Italian textile maker saves big with Alien Technology
Italian textile maker Griva said it has realized a 30 percent return on investment in the 10 months since installing a radio-frequency identification system developed by Morgan Hill, Calif.-based Alien Technology.
The Alien tag-and-reader system, which replaced Griva's bar code system, tracks the textile maker's automated fabric-making processes as it moves through the firm's 53,000-square-foot manufacturing center. The Alien installation is the first fabric rolling tracking application that is compliant with European Product Code standards.
Griva, which is based in Torino, Italy, said the ROI came in the form of time management savings and increased traceability of fabric rolls. The firm produces more than 300,000 rolls of finished drapery and upholstery fabric each year.
“Until recently, we could not accurately control the contents of the roll using bar code technology,” said Gualtiero Casalegno, Griva chief executive and owner. “By implementing an EPC-compliant fabric roll RFID tracking solution, we have reduced expenses, saved time and improved customer satisfaction with our finished products.”
Griva, one of the world's largest fabric producers, takes raw thread materials from suppliers, weaves it into fabric, and then washes, dyes and dries the material. The tracking system plays a key role in assuring that each fabric roll undergoes the proper set of treatment in the correct order.
Prior to the installation of the Alien system, Griva's tracking system suffered from manufacturing process induced problems such as high heat, high moisture and humidity levels and harsh chemical environments. According to Griva, the Alien system passed each of these problem areas with no problems. The use of RFID also allows tracking of the finished rolls once they are packaged, something not possible with the prior bar code system.
As a result, Griva now has visibility throughout the manufacturing process from the onset of production through the firm's 11,000-square-foot, fully automated warehouse and on to shipment.