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Hong Kong Electroplating Company Speeds Up Production With RFID
Jing Mei Industrial is using passive UHF tags and readers to better track workflow.
Oct 10, 2014—
Electroplating company Jing Mei Industrial (JMI) has increased its workflow efficiency and reduced the incidence of errors, as well as creating a record for product historical analysis, thanks to a radio frequency identification system deployed at two of its assembly lines.
JMI applies metal coatings to components used to make kitchen and bath appliances, electronic consumer products and automotive equipment. Typically, electroplating requires that parts be immersed in a tank filled with an electrolyte solution containing dissolved metal salts and ions.
The manual method left many details of what was happening on the production floor unknown, says Parry Chow, the Jing Mei Group of Companies' director of systems management. "In the past," she explains, "we could not know, in real time, how many products had been produced and how many were in the producing stage." This made it difficult to determine if orders were being processed according to schedule. Timely reporting of production output and quality issues were also difficult, Chow notes, because all manual data needed to be re-input into the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.PCCW Solutions Ltd.'s RFID-based Electroplating Process Management System on two of its production lines.
The company attached a Confidex Ironside Micro RFID tag to a carrier bar located above each carrier rack used to convey products and components down the line (a total of 400 tags are in use at the two production lines). JMI selected this tag due to its chemical resistance and durability in the presence of extreme temperatures. Since the tag is applied to the carrier bar—and not to the product itself—it can automatically be reused once a new product is attached to that rack.
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