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Solid RFID case demonstrated at Philips

Posted: 26 May 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:rfid chip? wafer? star?

Philips Semiconductor has taken a big leap in proving that RFID technology is possible and a must for manufacturers and distributors worldwide.

Partnering with IBM and other vendors, the company has recently deployed a major implementation of RFID in its supply chain in Asia to demonstrate how the technology can enhance operational productivity and efficiency.

"The implementation demonstrates the value of RFID," said Arthur Pok, director, identification at Philips Semiconductor.

The implementation, called STAR project, used RFID chips to tag and track wafer cases and carton packages between Philips' manufacturing facility in Kaoshiung, Taiwan and its Asia-Pacific distribution center in Hong Kong.

Historically, logistics management has used barcode labels for tracking products and goods, but such a technology is prone to errors and malfunction, Pok said, adding that the use of RFID will transform the way businesses manage the movement of goods. The use of RFID avoids the need to unwrap shipped carton packages to tally with actual shipment and allows better space utilization.

"RFID presents many benefits that barcodes cannot offer. It can operate in harsh environments and check goods without unpacking and repacking them," he said. "In barcodes, you need to scan through a string of information. In RFID, no line of sight is required. That means you can read, detect and write information as long as it is within the 1.5meters distance."

The project started with a trial phase in late 2003 and moved on to the full roll-out this year. Philips has partnered with IBM for the overall system integration, with Smartag and Tagsys in delivering labels and readers, and with Zebra in providing printers.

"The implementation saw increased inventory turns, improved stacked lead time, enhanced delivery reliability and improved warehouse efficiency," Pok said.

Philips plans to implement the RFID solution throughout its semiconductor division on a global scale across its five semiconductor manufacturing facilities and three distribution centers in Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States. "The plan is to roll out the similar business or supply chain processes outside of Kao Shiung," Pok said.

- Jerico Abila

Electronics Engineering Times- Asia

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