x-TRACK Asset Tracking:
How a manufacturer installed RFID component tracking to improve their traceability process
Cross-Check Systems, the Auto -ID specialists have successfully provide an RFID Tag System in to an environment that had previously challenged conventional technology such as barcodes.
The manufacturer of fuel related products require high precision machinery and to ensure product reliability, each component is meticulously tested. However, due to the flammable nature of diesel fuel, testing must be carried out using a fluid, which is stable and safe to handle. It unfortunately attacks everything and anything it can.
Cross-Check Systems have found that these testing conditions can regularly cause ‘no-read’ problems with traditional style paper label barcodes, which become saturated and disintegrate. The typical process within such an environment generally begins within an assembly area where all of the components are washed and cleaned ready for the build to commence.
With an ever-increasing demand for various testing processes from customers, it was clear to Cross-Check that a solid bespoke solution was imperative for the continued success and traceability of these products.
The build process can involve lots of small stages and includes the placing of an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) Tag onto various components, which then both carries and builds up all of the data relating to that particular injector during it’s build process. All of the data collected is constantly updated to a management reader offering complete and transparent traceability.
As the assembly process nears completion the components move into a functional test area and it is here that many tests take place, including performance, correct characteristics and pressure tests. Whilst in their functional test area the components also undergo a series of stringent tests that reach temperatures in excess of 60°C.
Another important issue for Cross-Check was how to deal with such high temperatures, and in such stringent conditions.
The Cross-Check solution was to implement some 5000 passive read/write tags that could be constantly re-used again and again.
In addition, a series of fixed RFID Antennas read the tags at various stations within test units, together with Datalogic 2D handheld readers for use at the final laser marking station. The components end their journey at a laser marking station and, following a final confirmation of data by the Datalogic 2D handheld scanner, the tag is removed and the data is deleted from the tag ready for use again by the next batch of components.
Mr Paul Mason, Managing Director of Cross -Check said, “Our flexibility in being able to provide bespoke solutions has been clearly demonstrated within this project.
“Our systematic methodology has been once again applied and I am very pleased with the installation which has resulted in another successful RFID application.”