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RUD Ketten

RFID Optimizes Verification and Documentation of Load Suspension Devices at Voith Turbo

Artikel | von RUD Ketten | 27. März 2014
All load suspension device data are deposited in the software. The software can be used to recall information on when the respective part was last checked and when the next check is due. All load suspension device data are deposited in the software. The software can be used to recall information on when the respective part was last checked and when the next check is due. BILD: RUD Ketten

Focussing on Security

Until two years ago, Voith employees responsible for the testing of load suspension devices had to face the challenge of regularly testing all used chains‘ and slings‘ functionality. Dealing with countless parts, which are to be tested, the legally required inspection is not only enormously time consuming, as every part has to be clearly identified and assigned to the stock, but the documentation of the results is also extremely error-prone. As a result, the tests were documented barely or not at all.

Insufficient Options

As, without clear segment allocation the testing of load suspension devices is almost impossible, there was a lack of an overview of which item was tested when and if all parts were actually recorded. Furthermore, marking the parts already tested posed a challenge. Stickers or attached plastic plates hardly resist every day stresses in production. Even in a well-organized enterprise, it is not always easy to keep track of all safety-relevant parts which are subject to obligatory testing. If, however, a chain or a sling point is damaged or has to be discarded, this may lead to serious concequences and endanger the employees‘ occupational safety.

Voith Turbo, a division of Voith Group, located in Heidenheim, is specialized in developing and manufacturing drive and brake systems for rail, road and vessels. In production, heavy construction parts have to be moved safely to manufacture turbo transmissions for locomotives, for instance. During this process, countless load suspension devices are applied. In order to ensure that these are always fully operational, they have to be checked regularly. Yet how is it possible to clearly identify all these parts and document the test results? RFID is part of an innovative solution.

Aiming at Occupational Safety and Legal Certainty

Looking for a faster and easier way to put the obligatory tests into practice and automate documentation, Voith Turbo became aware of the RUD-ID-System®, developed by RUD Ketten. After priliminary talks, the technical project realization was ready for launch in June 2012. All of the 5,000 very diverse slings from the Voith Turbo section “rail“ were supposed to be equipped with an RFID transponder. Furthermore, RUD-ID-NET®, a software developed by RUD Ketten, was to be integrated. Voith‘s main targets were the uniform, simplified, and legally certain testing of all slings, including an appropriate documentation, and subsequentially a centrally controlled reordering of substitutes via tool management.

The Net Application is the central management of all work equipment. For this innovative software solution, RUD achieved the “Best in Cloud Award“ from the magazine “Computerwoche“ in 2013.

Many Challenges – One Solution

devices includes are manifold. In the first place, the solution has to be robust, because chains and slings need to work flawlessly in a rough industrial environment. At the same time, software to document and manage the generated data has to meet several requirements. Voith Turbo needed a web based data base without a separate data backup. The software also had to be flexible enough to also manage third party products and product information pre-assigned by the factory, such as individual designations, test certificates, and so on. Without the need for local software installation, automatic generation and archiving of test reports, clear test planning, and online access to the test history was supposed to be guaranteed. As the software application by RUD Ketten can be web-based operated, multiple requirements were met at once. Due to the high flexibility of the master data to be managed, Voith can use data provided by RUD Ketten, as well as creating individual data with definable user rights. In 2013, the software developer RUD Ketten reveived the “Best in Cloud“ award from the magazine “Computerwoche“.

One Time Investment, 100 Times the Benefit

Recording and marking all load suspension devices at Voith Turbo took about 1,000 humanhours. Every part had to be sorted into containers according to segment and workstation. After the load suspension devices were tested and those which were no longer required were removed, the RFID transponders could be fitted. All parts which were approved by RUD Ketten were marked using a drilling of only a few millimeters, where the RUD-ID-Point® was then pressfitted into. If Slings did not allow for drilling, the transponder was either adhered or attached. Once the time-consuming initial marking was done, a lot of time could be saved at subsequent tests. For the introduction of the new system, Voith Turbo also placed high value on defining a standard process for the new acquisition of load suspension devices. By defining this process, it can now be ensured that no new device will be used without appropriate marking.

Special Cases: Sandblasting and Hardening Shop

A special challenge for RFID marking is pulsating heat and high mechanical stress. This problem became obvious during sandblasting and at the hardening shop of Voith Turbo. To solve this issue, the RFID transponder is separated from the actual load suspension device. It is then archived outside the area of use on some kind of pinboard using “twin“ hangers so it cannot be interchanged. In the next step, the transponder is attached to the respective part again.

Kick-Off for RFID at the Diesel Propulsion Systems Unit

Voith Turbo has a total of four branches: industrial, marine, road, and rail, which is associated with the business unit diesel propulsion systems. In this area, the pilot project “RFID-based load suspension means“ was launched first across the Voith group. The inclusion of additional group areas is part of the planning.

RFID Expansion Planned

All objectives of Voith Turbo, regarding test and documentation process optimization, were achieved, marking load suspension devices with RFID. Thus, the company plans to expand RFID marking and recording to all working materials which are subject to obligatory test cycles. These materials also include doors and gates, fire extinguishers, crane technology and ladders.

Letzte Änderung am Samstag, 24 Oktober 2015 21:09