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Iveco to Expand RFID System for Managing Replacement Parts

The truck and bus manufacturer is using EPC Gen 2 tags to process the receipt, picking and shipping of replacement parts, and to guarantee their authenticity.
By Rhea Wessel
At that point, Iveco decided to implement RFID, together with Kuehne+Nagel, at the Turin distribution center. The partners began to review suppliers' tenders for the project in March 2008, and in May installed a pilot version of the system at the DC.

At the Turin distribution center, Kuehne+Nagel receives parts shipped by suppliers, and moves them to an incoming-goods area. A worker then uses an Intermec printer-encoder to produce an adhesive label containing a passive RFID tag complying with the EPC Gen 2 and ISO 18000-6c standards. The label is encoded with an ID number and printed with a bar code and other information. The bar code replicates the tag ID number so that dealers can utilize the same tracking number.

Paolo Guidi, Kuehne+Nagel's sales and marketing director
The employee attaches the label to the exterior of the box that holds the incoming part or parts. The company tags some parts at the item level and others at the container level, depending on how valuable the parts are, as well as the specific process for managing those components. Iveco reports that it is tagging 50 percent of its parts to develop and refine the RFID-based processes within its business before expanding the application.

"In 2010, the company will tag all the packages shipped from Turin," says Alessandro Dandolo, Alfaproject's managing partner.

"We are not asking suppliers to tag at the moment," Fantini adds, "because we are tagging enough by ourselves to develop the process."

Once multiple boxes are tagged, they are placed on pallets loaded onto carts. A truck driver pulls a train of carts through an Intermec RFID portal, which reads the tags' ID numbers. A green light indicates the driver is moving the intended parts to the facility's warehouse, where they are then stored in stacks on the floor.

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