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Land Rover Finds ROI in Tracking New Cars

At its plant in Solihull, England, the manufacturer says it is cutting costs by using an RFID system from WhereNet to monitor vehicles in its yard after production.
By Claire Swedberg
Land Rover provides its shipping yard staff with handheld RFID units, on which they can access data as to which vehicles need which particular action, thereby saving the employee a trip back to the office to check in with supervisors. Workers can also use the device to locate a shipment by reading the tags on the vehicles themselves.

If a vehicle in the shipping yard requires servicing—for instance, if a supplier indicates a faulty part needs to be replaced—the vehicle is put in "quality hold" status in the VTMS software system, which places a "logical lock" on the vehicles. If someone attempts to ship the vehicle before the removal of the locked status, the employee manning the plant's exit gates will see the quality hold on his own PC, and will not allow the vehicle to leave the premises.

About 130 WhereLAN Location Sensors have been installed around the facility to date, mostly outdoors in the shipping yard, in addition to the readers previously installed for parts replenishment. The company's VTMS application utilizes about 4,000 WhereNet tags, which are removed for reuse after the vehicles are released for shipment. Land Rover hosts its own Intranet-based server, allowing employees to access the system from multiple locations.

"We have been extremely pleased with the application since its implementation," O'Reilly says. "It was relatively simple to install and implement, and has proven to be a reliable and robust application."

In addition, Land Rover has begun piloting an RFID tracking system for automotive parts coming into the assembly facility, using a Savi Technology system (see Land Rover Test Drives RFID to Track Parts Containers).

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