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Singapore Transit Operator Streamlines Vehicle Maintenance
SMRT is applying EPC Gen 2 RFID tags to 80,000 spare parts and components, and installing RFID interrogators at its three warehouses.
Aug 05, 2009—Singapore's leading public transport operator is deploying radio frequency identification at three warehouses to track up to 80,000 items used in the maintenance of its vehicles. SMRT Corp., which carries approximately 2 million passengers every day on its trains, light rail, buses and taxis, maintains a large inventory of spare parts necessary for the maintenance of its fleet, in order to ensure a safe and reliable public transport system.
Over the next 12 months, SMRT plans to roll out an RFID-based inventory-management system at its warehouses in Ang Mo Kio, Woodlands and Kranji. SMRT expects to attach a passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) EPC Gen 2 RFID tag to each of the 80,000 spare parts or components in its inventory.
According to SMRT, the automated system will enable its staff to retrieve items for repair and maintenance more quickly, as well as speed up inventory-taking for parts in stock and improve inventory management through more accurate data and reporting. Employees will also be able to identify and retrieve items 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without compromising security, as radio frequency identification will capture and record the movements of every item.
Jason Chin, SMRT's information technology director, says RFID was chosen for its speed in reading information, the ability of data to be written to a tag for better identification, the technology's longer read range and the reusability of its tags. "These features made it a more attractive option compared to bar codes," he says, "which was an alternative."
With the cost of RFID now more affordable, SMRT first launched a rigorous study into the technology, and held discussions with potential RFID vendors, including TCM RFID, to better understand the available solutions. A feasibility study was also conducted, to determine how long traditional warehouse activities would take using RFID.
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