Savi Announces RFID Pilot in U.K.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Savi has launched a pilot program to test an active RFID solution at Ford Motor Co.’s Land Rover division in the U.K.

The RFID technology will manage the delivery of auto parts from 18 suppliers to Land Rover’s assembly plant in West Midlands, U.K. A $1.2 million grant, provided by the U.K. central government and administered by the University of Warwick, made the pilot possible, according to Savi.

Real-time information on RFID-tagged stillages (specialized steel conveyances)—which carry bumpers, front grills, suspension parts, moon roofs and vehicle bodies—will be automatically transmitted to cell phones, PDAs and Web-based tracking software, Savi says.

The RFID tags will be applied to the stillages as they leave supplier facilities. The tag will be associated with the car parts carried by the conveyance. Fixed readers will be placed at loading and unloading docks, supplier entrances and exits 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.

Savi expects the RFID hardware and software to enhance visibility, inventory management and asset utilization. The company also says the technology will reduce losses, assembly plant disruptions and time spent locating assembly parts.

“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,” says Jonty Cook, Land Rover’s head of inbound logistics.

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