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.
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.
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.
"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."