In concert with solutions partner IBM, Royal Philips Electronics says its semiconductor division has deployed a major RFID implementation it its supply chain in Asia, reportedly the first such rollout in the semiconductor industry.
Philips says the RFID project covers the tagging and tracing of wafer cases and carton packages for flows of goods between its manufacturing facility in Kaoshiung, Taiwan, and its Asia Pacific distribution center in Hong Kong. The business processes within the manufacturing and distribution supply chain were improved by the initiative, Philips reports. As a result, the implementation has increased inventory turns, improved stacked lead time, enhanced delivery reliability and warehouse efficiency, and improved customer service.
"Manufacturers and distributors worldwide are looking for proven business cases for RFID. Our decision to use RFID is based on evidence that the technology generates a positive business case for our supply chain," says Mathieu Clerkx, CIO and senior vice president of supply-chain management for Philips Semiconductors. "It also demonstrates Philips's commitment to invest in advanced technology to facilitate continuous improvements of its integral supply chain."
In a prepared statement from Philips, Stanford University's Prof. Hau Lee, a recognized academic in supply-chain management, said the scale of the Philips RFID project "dwarfs that of many other projects, which are very limited in volume. It will act as an ideal reference case for the industry as a whole at a time when it is looking for proof that an RFID business case which matches their complexity and reach can be delivered today."
Philips says it is considering implementing the RFID solution throughout the division, across five semiconductor manufacturing facilities and three distribution centers in Asia Pacific, Europe and the United States.
"As the world's first large-scale deployment in a semiconductor manufacturing supply chain, this project is a benchmark for the adoption of RFID," says Faye Holland, worldwide RFID leader for IBM. "With the combination of leading-edge RFID technology from Philips, and IBM's RFID WebSphere middleware, integration services and transformation capabilities, this implementation is one of the world's first examples to demonstrate that the promise of RFID can be delivered on a large scale."
IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services and consulting provider. Visit www.ibm.com/services for more information. See www.semiconductors.philips.com for more on Philips.
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