TNT Logistics (Jacksonville, Fla.) has launched a special initiative to develop the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology as part of its logistics services for automotive manufacturers.
“There are no industry-based RFID automotive mandates today like in retail with Wal-Mart. While the auto industry has been using RFID successfully in production processes for some time, the use of it elsewhere in the supply chain has been slow in coming,” said Terry McIntyre, corporate technology services manager.
As an example of the potential automotive applications, in a news release the company explained how it has been applying RFID technology at its Material Sequencing Center (MSC), which is operated by TNT Logistics for Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn (Mich.) truck assembly plant. The MSC delivers small lot, sequencing and metered parts to line-side at the plant.
Prior to the RFID initiative, the operation was experiencing a series of disconnected electronic and manual processes. RFID tags and a network of wireless locating sensors, supplied by WhereNet Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.), were set up to provide real-time location and status information for the thousands of mobile racks shared between the plant and TNT’s facility. Devices located at the MSC dock doors trigger the RFID tag to emit a signal when a rack full of parts is loaded onto a truck bound for the plant. Through this automatic data collection process the system confirms the load has been built, and validates that it is in ready-to-ship status. The system can even trigger an advanced shipping notice so that the factory knows what material is en route.
Source: TNT Logistics.