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Metal Fastener Company Improves Production With RFID
Nedschroef, a Dutch manufacturer of metal fasteners for the automobile industry, tracks information regarding 4,500 metal containers filled with as many as 100,000 nuts.
Jul 09, 2012—Nedschroef, a Dutch producer of metal fasteners for the automotive industry, has reduced the incidence of shipping errors at its plant in Plettenberg, Germany, down to 1 percent using radio frequency identification technology.
The company is employing the solution to manage 4,500 square metal containers, each filled with as many as 100,000 nuts. While awaiting shipping, the containers are stored within an automated rack. By affixing an RFID tag to each container (as well as mounting a second tag to a production sheet attached to that container), Nedschroef can track production information and the containers' exact weights, in order to ensure that the proper number of fasteners are shipped to each customer.
Nedschroef needs to know each container's empty weight—which can vary by as much as 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds)—because it must calculate the exact weight of every container's contents before the nuts are repacked and shipped to customers. Before an empty container is filled, Nedschroef weighs it and then utilizes a Nordic ID Merlin handheld RFID device to write the tare weight data to a Confidex SteelWING RFID tag attached to the framework supporting the container's leg.
Klaus Menken, Nedschroef's project manager at B&M Tricon—the Vienna-based designer and integrator for the application—says Nedschroef chose the Confidex tag because it is flexible and is not typically damaged by coming into contact with a forklift. In addition, he notes, the tag is small and fits well on the containers.
To track production information, workers use the plant's enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to print a production order on a piece of A4 paper, using an Avery Dennison AD 224 RFID tag glued to the back. The production order and tag are printed and encoded simultaneously via one of three Lexmark T642 printers. Information regarding the type of nuts, along with their individual item weight, is stored on the RFID tag, after which workers place the RFID-enabled production sheet into a plastic sleeve that is then attached to the metal container's side.
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