IMPLEMENTATION OF THE "CARFINDER" PROJECT
The AUDI "Carfinder" solution from IBM and Zebra Technologies is highly scalable and extensible. By integrating infrastructure, applications and support processes within a single centralized system, all important information is available at a glance, thus fulfilling an essential requirement for production.
The vehicle tracking system consists of tracking sensors from Zebra for both indoor and outdoor areas, which are connected to the internal network. At the beginning of the manufacturing process, all vehicles are equipped with active RFID tags, which are then removed before vehicle delivery and reused in the production process. The transponders of Zebra Technologies are in accordance with the standard for RTLS (Real Time Location Systems). The system has a range of up to 1750 metres and offers precise location accuracy. All radio systems used were certified by AUDI for use in production prior to implementation.
The RFID transponder periodically sends signals to the Zebra sensors. The co-ordinates and zones of the individual vehicles can be accurately determined as a result of the time difference between the signal inputs at the sensors. The former are then passed on to the downstream systems of AUDI and VW. This enables accurate tracking of each vehicle from the various stages in the production halls to the parking spaces outside.
IBM Global Technology Services installed and implemented the solution as systems integrator in close cooperation with AUDI. IBM also took over the connectivity to AUDI and VW's existing IT systems for quality control, visualization, and other applications.