Land Rover has launched a pilot programme to use an active RFID system that better synchronises the delivery of car parts from multiple suppliers to Land Rover’s key assembly plant in the West Midlands.
The pilot is being run in conjunction with RFID provider Savi, which is supplying RFID hardware and software to enhance visibility, inventory management, and asset utilisation, and to reduce losses, assembly plant disruptions, and time spent locating assembly parts.
The pilot has been made possible by a government grant administered by the University of Warwick, which was instrumental in an 18-month evaluation of solution providers worldwide, and in selecting the Savi solution.
Phase 2 of this pilot involves 18 suppliers and Land Rover and is designed to improve the location, tracking and delivery of stillages that carry bumpers, front grills, suspension parts, moon roofs, and vehicle bodies, among other parts.
Real-time information on RFID-tagged assets is shared among the partners and is automatically transmitted to cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and web-based tracking software.
Jonty Cook, Land Rover’s head of inbound logistics, said: “On-time, precision delivery of components is integral to our plant’s efficiency because disruptions in the supply chain can slow or even halt vehicle assembly, and we believe Savi’s complete RFID solution can improve these operations.”
The system begins by applying Savi active RFID tags on stillages as they leave supplier facilities, and associating the tag with the car parts carried by the conveyance. Fixed readers are placed at loading and unloading docks, entrances and exits of the suppliers and Land Rover’s assembly plant. Whenever a tagged stillage passes by a reader, the shipment is logged and location information is transmitted to designated users. Exception alerts are sent when stillages do not arrive when and where they are expected.