Toyota South Africa Motors Selects Solution for Vehicle Identification

Automated vehicle tracking expected to accelerate throughput of produced assets in the supply chain

Automated vehicle tracking expected to accelerate throughput of produced assets in the supply chain

Morgan Hill, CA — October 19, 2005 — Toyota Motor Corp.'s South African operation, Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd., has selected Alien Technology Corp.'s radio frequency identification (RFID) products as the basis for its automated vehicle identification application.

The automotive manufacturer said the use of Alien's electronic product code (EPC)-compliant RFID tags and readers will enable it to accurately and cost-effectively track vehicles from post-production to shipment, thus helping to reduce the time required to invoice dealers on new vehicle shipments.

"Toyota is a quality driven company, in every aspect of our business, and requiring the highest quality and reliability standards from our vendors plays a major role in our global success," said Johan Stoop, senior manager, Manufacturing Engineering Services for Toyota South Africa. "We are impressed with the Alien solution, which provides consistent and reliable reads, as well as the outstanding performance in reading ranges over the many RFID solutions evaluated."

Traditionally, RFID-based vehicle tracking applications have been hampered by the use of costly microwave systems and proprietary RFID protocols. Toyota said its application will use open, global-standard EPC RFID technology that can provide consistent reads, even in a heavy metallic environment.

In Toyota's implementation, an Alien RFID tag will be applied to each vehicle during production. The tags will then be read by Alien ALR-9780 readers as the vehicle is tracked from within the Assembly Plant, through the Plant Exit, into, through and out of the Vehicle Distribution Yard. Toyota expects that the tracking will enable it to both streamline and accelerate its vehicle shipping and invoicing processes, and thus its time-to-cash.

According to Stoop, the anticipated savings on interest for the targeted reduction of Stock (vehicles "on rubber") of one day is expected to more than off-set the CAPEX for this RFID Project.

Andrew Berger, vice president, International, for Alien Technology, commented, "It's well-known that Toyota occupies a best-in-class standing when it comes to production and automation processes. Its decision to implement Alien's EPC-compliant solution demonstrates a commitment to supporting global open RFID protocols."

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