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Auto Parts Company Sees Productivity Gain With RFID

TPV Group tracks the movements of components through finishing processes and shipping, using an RFID solution from LEOSS that brings visibility to each carrier of parts and tracks its location at the facility, thereby automating processes and preventing errors.
By Claire Swedberg
Feb 10, 2019

Slovenian automotive parts company TPV Group has boosted its productivity by five percent and eliminated shipping errors thanks to an RFID solution that tracks the movements of components as they are painted and then shipped to customers. The passive UHF-based system, provided by technology company LEOSS, includes Xerafy UHF RFID tags and Zebra Technologies fixed readers.

TPV Group makes body and chassis assemblies, seats and related components, engine gaskets and automated guided vehicle (AGV) solutions for automotive manufacturers. It operates a total of five production sites throughout Slovenia, while the RFID system is live at just one of those sites so far, according to Marko Gorjup, TPV's director and president of management.

Marko Gorjup
The automotive company has a long history with track-and-trace technologies. It began using a bar-code-based solution from LEOSS in 2006 to better manage where products were located at the manufacturing site, and to ensure that they were moved to the proper stations and were packed in the correct containers for shipping. However, the system required workers to stop and scan each bar code, which disrupted workflows and caused some goods to be overlooked.

LEOSS, like the automotive company, is located in Slovenia, Gorjup says, where it serves as a supplier of automatic identification and mobile data collection hardware and software. In 2018, the firm replaced TPV Group's bar-code-based system—which took time and labor for workers to scan each item moving through the facility—with an RFID-based solution. "As the industry moves to the standards of Industry 4.0," says Franci Nadles, LEOSS's owner, "we realized that we have to upgrade our technology, which led us to explore RFID solutions to track production processes" for clients like TPV Group.

The automotive company wanted to automatically track the locations of the carriers in which components are transported, either by its own AGVs or manually, as they move through painting and finishing processes, and when they are packed for shipment to customers. By collecting data regarding the movements of those items via LEOSS's software, the company says it can make the processing for each part more efficient and ensure that no errors are made, either during the painting and finishing steps, or when those parts are shipped.

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