RFID drives efficiency in automotive supply chain

Passive RFID used to monitor all vehicles site-wide

As the UK’s leading provider of new, in-life, used and remarketing services to the automotive industry Paragon Automotive handles over one million new and used vehicles a year.

In an industry first, Paragon Automotive has deployed RFID technology at its newly redeveloped site in Immingham to make smarter use of both its people and land. The company believes it will see significant cost savings and service-enhancing benefits at all touch-points through the vehicle’s lifecycle.

View Paragon's implementation in the automotive supply chain press.

View Paragon's implementation in the technical press.

The front end passive UHF RFID data collection system was developed by Codegate. This involved the design of innovative data collection software loaded directly on to the Zebra RFID readers to avoid the need for local PCs. The software accurately reports vehicle IDs and location to the cloud, both when parked and during the preparation process. The solution is completely non-intrusive, meaning once the RFID tags have been applied to the vehicles no process change was required and no manual scanning is necessary. A mobile variant of the solution with additional GPS data collection is fitted on to site vehicles, such that accurate inventory data is recorded in virtual real time as the vehicle moves around the facility. This removes the requirement for time consuming manual stock checks.

The mobile element of Codegate's solution could be applied to any type of vehicle, turning it into a mobile inventory checker, automatically reporting asset ID, location and time as it moves about the facility carrying out its daily duties. It could be applied to any situation where large numbers of assets are deployed outside over a wide area, and where tag and infrastructure costs must be kept to a minimum.

The RFID readers were installed, configured and optimised by Codegate engineers. Remote device management software was installed on each reader allowing performance to be monitored from Codegate's office in Oxfordshire. Bug fixes and software updates can be controlled by Codegate's support team without the need to visit site.