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Textile Manufacturer Gets Quick 30% ROI from RFID

RFID products and services provider Alien Technology announced today the successful deployment of a work-in-process RFID application for Griva, a textile manufacturer in Italy. In just over nine months since the deployment went live, Griva has reported a 30% return on investment.
Jul 30, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

July 30, 2007—RFID products and services provider Alien Technology announced today the successful deployment of a work-in-process RFID application for Griva S.p.A., a textile manufacturer in Italy. In the nine months since the deployment went live, Griva has indicated a 30% return on investment.

Every year Griva manufactures roughly 300,000 rolls of fabric that is used for upholstery, draperies, etc. The company purchases raw thread materials from its suppliers, which it washes, dyes, dries, and weaves into a fabric. Each fabric roll then undergoes a number of other processes and treatments before it is finally sealed and ready for shipment.

Griva sought to increase traceability and automation of the production process. Bar codes had proved an insufficient tracking solution because, among other reasons, they could not be read through the thin plastic film packaging on ready-to-ship rolls. This was an important capability for Griva, and one that the RFID solution offered. Additional criteria included not interfering with the existing processes and being physically robust enough to withstand shrink wrapping, high water and humidity, and harsh dying chemicals.

Alien deployed its 8800 reader and signature Squiggle tags. Simet provided the software that integrates data from the RFID reader with Griva's existing ERP system.

The resulting system, now approaching ten months old, offers Griva automated tracking of fabric rolls from the beginning of the production process to the moment of shipment. Reporting a 30% ROI, the company points to reduced expenses, increased efficiency, and higher customer satisfaction as the key areas of improvement.

Work-in-process (WIP) deployments like Griva's are an increasingly popular application of RFID. A recent survey by research firm Aberdeen found that 38% of enterprises that have deployed RFID did so to improve the cost, safety, and reliability of WIP (see Aberdeen on Managing Work-in-Process with RFID).

The deployment is also an example of a recent thrust by Alien to pursue non-mandate compliance RFID business, which was the company's historic focus. The company announced two other non-compliance deployments earlier this summer, one a work-in-process solution for a door manufacturer, the other a vehicle tracking and access control application (see Alien Looks to Channel, Non-Mandate RFID Adoption).
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