SAP Drives RFID Adoption

Feature Article | May 13, 2004 by admin

Committed to helping its customers best capitalize on this quickly evolving technology by becoming early adopters, SAP is building the powerful RFID functionality into its mySAP Business Suite solutions and offering RFID packages that target unique industry demands. One such application, enterprise asset management from the mySAP Product Lifecycle Management (mySAP PLM) solution, is designed to help companies run 24/7 operations cost-effectively and reliably by effectively managing mission-critical physical assets such as machinery, power plants and vehicle fleets over the complete life cycle. To extend the solution’s reach to service technicians safeguarding equipment in the field, SAP closes the business process loop to the backend system through the RFID-enabled mobile solution SAP Mobile Asset Management and the SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure. This integrated approach is helping transform the way companies manage assets from a reactive, break-fix approach to a predictive and preventive strategy.

More Efficient Maintenance of Vital Air and Ventilation Systems at Frankfurt Airport

At its Frankfurt Airport (FRA) home base in Germany, Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide is using SAP Mobile Asset Management to safeguard and reduce costs of maintenance on ventilation systems. Fraport needed a reliable asset management solution in an integrated, scalable mobile scenario since the company is required by federal law to provide proof of airport facility maintenance at regular intervals. Furthermore, the company is continually expanding its already extensive infrastructure to meet future demands at FRA. Service technicians are now equipped with PDAs that read RFID tags installed on ventilation shutters, to confirm that each vent on the work order is duly checked and act as clients to the ERP software for automatically generated reports. By replacing its paper-based practices, Fraport anticipates reductions of up to 70 percent in facility control costs. “With the integrated mobile solution, we were able to optimally map mobile business processes into our existing SAP landscape,” said Werner Breitwieser, project manager, Fraport AG. “By shifting back-office processing to the asset maintenance site, the SAP solution delivers significant time savings while increasing transparency and safeguarding processes.”

Airbus SAS Tracks Valuable Tool Data for Complex Repairs in Its Spares Supply Chain

Airbus SAS, one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, is using RFID-enabled enterprise asset management in its tool lease supply chain. Specialized tools are RFID-tagged, providing valuable identification, transportation and life cycle information. The equipment is handled in a supply cycle between Airbus, the tool repair shop and the customer, where the tools are used in complex repairs. When the tools require servicing, they are sent to the calibration lab and repair shop. The vital data is written on the RFID tags. “By putting RFID tags on our tools, we have significantly improved our repair management,” said Thorsten Brinkop, senior director, Airbus Spares. “With the integration with SAP supply chain management, we will be able to create an even faster and easier data exchange and further change the paper process into automated supply chain processes with online availability of information either on the RFID tag or on the Internet.”

RFID for Supply Chain Management Helps Companies Meet Retailer Mandates

SAP also announced that its RFID solution package for supply chain management, launched in January, was being implemented by leading companies in the high-tech, consumer packaged goods and pharmaceutical industries, such as Purdue Pharma L.P. Purdue Pharma L. P., a privately held pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, is using the RFID solution to meet the Wal-Mart mandate. “As one of Wal-Mart’s top suppliers of scheduled products, we are required to have an RFID-enabled supply chain process,” said David Richiger, executive director, Package Design and Development, who is leading the RFID project team at Purdue Pharma. “We selected SAP’s RFID solution not only to achieve this compliance but also because we believe it will help us generate value for our business in the future. By being able to track our products automatically, we not only fulfill Wal-Mart’s mandate, we also position ourselves to meet future requirements from the FDA and DEA.”

Step by step to real time

The SAP RFID solution package for supply chain management allows customers to generate business value by integrating relevant RFID data with their business solutions. Companies can grow their RFID implementation using a four-phased, step-by-step approach, from a “slap and ship” implementation to comply with the retail industry mandate, to full integration of the SAP Auto-ID Infrastructure into ERP, legacy and other back-end systems.
“Vendors that use a phased-implementation approach show companies a path to address their immediate needs for RFID-enabled business processes without sacrificing future functionality,” said Jeff Woods, principal analyst, Gartner, Inc. “As customers build RFID-centric processes, they can benefit from a complete packaged product, lowering total cost of ownership and decreasing implementation time.” SAP will begin delivering the solution at the end of May, one month earlier than initially announced.
“Adaptive supply chains need to become real-world aware using technologies such as RFID and sensor networks to efficiently sense information from physical objects in real time,” said Claus Heinrich, member of the executive board, SAP AG. “At the same time, the ability of companies to leverage such information to shrink their response cycles needs to increase. The value of this technology is in the ability to seamlessly integrate RFID-based data into business solutions such as enterprise asset management and supply chain management. SAP is committed to acting as a trusted innovator to provide solutions for customers to become real-world aware.”

Source: SAP AG

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