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All of a Piece
The seamless integration of automation technology is key for successful RFID applications at manufacturing plants.
Application at Volkswagen Plant
Such architectures are in use at many companies, such as Volkswagen AG, in Hannover, Germany. The heart of the RFID application is the SIMATIC RF300 system, employed in the car body construction of the Porsche Panamera. All necessary vehicle master data is saved on credit-card-sized data media of the type SIMATIC RF360T.
The readers are connected to the SIMATIC area controllers via the SIMATIC RF180C communication module and a PROFINET network. On local HMI devices, employees can retrieve the production status at any time, and control the plant if necessary. The RFID application in use at the Volkswagen plant is running reliably and trouble-free across all areas, and with considerably lower acquisition and operating costs, thereby confirming for those in charge that the proper solution has been selected.
The advantages of this comprehensive RFID integration not only are technical in nature, but also pay off in cash terms: less time required for system setup; avoidance of expensive downtimes; targeted diagnostics for fast problem solving; maximum performance of the over-the-air interface (between transponder and RFID reader), as well as for the system communication to the controller; and much more. These advantages result in faster (and, thus, more cost-effective) production processes with a higher product quality—and ultimately increase a company's competiveness.
Markus Weinländer is the head of product management at Siemens' SIMATIC Ident division.
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