Manufacturing

RFID technology is contributing to improving operational efficiency at a wide variety of companies and organizations. Manufacturing companies are employing RFID to achieve major benefits, both in their supply chains and in their factory operations. From lowering the cost of managing the supply chain to preserving and creating value in physical assets, RFID is playing a critical role in reducing attrition of all-important profits and turning enterprise asset management from a loss leader into a profit center. Whether for tracking inventory, assets, processes or personnel, RFID is the key to steering an organization toward better profitability, and this track will focus on how manufacturing firms are utilizing RFID to achieve benefits today.

Apr. 9 1:30 PM

Aston Martin Optimizes Manufacturing Processes With RFID

Luxury Automaker Aston Martin is using active RFID tags to monitor the locations of vehicles as they progress through the post-assembly test and verification stages of the manufacturing process. By capturing information like location and process dwell times, the movement of vehicles through the process becomes fully traceable, and location-driven business analytics can be used to enhance process performance and efficiency. Aston Martin uses battery-powered 6-8 GHz ultra-wideband (UWB) RFID tags to inject location information into its Smart Factory Offline application. Tags are attached to each vehicle's windshield at the end of the assembly line before they enter the offline process. Each tag's ID is then linked to the vehicle's specific production information, including VIN, model and a logical process map specific to that vehicle. The location system then generates frequent and granular new locations for the vehicle, recording both its physical and logical progression through the area. Learn how employees access this data through a single online portal, and how they use this information to gain new insights into process performance.
Speaker: Alastair Booker, Manufacturing Systems Lead, Aston Martin

Takeaways

  • How the use of RFID has led to a time savings for Aston Martin's staff that would previously have been spent locating missing vehicles
  • The benefits of utilizing RFID in high-value manufacturing
Apr. 9 2:20 PM

RFID Boosts Productivity at Daimler Truck Factory

The Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) facility in Saltillo, Mexico, is employing an RFID system to know exactly where within its yard each trailer loaded with specific materials and components is located. By attaching passive UHF RFID tags to the trailers, the company can direct yard-truck drivers to the specific location where trailers need to be retrieved and then delivered, thereby saving time that the staff previously spent driving around the yard reading serial numbers, using the radio and manually writing down trailer ID numbers on paper. The system has enabled DTNA to achieve 99 percent trailer location accuracy within its yard, and has allowed yard workers to increase productivity. Learn how Daimler has been able to reduce its number of yard trucks, and how the system also provides real-time management reporting about trailer arrivals, trailer movement and worker productivity.
Speaker: Roderick Flores, IT Project Manager - Vehicle Electronics Operations and Corporate Support, Daimler Trucks North America LLC

Takeaways

  • The benefits of installing a system that did not require additional servers or Wi-Fi infrastructure
  • How passive RFID reduced the need for an RFID infrastructure or battery-powered tag
Apr. 9 3:10 PM

Manufacturer Replaces Paper Build Books With E-Paper-Based Visual RFID Tags and System

As a manufacturer of large diesel engines, axles and transmissions for the trucking industry, Detroit produces a new engine every 2.5 minutes. To ensure quality and accuracy, when a new engine block is placed into the manufacturing process for the first time, a worker must match it to a build book. These 8.5" x 11" sheets of paper, containing 42 to 60 pages of instructions and checklists, are created specifically for each engine. An RFID system, including a 10" e-paper-based tag and tracking software, has been implemented to replace the manual build book process, resulting in a number of cost and labor efficiencies. Learn how the system provides cost savings through complete paper replacement, as well as ensuring quality by providing accurate sequencing and matching of build books to engines through automation. Hear how the system is providing asset-tracking capability via the 55 to 60 assembly stations to which each engine travels.
Speaker: Robert Hyden, IT Program Manager, Detroit Diesel
Apr. 9 4:00 PM

GM Engine Plant Improves Component Machining Processes With RFID

While launching two major engine programs, General Motors has replaced conventional vision- and probe-based track-and-trace and part-type-verification hardware at its Tonawanda engine plant with an RFID system, providing reliable, comprehensive in-process verification and tracking capability. Bolted to engine blocks and heads, an RFID tag travels through dozens of machining and inspection processes, providing prerequisite information and part type verification to each operation before any work is performed. Additional benefits include the implementation of rework and prototype strategies. Learn how the system ensures parts are properly manufactured, provides detailed track-and-trace data, saves GM money and eliminates costly errors—all of which contribute to producing high-quality engines that power award-winning vehicles like the Chevrolet Silverado and Corvette Stingray.
Speaker: Mark Chiappetta, Controls Manager, Tonawanda Engine Plant, General Motors
Apr. 10 9:00 AM

3D Printing and RFID: A New Industrial Revolution

As technology advances in capability and quality, traditional manufacturers are turning to 3D printing or additive manufacturing (AM), not as a replacement for high-volume manufacturing, but as a research tool and a low-volume solution. AM has the potential to radically change business and engineering processes in the next decade, as some organizations have been discovering, through the use of rapid prototyping (RP). The growth of 3D printing for prototyping, final production and other applications is important to the RFID industry because it can fundamentally change how products are manufactured. This evolution will bring both new manufacturing techniques and RFID technology to smaller firms that traditionally would have viewed either option as out of reach. Learn how RFID is currently being used as a complementary technology to enhance 3D printing, and how it can expand the horizons of the RFID industry in the future.
Speaker: Michael Ochi, Graduate Student Researcher and Teaching Assistant, California Polytechnic State University
Apr. 10 9:45 AM

Chip Maker Uses RFID to Reduce Labor Costs and Improve On-Time Delivery

Silicon chip manufacturer TowerJazz not only produces high-memory radio frequency identification chips, but is now employing Wi-Fi-based RFID technology at one of its own fabrication facilities to track work-in-progress. The solution consists of battery-powered Wi-Fi tags on batches of wafers, exciters to pinpoint a tag's location, and software to determine at which workstation or on which rack wafers are located during manufacturing. The location data is forwarded to the company's dispatch software, which then updates the lot's status. At any time during manufacturing, the firm can review the physical location history for each lot in the process of being manufactured. Learn how accurate, real-time RFID data improved efficiencies and increased on-time delivery.
Speaker: Dale Bogan, Production Director, TowerJazz