Logo: EffizienzCluster - LogistikRuhr

smartNRW - optimal RFID tagging

The complexity of logistic planning and control processes in the consumer goods industry is more intensive than perhaps in any other industry. Empty shelves in supermarkets cost as much as spoiled goods. RFID tagged packaging helps to avoid out-of-stock- and out-of-shelf situations.
In order to survive in face of the competition, companies constantly depend on innovations. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) stands for technology-driven changes in production and logistics and is considered to be the key technology for achieving savings, implementing process optimizations and for improving customer service. Tagging outer packaging aims to achieve noticeable increases in efficiency for the supply chain by enabling several objects to be identified simultaneously, because collecting data in real time facilitates shorter reaction times to market fluctuations.

Objective of the Project

smartNRW is investigating the economic potential and the technical feasibility of RFID technology with respect to outer packaging to build up a self-regulating and self-optimizing supply chain. The key technical problem is the selection of the RFID tag and how to fix it to the product in the best and most economical way so as to help preserve bulk readability and the required reading range.

Specific Innovations

In the context of developing an “Optimal Tag Type and Position Evaluator”, in future it will be possible to determine the appropriate tag and optimal position automatically from a million possible combinations for a wide variety of consumer goods. Not only will the substantial electromagnetic features of typical consumer goods in their packaging be investigated, but a database will also be established including the RFID transponders and their features which are currently available on the market. This will make the selection process for RFID tags for outer packaging easier and faster. Furthermore, a manufacturing process will be developed that helps encode and insert the RFID tags at the required position in the cardboard packaging during the production of the packaging.
Processes for high-definition planning and control of supply chains and an evaluation model for inter-company RFID applications are also being developed. All development phases of the project are verified in two field tests in a real supply chain situation.

Partners in the Project

ESM GmbH & Co. KG


European EPC Competence Center GmbH (EECC)


fir an der RWTH Aachen


Mars service GmbH


METRO Cash & Carry Deutschland GmbH


METRO Systems GmbH


Mondi Bad Rappenau GmbH

More efficiency in the supply chain with RFID-tagged outer-packing

Contact person

Christian Hocken


fir an der RWTH Aachen

Phone: +49 241 47705 503

E-Mail: christian.hocken

Facts & Figures

Start of the Project


Project Duration
36 months

Project Volume
5.8 Mio. Euro

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Members of EffizienzCluster

EffizienzCluster Management GmbH
Kölner Str. 80 - 82
45481 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Tel.: 0208-9925 - 255
Fax: 0208-9925 - 222
E-Mail: info@effizienzcluster.de