RFID system increases the visibility of glass production
after the completion of its pilot plan at Owatonna point, Minnesota, Viracon, a building glass manufacturer, is preparing to launch an active RFID real-time positioning system (RTLS) based on Wi Fi throughout the company, so as to locate the glass carrier when it is moving
the system, provided by aeroscout, has been used to track, monitor and manage all glass transporters throughout the 10000 square foot campus of aeroscout, Minnesota. The company plans to install this system in its other two plants by 2008. The locations are strobe, Georgia, and St. George, UtahViracon is one of the largest architectural glass manufacturers in the country. It designs windows for large commercial buildings, such as the freedom tower in New York City, and also operates small projects. The company orders and sells 50million square feet of glass every year, and its three factories constantly handle hundreds of orders at the same time. In Minnesota factories, orders are usually transported back and forth between six stations by transport vehicles to complete cutting, lamination, lamination or silk like printing. Some of these transporters, giant metal frames with wheels, can only accommodate one or two molds of glass for one order, while others can accommodate much more when there are large orders According to Todd Schelling, manager of Viracon production department, hundreds of transport vehicles shuttle between the three buildings in Owatonna factory. "This is very different from the assembly line," he said. Unlike the assembly line, the path is knowable. The transportation route of glass from one station to another is variable, depending on the customization requirements implemented. Therefore, locating these transporters is a difficult task
until it launched an RFID based test in the autumn of 2007, the company used a handheld intermecsf51 mobile barcode scanner to track the movement of the transport vehicle. When a transport vehicle is loaded for the first time, each piece of glass on it is attached with a bar code number label. These labels on the glass, together with the barcode ID labels affixed to the transport vehicle, are scanned and finally linked to the back-end inventory management system of Viracon
when the transport vehicle is sent to a site for processing, an employee of the site will scan the ID number on the transport vehicle and update the system about the order location. Employees only need 60% of the time to scan the transport vehicle, and when they are looking for a specific order, they sometimes need to go from one end of the assembly layer to another. If the transport vehicle cannot be found, Viracon will have to re execute the order and start the manufacturing process from scratch if it continues to crack down on "ground steel". If the company finds this car afterwards, part of the processed glass inside will also be discarded
said adabel, global marketing manager of DSM optical fiber and cable materials department, leader of the company's production improvement project. Iesner said that Viracon considered using RFID solutions about a year ago and found that passive RFID tags were not as good as active tags in this environment. Therefore, Viracon began to pilot the wi-fi2 based service provided by aeroscout in the third quarter of 2007. 4ghzrfid system. The company installed about 80 Cisco Wi Fi access points in one of its three plants, and attached the aeroscoutt2eb industrial label to 500 transport vehicles. These tags are powered by a battery that can work for eight years and have a readable range of 450 feet
if the transport vehicle is stationary, its label only transmits the ID number once every half an hour. Once the car starts moving, a motion sensor in the tag will inform the tag to flash every few seconds when the car moves. Cisco applications allow access points to record tag locations in detail within 15 inches. This data is stored in Viracon's inventory management database and obtained by aeroscout's mobileview software, so that workers can locate a specific transport vehicle by displaying an icon on the assembly layer map on their computer screen
amir Ben ASA, President of aeroscout industrial solutions market, said that the trial, which began at the end of 2007, was very successful, and directly led to the full realization of the technology in the watonna plant, the main material of Viracon's o testing machine accessories, in its three buildings. According to Ben ASA, the company found that the search time of each transport vehicle was shortened from the previous average minute to less than one minute. "Our goal is to automate the process, shorten the search time and avoid the loss of transport vehicles," he said. "We have achieved these goals."
Ben ASA said that installing this technology 3. The biggest challenge of evaluating material life cycle technology is that the presence of metal and high ceilings may cause RF interference, but the use of Wi Fi active tags and access points makes it possible to effectively transmit signals in this environment. These facilities were completed in Owatonna plant this month. With them, Viracon will use about 5000 Wi Fi based active tags provided by aeroscout on the transport vehicleMiesner said that the company has completed a cost/benefit analysis and determined that the system will reduce search time, improve throughput and reduce the number of waste glass. He expected that the search for transport vehicles could be reduced from 40% to less than 1%, and said that the company expected to reduce the customization caused by the loss of transport vehicles by 50% to 70%. Miesner said, "we expect to recoup our investment in a year."