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Scania Parts Logistics expands its use of RFID to ensure swift and reliable deliveries overseas

Use Cases | By PR RFID & Wireless IoT Global | 21 January 2016
Worldwide logistics of truck spare parts Worldwide logistics of truck spare parts Photo: Scania Parts Logistics

Be at the right place at the right time with RFID!

Currently, approximately 26,000 ordered items leave the Global Parts Distribution Center of Scania Parts Logistics in Opglabbeek, Belgium every day. To satisfy the ever-increasing orders from customers worldwide, the site has recently been significantly expanded. After the success of the employment of an RTLS-RFID system in the Scania Parts Center 1 (SPC 1), the use of RFID is currently being extended to SPC 2, recently built in 2012–2013. First tests with the new technology have provided such good results that the roll-out in late October will optimise delivery processes significantly benefitting overseas customers.

Brecht Vanhove, Warehouse Engineer, Scania Parts Logistics in interview with “RFID im Blick”

Start in the SPC 1: RFID and RTLS

Scania was involved in a research project at the Flemish Institute for Logistics (VIL) in 2010 looking at how RFID technology could optimise global delivery processes – since then a solution has been successfully implemented. In SPC 1, the Mojix Star RFID RTLS system was installed to monitor the movement of supplies from buildup to proof of shipping. “Since RFID has been deployed in SPC 1, the system is stable and runs to our satisfaction,” says Brecht Vanhove.

Brecht VanhoveBrecht Vanhove “Using RFID we can be almost 100% certain that only parts that have actually been ordered go into the containers for overseas shipment. Therefore, the delivery errors that are most complicated to correct can be avoided and customer satisfaction increased.”

Reliably monitoring the movement direction

To monitor all transport containers that are transported back and forth between SPC 1 and SPC 2, and to know the exact direction in which parts are moving, Scania management decided to extend the existing RFID system to two loading docks in the SPC 2. Following the recommendations of the system integrator Mieloo & Alexander, the project team from Scania Parts Logistics chose to use a different technology from SPC 1. Since only two dock doors in SPC 2 will be equiped and no RTLS system is needed in this new building, they selected the Kathrein RFID reading systems to make sure that all tagged, reusable transport items (RTI) are reliably detected and their movement direction identified.

Operation in October 2015

Brecht Vanhove explains that the RFID operation is getting tested in the SPC 2. “In February 2015, all requirements for the new system in the SPC 2 were specified in cooperation with the system integrator. We are very confident that all tests will be completed by the end of October 2015, in order to roll-out the new system in the SPC 2. Until then, we will have recorded approximately 1,000 reusable transport carriers for test purposes. What we can already say, however, is that the technology works just as we expected it to.” The reports, which Brecht Vanhove and his project team receive from logistics staff every night, are promising. “The new system in the SPC 2 can capture up to 15 tags in a single pass. It outperforms the SPC 1 system, which we are still very satisfied with. Nevertheless, the results are an indication that the RFID technology is constantly being refined.”

Benefits for overseas logistics

Scania currently uses the RFID technology in the SPC 1 and 2 only for shipments that go to customers overseas, for example to Brazil, where Scania operate a distribution centre, too. “During the stuffing process in the overseas containers the packaged parts are often driven in and out multiple times to achieve the best space occupancy. Without the help of RFID in this process, there is always the risk that loaded transport carriers could be forgotten and won’t be shipped in the overseas containers. The automatic registration of all transport carrier movements reduces this risk to almost zero. RFID has a great impact here,” says Brecht Vanhove.

No tailback at customs

According to the Warehouse Engineer, another advantage that results from minimised shipment errors is that customs processes at the destination country speed up: “If there are parts in a container that are not indicated on the accompanying documents, the whole container will be stopped. Because RFID makes sure that the container is stuffed correctly, delivery speeds up drastically and the customer is satisfied by the speed of the process, which has a positive impact on the evaluation of an RFID application.”

Last modified on Thursday, 12 May 2016 12:42
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