Published on 1 December, 2010
|Operators identify themselves at the Traka key cabinet using their company ID cards|
Over 200 fork trucks and other materials handling equipment at Jaguar Land Rover's Halewood site in Liverpool are now being managed by Traka electronic access management systems.
Jaguar Land Rover employs more than 1900 people and produces a car every 135 seconds. Fork trucks are used to transport materials and components to the production line and the company had a number of issues to address including driver accountability, damage control, cost savings plus health and safety compliance.
Traka uses intelligent iFobs, each containing an electronic data chip. The iFob thus becomes an electronic key and replaces the conventional truck key. Each truck is fitted with a receptor socket into which the driver inserts the iFob to start the truck. When awaiting use, the iFobs are locked into a designated port within a special Traka key cabinet and operators identify themselves at the cabinet using their company ID cards. An iFob will only be released if the operator has permission to access the cabinet and, even then, will only give access to iFobs to trucks for which he or she is authorised to drive.
This is all controlled through the Traka32 software, with the user and iFob details stored on a central database. Because all trucks are not keyed alike, it's easy to know who has driven a particular truck at any time, crucial in the case of an accident or Health & Safety incident.
The advantages for Jaguar Land Rover are clear: using Traka saves time; and, by not having a single key for each truck, vehicles can still be used even if a key has been taken home inadvertently by a driver. If an iFob isn't returned at the end of a shift, it's easy to identify who has it. Driver accountability is now a reality: previously, trucks were often treated badly and there was no way of tracing who had caused the resulting damage. By reducing truck damage, downtime is also reduced and trucks spend less time in the workshop. With the new level of accountability, there is also less damage to stock, pallets and racking, resulting in lower operating costs. Daily incident reports are downloaded from Traka and reconciled against the driver report. Failure to complete an incident report is deemed a serious offence and is subject to disciplinary action.
When Traka was introduced, the company found that good drivers took to the system well, whilst others quickly realised they would have to modify their behaviour or risk disciplinary action. There have been benefits for drivers too: Traka has done away with paper-based forms, meaning records can be managed with less administrative effort. Drivers also know that trucks will be in the right place when needed and be in good working condition.
The Traka system has enabled all these safeguards to be put in place and the most striking change has been in driver behaviour. Typically, more than 27 incidents had been recorded each week but the number has now been reduced to just one.
"Traka has provided Jaguar Land Rover with better control and complete accountability," says Godfrey Anderson of Traka. "It has clearly improved productivity, as well as considerably reducing damage to stock, trucks and infrastructure."
Following the success of Traka's fork truck control for the firm, Jaguar Land Rover has also adopted it to manage keys to rooms, buildings and storage areas.