Company: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles


Industry: Automobile Manufacturing

The Goal

Fiat Chrysler Automobile needed to keep track of their powered industrial vehicles (PIVs) throughout the 560 acres of the Chrysler Technology Center and World Headquarters. The Chrysler facilities team wanted an easy way to know where all of the PIVS were located at any given time.  The team had been encountering issues with the PIVs rented to third-parties not being returned to the designated areas promptly, so they wanted an asset tracking system to help them find the missing PIVs.

Unfortunately, all of the commercial systems they looked at would cost nearly a million dollars.  The facilities team needed a more cost-effective way to track the PIVs.  So they decided to create their own.

The Synapse Solution

The facilities team decided to develop their own asset tracking system using Synapse SNAP®-based RF modules.

The team installed stationary reader nodes with SNAP-based RF modules throughout the campus.  These reader nodes would serve as the backbone of the system. To track the PIVs movement, they installed RF modules into LCD touchscreens and mounted them on all the PIVs. The modules on the PIVs would “ping” stationary readers as they pass, and the stationary nodes use radio signal strength to triangulate the PIV’s position.

All of the data collected by the reader nodes gets passed to a PC-based network server.  The data then get aggregated and processing in real-time so the user can view the information from a web-based dashboard from any authorized Chrysler workstation or laptop.

The Results

In the end, the Chrysler facilities team’s decision to build a solution using SNAP created a savings of nearly $300,000 annually over the other commercially-available options. Plant operational processes have improved, and there is tight discipline over the assignment, use, and return of tagged vehicles. Operator eligibility is verified automatically through badge readers on the vehicles. The operation of vehicles is controllable by time, shift, or operator. Daily inspection checklists and repair notification reports are now provided via email to the vehicle operators and appropriate supervisors. Crash detection, daily inspection failures, and unauthorized operation attempts are also logged, and routes are tracked for vehicle pick-up and delivery. The new system has eliminated OSHA paper checklists. Furthermore, planned equipment maintenance can now be scheduled based upon actual asset utilization and run time vs. estimations.