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Greater Transparency and Security for the Supply Chain

How integrated RFID tags can be used in elastomer components.
By Sven Gisler

Unlike container-level tracking, each component is equipped with a unique serial number so that it can be identified and uniquely assigned to a batch. In a further step, which serial number data is stored on a database can be defined according to a customer's specifications. For example, the date of manufacture, the batch number, the lot number and production parameters are recommended. The stored data can also be encrypted—a close exchange between manufacturer and customer is also important here.

Unlike glued labels, RFID tags in the elastomer are protected from external influences, such as friction or moisture. The tags can thereby not be lost or damaged. Depending on the component, working with an expert component supplier enables customers to benefit from individual solutions for the placement of the RFID tag. This can be a challenging task, depending on the size and function of the component.

A Major Step Toward Industry 4.0
Many advantages can be realized by embedding RFID tags into elastomer components. On the one hand, error-prone manual tracking on paper is eliminated and replaced by a digital process. On the other hand, this process enables 100 percent traceability. Each workpiece can be accurately assigned at any time, which dramatically improves data quality and transparency throughout the supply chain.

Overall, the increased use of RFID technology is a further step toward Industry 4.0 and paperless production. The storage space on an RFID chip offers more options and a higher data quality than barcodes or manual paper-based tracking. Finally, the individual serial numbers can be matched with a manufacturer's database to facilitate recalls, for example. Last but not least, counterfeit elastomer components can cause major damage to component manufacturers. Thanks to integrated RFID tags, these components can be checked for authenticity, which is a major hurdle for potential imitators and impostors.

Sven Gisler, born in 1992 in Switzerland, graduated from Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Business Engineering and Innovation with a major in computer science. From his previous education, he has in-depth knowledge in electronics. Sven has been working for Datwyler since 2017 and currently occupies the position of advanced technology development manager within the function of technology and innovation. He is responsible for various development projects, most of them related to electronics.

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