Industrial RFID technology takes RFID past supply chain applications, into Manufacturing and Production, with more demanding applications such as the high-temperature environments found in automotive industry.
A properly designed RFID tracking system can significantly improve production efficiencies, control costs, and streamline overall processes. Automotive provides a compelling example of a complex manufacturing process involving numerous measures and steps to ensure that what begins as a bare chassis becomes a complete automobile capable of being driven out of the factory.
From Barcodes To RFID in Work-In-Process and Paint Shop
It is critical to ensure that all stages of assembly are completed correctly and on time. As a result, each chassis must include a mechanism for tracking at any point during the production. In addition, before proceeding to the next stage, the chassis is painted and placed in a high-heat oven to cure the paint quickly.
At the moment, chassis are tagged with a barcode label, which is frequently accompanied by a paper "traveler." Physical and mechanical handling of the chassis during the manufacturing process may damage the barcode label to the point where it cannot be scanned, or the label may fall off entirely. The label will be painted over and thus unreadable, especially during the painting process. More often than not, the paper "traveler" is lost along the way due to handling.
An automatic mechanism that allows a seamless and contact-less method of tracking Work-in-Process (WIP) of an automobile, including identification of the vehicle VIN number cross-referenced with build-sheets, ensures that the proper parts and even paint colors are used.
Likewise, when the chassis reaches the paint shop, the mechanism must survive not only the painting process but also the baking process involving a heavy-duty oven reaching between 43°C/110°F to 60°C/140°F during a very short period of time.
RFID Designed for High Temperatures
The Xerafy MICRO series are high-temperature passive UHF RFID metal mount tags that allow the RFID tags to be implemented directly on the asset. Using them early in the production process provides management with specific tracking data to identify where the product is, where a product is stored, and detect bottlenecks within production.
RFID can also be applied by the manufacturer at the source level, to assist in inventory control, quality, and returns and counterfeiting prevention. Many applications exist where a label cannot be mounted on a surface. The current challenge from customers is for a tag that has superior performance on metal and can survive high temperatures, pressures, and harsh environments of demanding applications.
Xerafy is a pioneer in Industrial RFID, bringing to market several innovations that enable advanced industrial identification and automation capabilities. In addition to a complete range of field-proven RFID tags available off-the-shelf, Xerafy offers Custom RFID Tags services, covering everything from a personalization service bureau to custom-design engineering capabilities.