RFID technology is helping Troy Design & Manufacturing to speed up the production of 150 police cruisers a day at its Detroit plant. The Ford Motor Co. metal stamping subsidiary rolled out an RFID solution when it expanded into the vehicle conversion business with its new Chicago Modification Center.
RFID helps the facility to convert 150 base model Ford vehicles into police cruisers each day while resulting in tremendous labor savings.
During the test phase, studies showed that RFID scans shaved up to seven seconds off total work station time compared against barcode scans, a significant time savings considering each of the 150 or more daily vehicle conversions can go through up to 10 work stations.
“We can now capture time and date stamps without hand scans, documenting what activity occurred when vehicles were at checkpoints,” says TDM IT manager Chris Morgan. “Automating data collection makes everything very consistent and reliable.”
TDM’s “hands-off” RFID solution tracks vehicles from the moment they enter their cells. Plant floor operations are much more fluid with reliable automated data capture, which has provided further insights into the facility’s conversion capabilities. As a result, TDM has set a higher standard for facility efficiency and benefitted from more precise real-time visibility, data collection and consistency.
With its latest deployment, more than 90 percent of TDM’s operations are automated by RFID, and Morgan still sees more opportunities to utilize the technology.
“Based on data capture and the information in our system, traffic flow decisions are made automatically in real time,” says Morgan. “There’s always the potential for expanding our current operations and our infrastructure. We’d like to add RFID to even more workstations to increase our visibility both inside and outside of the facility.”