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Intelligent Resupply of Kanban Systems with RFID

The supply chain of complex assembly systems can be automated easily using industrial RFID solutions

The F61 RFID read/write head has been designed with material handling applications in mind. Its thin housing style makes it an ideal fit for Kanban shelves.
The F61 RFID read/write head has been designed with material handling applications in mind. Its thin housing style makes it an ideal fit for Kanban shelves.

Application
The modern “push” based manufacturing concept with a Kanban system simplifies demand forecasting, as all necessary parts are refilled automatically. Small and flexible assembly units are formed.  Combined with suitable assembly instructions, they produce products of highest quality without any additional raw material disposition.

Goal
Highly efficient manufacturing of products composed of a number of parts and components that can be assembled into a large number of product variants.

Requirements
Parts bins are identified automatically and reliably using an RFID tag. This identification must also be possible in situations where metal components are processed. The resupply demand has to be detected automatically. All assembly locations are interconnected with the line controller using Ethernet.

Customer advantage
The necessary parts are always available line-site; manual ordering processes are not required. The association between bins and parts is automatic and free of errors.



The resupply is triggered as soon as the empty bin is removed from the shelf. Upstream processes are activated just-in-time.

What is being done

Small parts are placed in RFID equipped bins and temporarily stored in shelf systems with integrated RFID read points. The RFID tag is used to safely “find” any part inside the rack. Removing an empty bin triggers a material resupply message.

The empty bins are reinserted into the closed loop supply process. Because they are identified by reading their RFID tag, the refill process is secure, assuring that the right parts are brought to the assembly line. Because the resupply is triggered as soon as the empty bin is removed from the shelf, upstream processes are activated just-in-time.

What previously involved paper routing sheets and visual inspection now takes place automatically and error free due to RFID.



Parts bins are identified automatically and reliably using an RFID tag

Benefits at a glance

  • The thin RFID read/write head is easily integrated in Kanban shelf systems
  • Assuring material availability at the material refill locations reduces the risk of costly system downtime
  • Just-in-time order initiation optimizes on-hand stock