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VW's Auto City Runs on RFID

As many as 700 customers daily pick up their new cars at Volkswagen's theme park, where workers use RFID to ready each vehicle and match it up with the right owner.
By Rhea Wessel
Green means the station has capacity available, while orange signals that the station is nearly full. Red means the predelivery process is filled up, allowing a manager to make quick decisions to reroute a vehicle to get maximum efficiency from each predelivery station.

The software collects the capacity information from the RFID system. The computers then match a record of each station's capacity with the real-time actual capacity, and managers are able to see the status. Volkswagen is designing this upgrade with support from Identec Solutions and expects to implement it by the end of the first quarter in 2006.

When workers finish prepping a vehicle, the RFID-enabled system conveys it to a 48-meter-high tower that holds 400 cars.

Finally, VW expects to install the same RFID-based tracking system at its plants in South Africa and Spain. These plants prepare cars for delivery to dealers, however, rather than end customers.

Because of its success with the RFID-enabled predelivery tracking system, Volkswagen ran a test last year on Identec Solutions' technology to track containers holding stamped parts such as hoods and doors. The test results were positive, and VW is now rolling out the container-management system at its plants in Europe.

The system will help the car manufacturer create visibility with regard to container flow in plants and between plants that are hundreds of kilometers apart. It will also help the company optimize the availability of the containers.

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