RTLS, or Real-Time Location System, is a relatively new technology used to track assets, even parts. Such systems do not use GPS. Rather, they use RF (Radio Frequency) transmitters and fall into the category of RFID (radio frequency identification) technology.
Nissan North America is now using RTLS technology from WhereNet to track auto parts that are delivered to their assembly line in Canton, Mississippi. WhereNet RFID WhereTags are temporarily attached to vehicles coming off the assembly line. Wireless access points are located strategically around the plant to help locate a specific vehicle. (Each WhereTag has a unique identifier code that it transmits.)
Employees will also use handscanners to check the production status of each vehicle, as the tag will store VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) and information about which process in the assembly has been completed. RFID Journal has more details.
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