DETROIT – It is only fitting that Hummer H2 production be done with military precision.
To streamline production of the large SUV at the Hummer H2 factory in Mishawaka, IN, AM General Corp. has adopted the wireless technology of WhereNet Corp., the supplier announces here at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress.
AM General, which designs, engineers and produces military and special purpose vehicles, is using WhereNet technology to streamline its assembly line and optimize plant-floor operations. That includes a wireless parts replenishment system and a tracker system to speed production and delivery of H2s to dealers.
WhereNet claims its WhereCall parts replenishment system, currently used in more than 70 factories worldwide, is unique in the industry and has a return on investment of less than one year. When supplies on the line start to run low, the operator presses a button to send a request specifying the material needed and location – no paperwork involved.
The tracker system is an alternative to bar codes or radio frequency identification tags that are only as accurate as how well they are scanned. WhereNet officials claim 98% accurate data capture with their tracker application that is integrated with the wireless system and uses a system of antennas and radio frequency transmitters and devices.
The WhereNet system has allowed the plant to operate at peak efficiency and made for a smooth ramp-up period for a vehicle that debuted to heavy demand, says Deborah Cafiero, chief information officer and director-information systems for AM General.
“Wireless on the plant floor is revolutionizing the automotive industry and we are a perfect case in point,” Cafiero says in a release. She credits the system with lowering operating costs, without putting a figure on the savings.