Land Rover And Savi Technology Launch RFID Pilot To Track Car Parts Between Suppliers And Assembly Plant

University of Warwick Helps Select Savi Technology’s RFID Solution to Improve Efficiency by Ensuring that Parts Arrive at the Factory When They’re Needed

SOLIHULL, UK and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – January 28, 2008

Ford Motor Company’s Land Rover division and Savi Technology today launched a pilot programme to deploy an active Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solution that better synchronises the delivery of car parts from multiple suppliers to Land Rover’s key assembly plant in the West Midlands. The pilot is made possible through a government grant administered by the University of Warwick, which was instrumental in an 18-month evaluation of solution providers worldwide, and in selecting the Savi solution.

Savi Technology, a Lockheed Martin company and provider of RFID-based total asset management solutions, is supplying RFID hardware and software to enhance visibility, inventory management, and asset utilisation, and to reduce losses, assembly plant disruptions, and time spent locating assembly parts.   Phase two of this pilot enables 18 suppliers and Land Rover to better locate, track, and deliver stillages (specialised steel conveyances) that carry bumpers, front grills, suspension parts, moon roofs, and vehicle bodies, among other parts.  Real-time information on RFID-tagged assets is shared among the partners and is automatically transmitted to cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and web-based tracking software.

“On-time, precision delivery of components is integral to our plant’s efficiency because disruptions in the supply chain can slow or even halt vehicle assembly, and we believe Savi’s complete RFID solution can improve these operations,” said Jonty Cook, Land Rover’s head of Inbound Logistics. 

“With its total solutions approach and proven track record, Savi Technology was head and shoulders above the other providers we evaluated during the 18-month review process,” said Phillip Foster, investigator fellow at the University of Warwick.  “Savi’s total solutions approach is perfectly suited for a complex supply chain such as Land Rover’s, and can be easily scaled throughout their global operations,” said Bruce Jacquemard, Savi’s managing director of International Business. 

The RFID project is sponsored by the University of Warwick, and is funded by £700,000 of the government’s £32 million PARD (Premiere Automotive Research and Development) grant. The PARD programme, launched in 2004, is intended to increase the competitiveness of the West Midlands vehicle industry by encouraging innovation, modernisation, and technology development.  The West Midlands represents 60 per cent of the U.K.’s car manufacturing base.  

Savi’s RFID-based solution begins by applying Savi active RFID tags on stillages as they leave supplier facilities.  Fixed readers are placed at loading and unloading docks, entrances and exits of the suppliers and Land Rover’s assembly plant.  Whenever a tagged stillage passes by a reader, the shipment is logged and location information is transmitted to designated users.   Alerts are sent when stillages do not arrive when and where they are expected.

With over 17 years of experience, Savi is a leading provider of active RFID solutions and services for the management and security of supply chain assets, shipments and consignments.  Savi Technology is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT], with headquarters in Mountain View, California, and offices in Washington D.C., London, Singapore, and Melbourne. For more information, visit www.savi.com.

Media Contacts:
John Fyall 02392 443 342
Email: john.fyall@lmco.com

Mark Nelson (650-316-4872)
Email: mnelson@savi.com