CHEP Launches Innovative First RFID Crate Solution for Australian Automotive Industry

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - October 27, 2006 - CHEP Asia-Pacific today launched an innovative modular crate solution that delivers improvements in supply chain efficiency for the automotive sector.

In an Australian first, CHEP's injection-moulded crates are equipped with the unique 3-in-1 tags (having bar code, human readable and RFID read/write capability), allowing automatic tracking of crates and assets.

James Meares, Vice President, Automotive Services, CHEP Asia-Pacific said the new modular crate solution enables unprecedented flexibility over packaging configurations to cut waste and maximise transport and storage efficiencies.

"Lean thinking and supply chain efficiency can give Australian automotive manufacturers an edge in an increasingly competitive global market," said Mr. Meares.

Mr. Meares said the Australian automotive industry would be the first in the world to use CHEP's innovative modular crate solution.

CHEP's six inter-stackable modular crates provide efficient storage options for automotive parts consignments of all shapes and sizes.

The modular crates are made from lightweight, injection-moulded plastic. The ribbing design provides strength and durability, while the strong base allows for secure cross-stacking.

The added stacking flexibility means components can be moved to the production line in sequence or in smaller batches to reduce in-plant logistics and line-side space costs.

RFID read-write tags capture real-time movements so that the exact location of individual crates is always known in RFID enabled environments. Bar code and human readable options provide continuous tracking capability even when environments are not RFID-enabled.

The modular crate solution can be supported by the Australian-developed CHEP Automotive Logistics Management (CALM) system, a prize-winning innovation in planning and ordering, which is now setting the pace for CHEP around the world.

The unique CALM customer replenishment system automatically calculates upcoming packaging needs on a daily, weekly or monthly basis using the customer's own production forecasts and packaging rules.

"The upshot for customers is that they're never short of packaging, and never pay for more than they need," said Mr. Meares. "CHEP's lean approach can mean savings for customers at most steps of the supply chain."

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