Siemens and Kuehne connect RFID
Kuehne + Nagel, a Swiss freight forwarding and logistics services company, and Siemens Business Services, a provider of information technology and part of Siemens Group in Germany, are working together on a transatlantic project to advance radio frequency identification (RFID).
The two companies are testing RFID under real shipping conditions across a supply chain extending from Munich, Germany, to New York. Other partners in the project include Lufthansa Cargo and Oce, a printing systems manufacturer.
At the Oce plant near Munich, printers and accessory kits are tagged with RFID transponders. When the consignments are dispatched, a fork-lift truck passes through a reading station, or RFID gate, where the information stored on the tags is read and transmitted to a central SAP host. The project uses UHF RFID tags that operate both within the standard European and U.S. frequency ranges.
In Kuehne + Nagel’s warehouse at Munich Airport, the consignments pass a further RFID checkpoint and are then handed over to Lufthansa Cargo. The next RFID checkpoint, at Lufthansa Cargo’s New York warehouse, marks the switch from European to American RFID standards. The tags are read again, and the consignments forwarded to Oce’s U.S. distribution hub in Mount Laurel, N.J., where they pass through a final RFID gate.
All information along the supply chain is transmitted to Kuehne + Nagel’s track-and-trace system, and appears online as well, according to Thomas Engel, chief information officer at Kuehne + Nagel.