RFID for spool management
PUBLISHED: 01 Jun 10
Rewinding machine type DSA4 (system Hacoba) with integrated RFID
Product variety and the need to record each step of a production process require reliable labelling of fi lled spools. Niehoff’s most recent development is a system based on radio frequency identifi cation (RFID) technology for automatic identifi cation of braiding bobbins and NPS spools and helps with the administration of the products.
The Niehoff system was jointly-developed by Niehoff with the MES software company Advaris, the bobbin manufacturer Steintex and a team from Erlangen-Nuremberg University. It consists of spools with RFID transponders, a read/write unit integrated into the rewinding machine and mobile reading devices. The RFID transponders embedded into the spools can be easily and durably encoded with data, storing much more information than traditional barcode systems and which cannot be erased or become illegible.
The RFID system can be connected to a production data acquisition (PDA) system with a manufacturing execution system (MES). Furthermore, machine operators can be supplied with portable reading devices that can be equipped with a conventional barcode identifi cation system as an option.
Data transmission to the host computer and subsequent data processing are achieved using MES software specifi cally developed by the Niehoff partner Advaris.
The new RFID system enables decentralised data storage beyond factory boundaries, tracking of single bobbins/spools and data documentation. When further processing the spools, a machine operator can compare the spool data with the order data and recognise whether a spool is suitable for the production process or not.
The described RFID system is also suitable for other production processes and packages, for example spooling automotive wires onto NPS spools and the subsequent manufacturing of harnesses. The spools of the Niehoff Package System (NPS) can be equipped with RFID transponders by Astroplast, the NPS spool manufacturer, during the fabrication of the spool.
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