RFID Journal RFID Journal ESPAÑOL RFID Journal BRASIL RFID Journal EVENTS RFID Journal AWARDS
Home Aerospace Apparel CPG Defense Health Care Logistics Manufacturing Pharma Retail

Access This Premium Content

Options To Access This Article:

What Subscribers Are Saying

  • "Probably the best investment I've ever made."
    Steve Meizlish, President & CEO, MeizCorp Services, Inc.
  • "I have found that RFID Journal provides an objective viewpoint of RFID. It you are looking for a resource that provides insights as to the application and implications of deploying RFID, RFID Journal will meet your needs, It gives you a broad perspective of RFID, beyond the retail supply chain."
    Mike O'Shea, Director of Corporate AutoID/RFID Strategies & Technologies, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • "No other source provides the consistent value-added insight that Mark Robert and his staff do. In a world dominated by press release after press release, RFID Journal is developing as the one place to go to make the most sense out of the present and future of RFID in commerce."
    Bob Hurley, Project Leader for RFID, Bayer HealthCare's Consumer Care Division
  • "RFID Journal is the one go-to source for information on the latest in RFID technology."
    Bruce Keim, Director, Hewlett-Packard
  • "RFID Journal is the only source I need to keep up to the minute with the happenings in the RFID world."
    Blair Hawley, VP of Supply Chain, Remington Products Company

MTU Examines RFID to Keep Its Production Line Rolling

The German manufacturer simulated an RFID-enabled kanban system to keep parts in stock and to introduce the technology to employees.
By Jonathan Collins
Jun 19, 2006MTU Aero Engines, based in Munich, Germany, manufactures and repairs military and civil aircraft jet engines worth millions of dollars. Manufacturing an engine requires thousands of parts, which the company categorizes into three broad groups—A, B and C—according to their value. It's essential for those parts to be available when needed, but insufficient supplies of C parts—the smallest and least expensive category, comprised of such items as screws and bolts—can occasionally bring the engine-component production line to a standstill.

"Sometimes, there is a problem with C-part availability," says Sebastian Resch, RFID project leader at MTU. "We have a big assembly shop using 450 C parts, and sometimes there can be interruptions caused by poor C-part availability."



Much of the problem stems from the inability to obtain precise, real-time information about inventory levels from the enterprise resource-planning manufacturing application used to manage inventory and automate ordering and delivery of replacement inventory. For example, if 10 C-part screws were typically needed for a particular assembly but a certain item required more because of its condition, the ERP system would still calculate that 10 screws were used to complete the job.

"The problem with the ERP system is that a lot of information isn't delivered to the system," says Resch. "The number of parts required for each engine is static and very specific, whereas the requirements may vary. In addition, there are issues of shrinkage and parts rejected due to quality." The company needed to provide real-world input about the number of C parts actually used, as compared to the number estimated by the ERP system. To that end, MTU established its first RFID project, utilizing radio frequency identification technology to enable production line workers to alert the manufacturing system whenever more specific C-parts are required.

MTU had another reason to use RFID to tackle this problem. The company hoped the successful use of RFID in one area would open the door to wider RFID deployments throughout its operations, thereby improving efficiency.

The RFID trial lasted several weeks and went hand-in-hand with the introduction of a kanban card (or pull) production system for just-in-time manufacturing. Kanban—named for the Japanese word meaning "visible record"—uses cards to signal the need for more items. MTU used a handful of test cards to alert the IT system when new parts were required so orders could be scheduled to ensure delivery before the existing production line inventory was exhausted.
To continue reading this article, please log in or choose a purchase option.

Option 1: Become a Premium Member.

One-year subscription, unlimited access to Premium Content: $189

Gain access to all of our premium content and receive 10% off RFID Reports and RFID Events!

Option 2: Purchase access to this specific article.

This article contains 1,356 words and 3 pages. Purchase Price: $19.99

Upgrade now, and you'll get immediate access to:

  • Case Studies

    Our in-dept case-study articles show you, step by step, how early adopters assessed the business case for an application, piloted it and rolled out the technology.

    Free Sample: How Cognizant Cut Costs by Deploying RFID to Track IT Assets

  • Best Practices

    The best way to avoid pitfalls is to know what best practices early adopters have already established. Our best practices have helped hundreds of companies do just that.

  • How-To Articles

    Don’t waste time trying to figure out how to RFID-enable a forklift, or deciding whether to use fixed or mobile readers. Our how-to articles provide practical advice and reliable answers to many implementation questions.

  • Features

    These informative articles focus on adoption issues, standards and other important trends in the RFID industry.

    Free Sample: Europe Is Rolling Out RFID

  • Magazine Articles

    All RFID Journal Premium Subscribers receive our bimonthly RFID Journal print magazine at no extra cost, and also have access to the complete online archive of magazine articles from past years.

Become a member today!

RFID Journal LIVE! RFID in Health Care LIVE! LatAm LIVE! Brasil LIVE! Europe RFID Connect Virtual Events RFID Journal Awards Webinars Presentations
© Copyright 2002-2014 RFID Journal LLC.