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The system employs an RFID-reading Honda Civic, along with handheld readers and fixed reader gates around its facility.
Honda Manufacturing's Indiana facility is a final assembly plant for Civic and CR-V vehicles. In October 2008, the factory opened for mass production. In addition to the Civic and, more recently, the CR-V, it has assembled Acuras, as well as Honda natural gas and hybrid vehicles.
The plant, built for high-volume production, contains 1.3 million square feet of indoor space for vehicle assembly and sits on 1,600 acres. The company employs more than 2,400 associates who produce approximately 250,000 vehicles annually, which equates to 500 vehicles during an eight-hour shift. The facility schedules two shifts each day, so its daily yield is 1,000 cars. That large assembly volume brings challenges in managing the inventory of cars that are awaiting finishing services and then shipment to dealers. The RFID system allows Honda to more efficiently locate products, said Jason Philpot, a manager at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana.
Honda's objective, when it began looking into RFID in 2015, was to automate the locating of vehicles on an individual basis, as well as en masse. So if the company wanted to find a particular car for inspection, testing, finishing or shipping, that vehicle could be found, or all cars of a certain type or assembly date could be located.
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