Unipart Logistics Tests Active RFID for Automotive Customer

The U.K. company is using a system from RF Code to track when each of its five trucks are loaded with assembled parts, and when they leave its facility for delivery to a car manufacturing client.

By Claire Swedberg

March 25, 2014 -- Unipart Logistics is piloting an active RFID-based system from RF Code on its vehicles that transport assembled parts from its own facility in Oxford to an automotive vehicle manufacturer in the United Kingdom. Unipart Logistics, a division of Unipart Group (a global manufacturer, full service logistics provider and consultant in lean and operational excellence), aims to determine how much value can be gained from capturing automatic data regarding when loaded vehicles pass from one location to another, thereby identifying which vehicle (and, subsequently, the goods within it) are on their way to a particular client.

A pilot commenced two weeks ago, and is expected to continue for several more months. The goal, says Richard Hankinson, Unipart Logistics' automotive director, is not only to determine whether the collection of read data can benefit his company, by improving visibility into when goods were moved, but also to provide those results to its customers. If both Unipart and its clients determine that RFID is useful in tracking data about when goods were transported out of the Unipart facility, the firm intends to launch a permanent deployment that will include additional details, such as when delivery trucks arrive at a client's site, and—by tagging the cargo—what those vehicles contain. Unipart hopes to market the solution as an added value for all of its customers.

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