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Window and Door Company Doubles Output via RFID

Idealcombi has reduced the time required to produce a custom window or door down to about one minute, using EPC Gen 2 passive UHF tags to automatically adjust the settings on its manufacturing equipment.
By Claire Swedberg
Jun 22, 2012By deploying radio frequency identification technology at its facility, Idealcombi, a custom window and door manufacturer based in Denmark, has successfully automated aspects of its production process, reports Arne Burlund, the company's IT director. As a result, he says, Idealcombi has doubled the capacity of its plant without requiring additional employees.

With EPC Gen 2 passive ultrahigh-frequency (UHF) tags attached to products, the system automatically adjusts the setting of assembly machines, based on specifications required by a particular order. Previously, the entire process was performed manually. The RFID technology, provided by Prosign RFID, also enables the firm to create a record of its production processes. In the event of a defect or problem involving a specific product, the manufacturing process can be easily retraced.

Idealcombi's Arne Burlund
At its 88,000-square-meter (947,200-square-foot) factory in Denmark, Idealcombi operates a series of machines for carrying out such tasks such as painting, drilling and installing brackets, and competes with manufacturers that produce similar products in nations where labor costs are lower. Therefore, the firm had sought a solution that would help reduce labor costs, while allowing it to continue its operations in Denmark.

The company first met with Prosign approximately four years ago, says Michael Jensen, Prosign's RFID director and CEO, with the goal of doubling its capacity without increasing its number of employees. At that time, its staff adjusted the machines manually in order to meet the specifications of each order, which required the company to print instructions on a piece of paper that followed each window or door as it moved from one machine to the next. The staff could then read the instructions and set the machines accordingly.

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