How CRRC Brings Smart Tool Control to Train MRO

Updated: Sep 4

CRRC Puzhen innovates among rail transit vehicle manufacturers with the deployment of an RFID-based Smart Tool Crib solution.

CRRC Puzhen train manufacturing site in Nanjing, China

Manufacturers and MRO companies are searching for ways to manage tools effectively, and RFID-based Internet of Things (IoT) technology is emerging as an effective option.


Founded in 1908, CRRC Puzhen operates four bases in Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, and Anhui with about 6,100 employees. The company develops CRH6-type inter-city EMU, 25 types of railway trains, and various types of bogies and brakes.


The smart tool control solution is deployed in the company’s Nanjing base and is mainly used on the production line side, tracking and managing tools in every working station. The company relies on the solution to manage a large number of tools, and help it meet stringent requirements. The main objective of smart tool management is ensuring proper use of tools and avoiding tool loss.


Xerafy Smart Tool Crib for MRO and Manufacturing

CRRC Puzhen chose the Xerafy RFID smart tool control solution for upgrading its workshop. There is one set of smart tool crib for every station, and all tools have been tagged with Xerafy durable industrial RFID tags. The cabinet can automatically read the tool tags in the cabinet and present that information to the company via its tool management software.


Operators can open the crib for tools by scanning their ID badges when they need to use the tools. They close the crib after obtaining the tool and can check the number of collars. After use, all tools are returned the same way and the system will check automatically whether any tools are missing.


Using RFID to track locomotive maintenance tools has very demanding requirements. The tags need to exhibit reliable performance even in a metal application environment. Missing tools can be found in a short time using an RFID reader without relying on expensive manpower to search. Unlike barcode labeling systems, the RFID tags are not susceptible to wear and tear.


Xerafy’s industrial-grade on-metal tags have become the basis for accurate and reliable tool control solutions. Xerafy tags can be can be used even on the smallest tools. For example, even a hex wrench with just a few centimeters of space can be tagged because Xerafy offers a wide range of tag solutions. The tags can be applied with adhesive or other physical methods, eliminating the risk of the tag falling off during use.

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