Retail Case Study: Carnaval

November 5, 2009 Impinj

Carnaval Case Study

Carnaval, a Mexican fashion company that distributes children's clothing for global brands like Disney and Hello Kitty, has launched an RFID system to track the product distribution. By using RFID hangtags,  the items can be traced from arrival from the warehouse, through inspection, during storage and before shipment. The tags can also be tracked as they arrive in one of 68 Liverpool locations throughout Mexico that sells Canaval's clothing. 

Carnaval was seeking an asset management system that would reduce human errors in the pick-and-pack operations, and speed up the movement of merchandise by making inventory easier to locate and ship at their newest production facility.

The company chose system integrator Digilogics as their solution provider. The RFID solution features UPM Raflatac's ShortDipole EPC Gen 2 RFID tags, made with Impinj Monza 3 tag chips. UPM Raflatac encodes each tag with a unique ID number, then converts it into a paper hangtag. Carnaval them sends the hangtags to their clothing manufacturer. Each tag's ID number is linked to such product information as the garment's stock-keeping unit (SKU), style, size and color. The software stores that data and displays the location of items within the warehouse. The manufacturer then attaches the RFID-enabled hangtag to each finished garment.

When the items are received at the warehouse, they will first pass through a fixed RFID portal featuring an Impinj RFID reader, at the dock doors. After the system verifies which items have been received, the garments will be hung by their hangars onto a ceiling conveyor system which will transport the clothing to the auditing station where another RFID portal will capture the unique ID number of each item's tag, indicating the item has reached the auditing process. During the audit, if an item is found to be flawed, staff members will input a description of the defect into the Digilogics system. Otherwise, the garments will be approved and transported to one of two warehouses, each of which has an RFID portal to indicate which warehouse the item is being stored in.

When a retailer places an order, warehouse personnel will know which warehouse to pick from. As items are removed from storage, they will pass through the portal again, indicating they've been removed from storage. The garments will then be placed in boxes for shipping, and an RFID label will be attached to each box. At this time, only Liverpool is RFID-enabled to read those tags. Carnaval's employees are expected to use a handheld reader to scan the box tag's ID number, which is linked to the tag ID numbers of products packed in that box. If the wrong item is placed in a box, or if an item is overlooked, the system will send an alert to the staff. However, the exact process is still being worked out by Carnaval. Once the system does go live, Carnaval will begin it's second phase of the project - using RFID to fine-tune its manufacturing and distribution operations.

Source: RFID Journal

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