GS1 Italy continues its exploration of EPC technology in the non-food supply chains. This time in fashion, in view of the exceptional results obtained in the European GS1 laboratories on the application of radio frequency labels along this supply chain. GS1 Italy is developing an integrated RFId project in partnership with Miniconf, an Italian leading textiles manufacturer for children’s fashions.
GS1 Italy launched a pilot project at the Miniconf plant in Ortignano Raggiolo - Italy that will initially focus on articles in the sample collections originating from the production factories (approximately 60,000 garments traced with RFId technology), but the ultimate goal is to trace 10 million pieces over the coming years. The general goal is to optimise the internal logistical processes and trace the path of each individual sample article. Sample collections can be traced from start to finish with the use of new infrastructure with antennae and RFId scanners. The manufacturer can easily trace the articles including their acceptance at the warehouse, movements inside the warehouse (sorting and packaging), outflow to sales representatives and agents, and eventual returns back to the factory.
In addition to the technological tests, part of the EPC/RFId assessment includes mapping process flows, a vital step toward coming up with future scenarios. A current snapshot of the process flows of the company is essential to understanding which phases show critical points and then taking action with a specific EPC/RFId solution appropriate to the case in question.
“The purpose of this experiment,” underscored Antonio Gori, IT Manager at Miniconf, “is to understand the tangible and intangible benefits available to our company by introducing EPC/RFId technology into our processes. If this pilot phase yields positive results, the intention is to implement the EPC/RFId technology not only for sample collections, but for the entire route of the garments, the packaging and loading units along the chain of production.”
The partnership with Miniconf will not end with the impact assessment of EPC/RFId technology along sample collection logistics and distribution process (tracing individual garments), but will also assess one of the GS1 standards in use at the company.
The goal of the audit is to approve the conformity of the company coding system with the international GS1 standard system, supporting the company in the event of changes in the internal code toward a GS1 standard code.
In addition to the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, this project will also be an opportunity to involve a number of GS1 Italy’s partners - King, Lab Id, Toshiba, Skeye, Intermec and Impinj – which will work as a team with GS1 Italy staff and the researchers of the electronics engineering and management engineering departments of the Politecnico di Milano.