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RFID takes center stage at Expo 2015 in Milan

RFID played a major inventory management role at Expo 2015, an exposition in Milan, Italy, that draws to a close this month after welcoming 20 million guests during its six-month run.

In the EXPO’s Italian Pavilion (Padiglione Italia), visitors experienced the country’s culture and traditions and had the option to take home a piece of Italian craftsmanship. The Pavilion Shop, which serves to highlight Italy’s world-class reputation for high-end design and exceptional quality, stocked more than 300 unique products, specially designed for the EXPO and branded with the Italian Pride (Orgoglio Italia) logo. All the shop’s items carried RFID tags and were exclusive to the Pavilion.

On an average day, the store registered more than 8,000 visitors and sold more than 1,000 items. RFID helped to keep track of more than 35,000 items displayed on shelves and housed in inventory.

Run by CIPI SpA, a merchandizing company specializing in promotional items since 1964 and an official partner of Padiglione Italia, the Pavilion shop tracks inventory with a solution based on NXP UCODE, an advanced UHF RAIN RFID tag. UCODE ensures the right products are in the right place, and provides real-time information for detailed reporting. At any given time, CIPI has a complete picture of all items stocked, sold, damaged, or lost, which makes for better decisions and more accurate planning.

To develop the Pavilion shop’s UCODE setup, CIPI partnered with H&S Custom, an Italian system integrator specializing in RFID solutions, and an NXP partner. H&S Custom provided all the equipment and software required to track goods, and used Smartres SpA to assemble the small but very powerful UCODE labels. CIPI collaborated with H&S Custom on product packaging, to be sure the tags performed at the necessary level while supporting the Pavilion shop’s high-end design style.

H&S Custom also manages the Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) system, which addresses loss prevention. The EAS system highlights any discrepancies in stock, whether they’re due to errors, shrinkage or other causes.

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