Modern manufacturing with a wide bandwidth of batch sizes and ever compressed production times demands maximum transparency. This is the only way to meet high requirements for flexibility and quality, as well as to keep costs down as much as possible.
RFID supports Track-and-Trace
Not only do the tools need to be optimally managed, but also the finished parts must be recognized and assigned. To reduce setup times and increase overall system efficiency, workpieces are therefore automatically brought to and removed from the machine tools.
RFID has established itself as a key technology for workpiece tracking because RFID offers seamless documentation and automation of the entire manufacturing process. Each process step is recorded on the data carrier, so that possible errors are limited and can be analyzed if they occur.
When using track-and-trace of workpieces, RFID has become an integral part of flexible manufacturing. Workpieces are reliably moved through the producton line as needed all the way down to lot size 1. And in contrast to CIM in the 1990’s, “cyber-physical systems” in the context of Industry 4.0 combine production machines with Internet technologies and prioritize manufacturing tasks to be accomplished with a high degree of variability. This helps to determine the path of workpieces through production on short notice so that individual customer orders can be quickly accomodated.
Low Frequency LF and High Frequency HF – Both RFID worlds merge
In terms of data transmission for tool management, which is to say tool identification, since the 1980’s low frequency LF systems have settled, since this band has proven to be especially robust and reliable in metal surroundings. Data are read with LF at a frequency of 455 kHz and written at 70 kHz.
When it comes to intralogistics and tracking of workpieces, high frequency HF has become the standard in recent years. This is because HF systems with a working frequency of 13,56 MHz offer greater travers speeds and a more generous read/write distance. However it is increasingly common in modern production and assembly systems that different frequncy bands are needed – not least to be able to meet the requirements for greater flexibility and ever more complex Tasks. Until recently, each system was designed for specific applications. But new technical developments promise a fundamental shift.
New RFID processor units have recently been introduced that offer frequency-independant application (by using read-write heads with different frequencies). And thereby the possibility of using RFID data carriers with different frequencies at the same time. Just one version of the processor unit can be used to cover different application requirements. Further Information is provided here:
Technical Essay “Tool Identification and Workpiece Tracking”:
RFID Processor Unit:
Application Track and Trace of Workpieces: