the stock at ESP’s different warehouses. However, the process is manually intensive, taking several operatives, as well as some management staff, away from their duties from several hours to a full day.

The client approached the NTAILS project to discuss whether Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technologies could provide improvements in the stocktaking process as well as providing business and financial benefits for the company.

Successful implementation of these technologies could reduce man-hours required, and improve the efficiency of our stocktakes. This could also positively impact our picking and despatch process, removing the requirement for double-checking.

The NTAILS project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund

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