Managing physical flows from womb to tomb
Auto-ID is one of the most widely used methodologies in the automotive supply chain, where the processing of a large number of objects requires fast tracking beyond human capability and capacity.
Together with EDI, it was one of the first methodologies embraced by the fledgling Odette organisation in the 1980s when we developed the Odette Transport Label (OTL) incorporating barcode technology. This original label is still in wide use across the industry today, although more and more companies are migrating to the more recent Global Transport Label (GTL) developed jointly by Odette and AIAG. This latter label incorporates the use of more sophisticated auto-ID technologies such as 2D Symbology and RFID tags.
Auto-ID technologies bring efficiencies to four basic logistics processes: shipping, transportation, receiving and in-house operations. Automotive companies now leverage a combination of RFID tags and readers, barcode labels and long-range mobile scanners to increase the speed and ease of data collection and improve the tracking of assets.
Integrated in ERP, MRP and PEM software systems, auto-ID technologies improve the speed and accuracy of processes, including locating, retrieving, and accounting for anything that moves in, out or through any type of automotive facility and the increased availability of data provides a basis for strategic improvements and a re-engineering of the automotive supply chain.
New publication: Implementing RFID in the automotive supply chain
30 Sept 2021
Advances in RFID technology have led to increasing requirements for its use appearing in RFQs from automotive customers. It was therefore time to look at developing further recommendations to achieve successful RFID interoperability between partners.
New versions of important RFID standards for automotive
01 Mar 2021
Lack of Interoperability is a major obstacle to the wider deployment of RFID technology throughout the automotive supply chain. To overcome this obstacle, the JAIF* developed two major standards covering the use of RFID to identify parts and vehicles and the use of RFID to identify containers.
The original Odette Transport label uses Code 39 linear barcodes (ISO/IEC 16388) but for the more recent Global Transport Label (GTL) the higher density Code 128 linear barcode (ISO/IEC 15417) is used, which allows the coding of all 128 ASCII characters. The higher density of Code 128 also makes the reading of the barcode more reliable.
The GTL also incorporates the option to use 2D barcodes and, in this case, we have chosen to specify the Data Matrix symbology (ISO/IEC 16022) rather than the QR symbology which will be familiar to mobile phone users. The Data Matrix barcode supports advanced encoding error checking and correction algorithms and has a slightly higher information capacity. This allows the recognition of barcodes that are up to 60 percent damaged so is particularly suited to the automotive supply chain where barcodes on paper labels are easily damaged.
Data Matrix barcodes are also adaptable in size, allowing alignment with smaller labels, e.g., on individual products or small packages.
RFID is not a new technology. Many OEMs and part suppliers started RFID projects in the early 2000s, in areas as varied as production control, production means tracking, tooling monitoring and vehicle logistics but it did not always meet expectations in terms of both cost and level of performance.
However, since the late 2010s, RFID has made tremendous progress. In the past 10 years the cost of RFID tags has been divided by 10 and the number of tags which can be read simultaneously has been multiplied by 100, which has now made RFID viable as an auto-ID technology throughout the whole automotive supply chain.
The RFID recommendations developed by Odette and our JAIF colleagues are completely based on ISO standards. They offer comprehensive descriptions of technical topics (e.g., structure and content of RFID memory banks…), highlight dedicated recommendations made by the automotive industry and provide a broad description of use cases applicable in the industry.
When the first RFID requirements started to appear in RFQs, it was necessary to go deeper and facilitate the development of processes based on RFID, especially those involving several partners in the supply chain, before numerous heterogeneous and incompatible industrial implementations took place.
The latest Odette recommendation covers several logistics and supply chain use cases in more detail. It focuses on practical issues and describes best practices for implementing and deploying an RFID enabled infrastructure in supply chain and intra-company logistics processes.
In terms of technology, many contactless radio frequency technologies are available and can reasonably be applied in specific use cases but the Odette recommendation focuses on Passive UHF (Ultra High Frequency) RFID technology.
This recommendation aims to help the automotive industry, project leaders and users, and external technology integrators or vendors to implement RFID processes across different partners of the supply chain, in order to obtain good interoperability and avoid multiple solutions that could become a blocking point for industry suppliers.The document covers different logistics and supply chain use cases, some of which are described in more detail in related annexes. It focuses on issues which contribute to defining common standards for a better interoperability between the partners involved.
In terms of technology, many contactless radio frequency technologies are available and can justly be applied in specific use cases. In order to simplify the recommendations, this document focuses on Passive UHF (Ultra High Frequency) RFID technology.
Version 3 published March 2021. This Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Item Level Standard describes best practices, processes, and methods for item identification, verification, traceability, product characteristics, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) throughout the global automotive supply chain. Extensive efforts have been made by the automotive industry to incorporate interchangeable data use between 2D optical symbols and electronic media such as RFID. This publication gives standards for the implementation and use of RFID in such applications and was jointly produced by Odette, AIAG, JAMA and JAPIA.
Version 3 published March 2021. RFID technology has been widely adopted by the automotive industry in individual organisations due to the efficiency and security gains it delivers. However, widespread use between companies is currently much rarer due to compatibility issues. In response to this, Odette, AIAG, JAMA and JAPIA have jointly developed recommendations for RFID use in Returnable Transport Items Identification. The aim is to help moves toward the creation of general purpose global guidelines and accelerate further international adoption of RFID solutions.
To achieve process transparency, machine-readable objects and ways of tracking these objects along the process chain need to be defined and implemented. The Odette Recommendations LR01, LR02, LR03, LR04 and LR05 outlined the foundations and the next logical step is the implementation of standardised communication with all business partners across company boundaries, based on international standards he Odette Recommendation “Capturing Supply Chain Events with auto-ID” addresses this issue.
This Odette recommendation describes the processes and methods of tracking and tracing of vehicle parts and enabling the authentication of original parts using RFID technology. It has been developed to move towards achieving widespread standardisation of RFID component usage, tag data storage and RFID technology implementation across supply chains.
This Odette recommendation describes the processes and methods of tracking and tracing vehicles in the distribution processes from factory to dealer using RFID technology and a smart label. It has been developed to move towards achieving widespread standardisation of RFID component usage, tag data storage and RFID technology implementation across vehicle distribution chains.
Members of the JAIF combined the best features from their own label standards – including ISO 15394, ANSI MH10.8.1, the Odette Transport Label and the AIAG B-10 to produce a standard Global Transport Label which includes features such as the ISO “Licence plate,” Linear Bar Code 128 and 2D Data Matrix, QR Code and PDF417. Based on this standard, Odette has further developed and maintained a European profile.
This document details common Global Transportation Label standards on container-labelling for use by suppliers and customers, and has been updated to include Data Matrix and QR code 2D symbologies. It was developed by collaboration between the members of Odette, AIAG and JAMA automotive associations representing more than 80% of worldwide production.
This is the original A5 Odette Transport Label (210mm x 102mm) which is designed to be used on product packaging units and transport packaging units sent between supplier and customer. First introduced in the 1980s, this label spec has been updated several times and is still in widespread use in the automotive industry today.
This Odette label (210mm x 74mm) was introduced to allow its use on smaller units where the original A5 label was too large. It also allows for the inclusion of additional logistics information to facilitate the automated movement of product packaging units from warehouse to trackside.
The extended supply chains of automotive businesses require accurate and efficient traceability of parts and components across several layers. But to ensure that components can be traced properly throughout different organisations and systems, an element of standardisation of tracking processes is needed. This document includes a variety of standardised processes for implementing component traceability and identifying technical specifications.