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In car factory A, the parts required for the factory's daily production were transported overland more than 1,500 times from over 350 parts suppliers every day. As suppliers could only use allocated fixed loading and unloading yards and had to rely on manual scheduling and recording, their on-time delivery rates were only about 40%.

In car factory B, a great deal of expensive materials entered and exited its warehouses every day. The traditional passive radio frequency identification (RFID) solution was adopted to identify the inbound and outbound operations, and the data was recorded by manual scanning. As a result, there were missed inspections, failures to capture real-time data about the positions and status of materials, which further led to high management costs and low efficiency.

Taking these into consideration, SF DHL Supply Chain China (SF DHL) and Huawei jointly developed a campus yard management solution and an innovative RFID solution. With the campus yard management solution put in place, there was a real-time perception of the campus yard status and the associated scheduling. In addition to timely entry and exit, warehoused assets were put under automatic accounting. Besides providing automatic inventory, the innovative RFID solutions enabled warehoused assets to be positioned in precise locations, and related exceptions to be traced. It improved the overall management efficiency of the supply chain, and enabled the digitalization of the logistics industry.

Customer Snapshot

  • Company Name

    SF DHL Supply Chain China
As a joint brand built by Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL) and SF Express, SF DHL leads the smart logistics industry and actively embraces industrial renovation by making great efforts in the industry. It cooperates with high-tech enterprises to seek out mutually beneficial opportunities in order to jointly develop innovative high-tech logistics solutions, lead industrial renovation, and help partners lower costs and improve efficiency. Furthermore, SF DHL and Huawei have applied their solutions in wider fields such as asset positioning and logistics campus management, aiming at delivering a more comprehensive smart logistics solution.

Challenges

Manufacturing enterprises often encounter logistical problems during production such as uneven yard allocations, and the daily turnover of dozens of times in heavy-duty yards. In addition, under the principle of "first come, first served, plus overdue penalties", suppliers always arrive at the campuses in advance, and wait in line for goods to load and unload, crowding all throughout the campuses. The unpunctual material unloading leads to production suspensions, and the change to production plans that depends on manual scheduling cannot be easily rescheduled or adjusted. Besides setting strict requirements for production information security, the factory needs to deploy a LAN on its campus; to solve this difficult task, there needs to be a solution that is easy to roll out, fast to implement, and does not affect production.

Moreover, in terms of warehouse management, there are no network solutions for asset tracking and management, and the traditional passive RFID solution featuring recording by manual scanning causes high labor costs and frequent gaps in inspections. Furthermore, when warehoused raw materials are stocked, in production, in transit, or being delivered, the real-time data of the positions and the status of those materials is unavailable, resulting in high management costs and low operational efficiency.

In the process of developing a smart logistics solution, SF DHL clarified the functional and non-functional requirements for IoT platform technology. Functional requirements covered IoT gateway interconnectivity, IoT hub, data analysis, and other aspects. Non-functional requirements involved scalability, stability, compatibility, maintainability, and other dimensions.

Solutions

With the NB-IoT technology and OceanConnect IoT cloud service, Huawei and SF DHL developed multiple solutions, such as an efficient campus yard management solution and an innovative RFID solution.

  • The campus yard management solution enabled the real-time report on usage or idle status of campus yards by NB-IoT technology. Since it could be quickly developed and integrated based on the OceanConnect IoT cloud service, Huawei and SF DHL developed a related campus yard management app. The app synchronized information from PCs, truck driver apps, forklift driver smart watches, and onsite operator apps. This provided a look at yard status, digitalized the business processes, and intelligentized the onsite scheduling.
    As a 3GPP-defined narrow-band IoT communication technology, NB-IoT features low power consumption, deep coverage, and wide-range connections. Moreover, NB-IoT networks are provided by mobile carriers and have become the first choice for the campus yard management solution. On top of that, based on HUAWEI CLOUD OceanConnect IoT platform, the NB-IoT can support device management, connection management, big data analysis, operation management, security, and open APIs, which enables quick integration of various terminals and industry application innovation.
  • With a new-generation separated RFID reader, the innovative RFID solution separated the RFID exciter from the RFID receiver, which effectively reduced interference and improved RFID tag reading accuracy. Supported by OceanConnect IoT, it enabled quick access to RFID readers; performed data cleaning, storage, analysis, and openness; and greatly shortened the time needed to put enterprise application systems into service. While further expanded to IoT devices of other kinds, it led to unified access and management. Featuring intelligent analysis algorithms and cutting-edge technologies like AI and real-time streaming analytics, the solution mined the value of RFID big data. It also identified key information like entrance and exit orientation of the workbins and indoor position of the forklift trucks, and traced the indoor assets.
SF-DHL

Smart Watch for forklift operators

SF-DHL

Yard Reservation Management APP for truck drivers

SF-DHL

Smart Dispatching System for dispatchers

"We cooperated with Huawei in innovation projects, focusing on cloud, AI, IoT, and the like. We are working together to promote the rapid development of a more integrated logistics value chain."

Ben Wang,CIO, Greater China, SF DHL Supply Chain China

"Based on HUAWEI CLOUD IoT service, Huawei enabled quick solution integration. Huawei is introducing more partners and solutions to the logistics industry."

Roger Xu, IT Digitalization & Innovation Lead, Greater China, SF DHL Supply Chain China

Results

Currently, the yard management solution has benefited enterprises as follows:

Agile response: It provided visuals on yard information, improved information dispatching efficiency by 87% on average and made service operations more flexible and convenient.

Efficient operations: It offered a look at yards, enabled intelligent scheduling, and realized data linkage, leading to an increase in the average operational efficiency by 33%.

Operation security: It enabled workers to operate machines less frequently, improving the operation security by 80%.

Manpower: It reduced the unnecessary operations of workers, and decreased manpower by 50%.

Environment protection: It enabled paperless operations, reducing energy consumption by 60% and effectively promoting environmental protection.