• Application Scope








    Uncheck

    Search text

    Technology






RFID im Blick

The world's first at Mercedes-Benz in Bremen: RFID detects leaks in cars!

Use Cases | By PR RFID im Blick Global | 07 December 2015
Innovative spirit at Mercedes-Benz in Bremen! Mercedes-Benz in Bremen looks beyond the conventional and gets innovative ideas from close partnerships with companies outside the automotive industry, from regional industry partners or even from wind farms. Innovations are introduced in terms of alternative materials, energy and drive units as well as process innovations in manufacturing. This innovative spirit is an essential part of this production consortium, where there are regular meetings with “companies from other industries”. Innovative spirit at Mercedes-Benz in Bremen! Mercedes-Benz in Bremen looks beyond the conventional and gets innovative ideas from close partnerships with companies outside the automotive industry, from regional industry partners or even from wind farms. Innovations are introduced in terms of alternative materials, energy and drive units as well as process innovations in manufacturing. This innovative spirit is an essential part of this production consortium, where there are regular meetings with “companies from other industries”. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz in Bremen is testing a new RFID tag to detect moisture during leakage tests

Water becomes a problem when it enters a vehicle. Therefore, extensive and meticulous leakage testing needs to be a standard procedure in vehicle finishing. Leakage tests are given a lot of attention, particularly in the early stages of a new production model. Innovative car concepts, such as hybrid vehicles with additional components, require an equally innovative way of testing, since conventional methods are no longer applicable. A promising approach is a completely new RFID application for the Bremen plant – Mercedes-Benz is in the process of planning this with a technology partner.

From Dr. Axel Maykuß, Team Leader for all exteriors and car tightness in joint development, Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen

Higher demands

The requirement for high-quality production is not just evident within Mercedes-Benz – the end-users, in particular, have high expectations of the manufacturing quality of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, no matter what model. This includes the need for a vehicle to be absolutely water-tight so water cannot enter through closed windows, doors and hatchbacks. Neither rainwater from a downpour, nor car wash cleaning water, nor water from high pressure cleaners is allowed to enter the vehicle interior. Elements that are not a challenge in contemporary series production must, however, be carefully monitored during the start-up production of a new car model. It takes a few weeks until a manufacturing process is 100 per cent trouble-free and error-free. It is only when all the components have the required size accuracy, all seals have the correct shore hardness and all employees have internalised all the production steps that the series production can run smoothly. The integration of additional control devices, batteries and wiring harnesses has dramatically changed the demands on quality control during the production start-up phase.

Dr. Axel MaykußDr. Axel Maykuß “New vehicle technologies, such as cars with a hybrid drive, require the rethinking of test processes for quality control. RFID technology has the potential to become the basis for future leakage test methods”, says Dr. Axel Maykuß.

New vehicle concepts require new tests

Automotive technology has become much more complex in recent years. The engineers in automotive development use every cavity in the vehicles to place batteries for hybrid drives, plus necessary additional wiring harnesses. Control units and further components are also used for advanced driver assistance systems, for example. Technological advances in automotive technology carry a definite disadvantage for leakage testing: conventional methods can no longer be applied. A novel solution is urgently needed, as otherwise vehicles will need to be completely disassembled after production in order to test water tightness at vulnerable points.

Passive RFID measures moisture

Together with its technology partner, the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen has developed a method based on passive RFID for measuring moisture in a project that was initiated some nine months ago. The new RFID labels are glued into the vehicles at the start of production. Following production and rain-proofing procedures, the capacity load can be determined using an RFID transponder to find out whether or not water has entered the vehicle. Tests have already been carried out on two production start-ups. The results give genuine hope that RFID may be the most viable future method for the leakage testing of vehicles. In 2016, Mercedes-Benz and its technology partners will continue to work on this innovative use of RFID.

Up to six labels detect water

The production tests at the Bremen plant are not just about testing functionality to collect data to support a possible roll-out, but also to determine the required number of labels needed per vehicle. Depending on the model, the number currently varies from four to 14 labels a vehicle. Apart from taking a commercial standpoint, it is also important to consider a sensible and feasible technological perspective. According to the findings of the first tests, the label placement, used in an average of six different positions, seems to optimise processes.

An automation revolution

To eliminate manual processes during leakage testing, the use of automated RFID is a revolutionary approach that currently has the best potential for successful implementation. After all, the use of RFID should allow Mercedes-Benz to fully automate their vehicle quality control. The degree of automation in quality control should be brought to a higher level so that the employees can concentrate on their real work analysing leakages. A review process will now be established to assist the staff in vehicle tightness analysis and to reduce the overall working hours by eliminating additional manual tasks.

Last modified on Monday, 04 January 2016 15:37

RFID tomorrow 2016

RFID tomorrow 2016September 19th - 20th 2016
Van der Valk Airport Hotel, Dusseldorf, Germany
20 Technology Lectures | 27 User Lectures
35 Exhibitors | 35 SpeedLabs by RFID Companies with Live Demos

Download the RFID tomorrow Program 2016:DownloadYour Download

Stay tuned for RFID tomorrow in autumn 2017!

Sponsor

 

RFID tomorrow

RFID tomorrow 2016

RFID Guide

Company + Application Guide RFID | NFC | Smart Cards

Subscription

RFID im Blick Global

Contact us

Your Contact to RFID im Blick Global

You are here: Home RFID Know-How Use Cases The world's first at Mercedes-Benz in Bremen: RFID detects leaks in cars!