Automation

RFID Technology –

We Offer an Integrated Solution for Efficient Vehicle Tracking in Production

Jacob Abraham, Bran Systems

RFID Tracking Solution

Introduction: Enhancing Production Efficiency with Vehicle Tracking

Efficient production processes are vital for automotive manufacturers to meet customer demands and maintain a competitive edge. The ability to track vehicles during production is crucial for ensuring timely and seamless operations. Our integrated Vehicle Tracking Solution, powered by RFID technology, addresses this challenge by providing real-time information about the location and attributes of each vehicle throughout the production cycle. Let’s delve deeper into the features and benefits of this cutting-edge solution.

Problem Statement

To provide real time tracking of product or WIP through different phases of production across multiple sites.

In FMCG this could be Mixing->Bottling->Crating
In Automotive this could be Bodyshop->Paintshop->Final Assembly

Solution

Auto ID (Barcode, RFID or RTLS) of product / WIP and real time tracking and integration to ERP/MES/WMS system.

System comprises Tracking Server and Tracking clients across multiple sites.

Tracking server:

  • Queuing transactions to an
  • ERP/MES/WMS in real time
  • Client configuration
  • Monitoring, visualization and alarming
  • Tracking clients:
  • Industrial PCs on the line of Virtual PCs in a DC
  • Perform tracking, routing and alerting functions

Business Benefit

  • Automated and Realtime tracking of product
  • Elimination of manual data entry
    Integration to ERP/MES and WMS systems
  • Faster order fulfilment and reduction of waste
RFID Flow Chart

Use Case in Automotive

  • Requirement to track production through the different phases of production mainly Bodyshop, paint shop and final assembly
  • Feed the ERP and MES system with production related movement and vehicle build stage
  • Back flushing of parts as the vehicle advances through different stages of manufacture
  • Feed Sub Assembly areas with Just In Time information and In Sequence information about the vehicles that will be expected at a specific checkpoint where parts are expected to be delivered.
  • Enable shop floor decision and routing at shop floor and machine level by identification of vehicles at the checkpoint
  • Allow machines and robots to identify vehicle directly from a device on the vehicle without having to query a host system. This is information such as colour, model and variant information that is stored on the tag
rfid-diagram-2

We have developed, implemented and supported a plant-wide Vehicle Tracking Solution with RFID.

rfid-diagram-3

RFID Technology: Enabling Precise Vehicle Identification

At the core of our Vehicle Tracking Solution is RFID technology. Each vehicle is equipped with a read/write RFID tag that contains unique identification data (UID) and essential attributes required for production. RFID readers strategically placed throughout the plant pick up the tag data at various checkpoints. This technology ensures accurate and efficient vehicle identification, enabling seamless tracking throughout the production process.

rfid-image

Strategic Checkpoints: Tracking Progress and Facilitating JIT Production

To promote Just-in-Time (JIT) production and optimize the flow of vehicles, our Vehicle Tracking Solution incorporates strategic checkpoints throughout the production plant. These checkpoints serve as sub-assembly areas and collect real-time information from the RFID tags. This data facilitates decision making, vehicle routing, and precise coordination with shop floor systems.

RFID robot

1. Integration with Shop Floor Systems: Real-time Vehicle Information

Our Vehicle Tracking Solution seamlessly integrates with shop floor systems, ensuring that real-time vehicle information is available to the production team. This integration allows for efficient decision making, production planning, and resource allocation. By providing accurate and up-to-date vehicle-specific information, the solution enables optimized production processes and minimizes bottlenecks.

2. Diagnostics and Fault Logging: Ensuring Smooth Operations

To maintain smooth operations and identify any potential issues, our Vehicle Tracking Solution features comprehensive diagnostics and fault logging capabilities. The system can log errors and generate alerts via SMS or email, enabling proactive maintenance and minimizing production downtime. By addressing issues promptly, manufacturers can ensure uninterrupted production and improve overall efficiency.

3. System Layout: Understanding the Infrastructure

The Vehicle Tracking Solution comprises two main components: the Tracking Server and Tracking Clients. The Tracking Server acts as the central hub for configuration, monitoring, error logging, and connectivity with the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. On the other hand, Tracking Clients are deployed at individual checkpoints and interact with the RFID tags, production facilities, and ERP system.

4. Tracking Server: Centralized Configuration and Monitoring

The Tracking Server plays a vital role in our Vehicle Tracking Solution. It allows for centralized and remote configuration of tracking points, monitoring the status of checkpoints, and logging errors for efficient troubleshooting. Furthermore, the Tracking Server provides seamless connectivity with the plant’s enterprise systems, enabling streamlined data exchange and resource allocation.

5. Tracking Clients: Interacting with Production Facilities

The Tracking Clients are responsible for picking up RFID tag data and interacting with production facilities. They ensure that the vehicle information, including the UID number, is fed back to the ERP system. In case an RFID tag is unreadable or damaged, operators have the option to manually input the vehicle UID number using a camera input or other means. This flexibility ensures that the tracking system remains functional even in exceptional cases.

6. Network Independence: Backup Data Sources for Seamless Operation

Our Vehicle Tracking Solution is designed to operate independently of the ERP system, ensuring uninterrupted production even in the absence of centralized connectivity. To achieve this, backup data sources are created on the local database using Merge Replication. Additionally, Tracking Client-to-Tracking-Client data forwarding ensures data continuity and visibility into the Work In Progress (WIP) within the plant.

car assembly line

Conclusion

In conclusion, our integrated Vehicle Tracking Solution with RFID technology offers a comprehensive and efficient approach to track vehicles throughout the production process. By leveraging strategic checkpoints, seamless integration with shop floor systems, and robust diagnostics, manufacturers can enhance productivity, optimize resource allocation, and minimize production delays. The network-independent design ensures uninterrupted operation, providing manufacturers with peace of mind in their production processes.

If you are a looking to implement a RFID Tracking Solution for your automotive business, Bran Systems IT and Automation Systems provide cost-effective and dedicated client-oriented services and solutions for businesses seeking to implement RFID Tracking Solutions. With our technical expertise and knowledge, we can assist you in achieving your automation goals.

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