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Volkswagen to boost factory efficiency using IBM technology


Volkswagen Group, Germany’s largest auto company, is turning to IBM Corp. for help in making its manufacturing more efficient through advanced sensor technology.

Volkswagen is getting ready to install the new system, known as radio-frequency identification, at a major German plant with the assistance of Armonk-based IBM.

Under the RFID system, shipping containers of auto parts bound for Volkswagen’s factory assembly line are marked with RFID tags. High-tech reader devices and workers with handheld scanners can track the tagged containers as they move from point to point from suppliers to Volkswagen.

In a recently completed one-year pilot project, Volkswagen placed RFID tags on 3,000 shipping containers carrying sunroofs for the new Volkswagen Golf. Readers at the entrances to the Volkswagen manufacturing line, and mobile handheld scanners, were able to identify the containers and the sunroofs inside.

“The pilot project has been ground-breaking,” said Kurt Rindle, IBM global sensor solutions executive, in a written statement. “Volkswagen is driving innovation by becoming the first vehicle manufacturer to make daily use of RFID technology in the flow of materials between suppliers and the manufacturing line.”

Volkswagen said that RFID can also cut paperwork and overhead for manufacturers.

“The pilot project showed that we can reliably integrate RFID technology into our business processes at a low cost,” said Klaus Hardy Mühleck, head of group information technolgy at Volkswagen.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 24th, 2009 at 3:53 pm by Jay Loomis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Technology



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Business in the Burbs is our online news blog about businesses based or operating in the Lower Hudson Valley. Visitors here will also find items of interest to consumers in the region. Most contributions are from business reporters and editors covering Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.


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