Land Rover is using WhereNet active RFID, real-time locating system (RTLS) technology to help automate processing of more than 150,000 new vehicles annually. Deployed at Land Rover's 308-acre assembly plant in Solihull, the tracking and management system improves production velocity and throughput, labor productivity, order-to-cash cycles and vehicle quality. The Solihull plant produces the Defender, Discovery 3/LR3, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport vehicles.
Land Rover realized a complete return on investment in less than one year as a result of better labor utilization and reduced on-site dwell time of vehicles as a result of better management of their flow through the quality assurance processes. By dispatching cars more quickly into the delivery chain, Land Rover has improved its order-to-cash cycle time, resulting in considerable savings (millions of dollars).
"We used to spend a considerable amount of time searching our huge facility to locate vehicles," said Dave O'Reilly, manager, manufacturing and purchasing IT for Land Rover. "Now, the precise location of all new vehicles is always at our fingertips. The information the WhereNet system provides is critical in optimizing production, supporting lean manufacturing and ensuring that Land Rover delivers the highest-quality vehicles."
The system manages vehicles as they roll off the assembly line and provides complete visibility of all finished vehicles regardless of where they are parked. Land Rover can also use the system in off-line areas to manage post-assembly verification and test processes, as well as quality repair, containment and shipping zones.
"Powered by WhereNet's real-time locating system technology, Land Rover and other OEMs have a 'bread crumb trail' of information about every vehicle on site, enabling plant managers to accurately plan, execute and monitor processing within the dynamic off-line environment," said Tom Bacon, general manager, manufacturing and government business, Zebra Enterprise Solutions Group. WhereNet Corp., is a Zebra Technologies company.