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Singapore's Nissan Distributor Expects 90 Percent Gain

The four-story, 900-car operation expects active RFID tags will enable it to speed up allocation of parking spaces and locate cars more quickly, allowing it to process vehicles in one-tenth the time.
By Dave Friedlos
Jul 16, 2009Tan Chong International, the exclusive distributor of Nissan vehicles in Singapore, has opened what it claims is the nation's first RFID-enabled automotive hub.

The TC Nissan Hub spans almost 400,000 square feet and houses Nissan's car storage and pre-delivery inspection center, as well as its service department, parts warehouse and new-car delivery operation. The four-story facility can store approximately 900 cars and features an automated car parking system—a cross-sliding, three-dimensional parking elevator.

Tan Chong's automated car-storage system that can accommodate 900 vehicles.

New vehicles are delivered directly from the harbor to the hub, and Tan Chong believes radio frequency identification will speed up the allocation of parking spaces when cars are received at the site, as well as increase its accuracy in tracking the vehicles and improve their retrieval for delivery to car dealerships. By reducing the time spent delivering vehicles to the warehouse, service department and dealers, Tan Chong expects to cut mileage by 90 percent, thereby reducing fuel wastage and exhaust emissions. Previously, staff had to manually identify and record the location of each vehicle in the warehouse.

The TC Nissan Hub opened in March 2009, and the RFID system is being tested ahead of a planned full deployment on Sept. 1, with employees also being trained in the system's use. Samuel Lee, the director of Tan Chong Realty, says the consolidation of the company's car storage, service department, parts warehouse and pre-delivery inspection operation under a single roof resulted in improved efficiency, and RFID would improve it even further.

"With RFID, we are able to track cars within the facility more efficiently, and monitor the progress of pre-delivery installation work with real-time information to ensure a smoother workflow," Lee says. "There are many tracking systems available, such as bar-code and GPS, but RFID was most cost-effective for our needs, and provides real-time information with minimum human intervention."

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