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100 Percent Shipment Packaging Control With RFID at Kromberg und Schubert

Use Cases | By LinogistiX | 29 May 2013
The sets of cables, produced at the tunesian facility, are used in different sections of a vehicle. The sets of cables, produced at the tunesian facility, are used in different sections of a vehicle. Photo: Kromberg & Schubert GmbH & CO. KG

Focus on quality and shipment safety

Wiring Systems for the Automobile Industry

Modern cars and trucks have hundreds of electronic construction parts. Those have to be reliably provided with energy – that's the cable harness' central function. The automobile supplier Kromberg & Schubert produces cable harnesses for various customers in its Tunesian facility, most of all manufacturers from the premium sector. For a 100 percent guarantee of delivering the right cable harness to the right recipient, the supplier decided to use an RFID based shipment packaging control.

The production of cable harnesses requires a high proportion of manual activities. Employees manually assemble cable harnesses by hand on so called „cable forming boards“. In order to deliver the finished cable harnesses, the supplier uses reusable bags, which are in constant circulation between supplier and automobile manufacturer. After production, up to 16 bags are prepared to be shipped to Germany in the wood repackaging station. In order to provide a 100 percent control that the respective cable harnesses arrive at the right customer, Kromberg & Schubert ordered the company Linogistix to develop an RFID system. „From our point of view, the application could have also been realized with a barcode solution. Still it was one of our goals to implement a protection that is more high-end than a barcode. RFID technology seemed to be a suitable solution for us, because the RFID transponders we use can be positioned very well. They are protected and can not be seen from the outside“, Marion Prücklmeier, Logistics Planning at Kromberg & Schubert, reports.

Goal: 100 Percent Packaging Control

Packaged into a closed wooden box, the bags are pulled through an RFID gate. The recorded ID numbers of the transponders are matched with a database. In case of a wrong or unsuccessful read result, another reading process is initiated. Only if an error occurs in this process as well, the package has to be emptied and the cable harnesses run through the process again. „The solution's goal was not to save costs, but, by implementing an additional protection, to ensure that absolutely no set of cables leaves the production facility to a wrong destination. The system development focused on increasing the quality and delivery reliability“, says Andreas Trautmann, Managing Director at Linogistix.

RFID „on top“

„Our company had been embracing the thought of using an RFID solution for delivery reliability for a longer time. All processes in our production facilities are already secured by a barcode solution. As our Tunesian production facility supplies two different customer facilities for the same vehicle derivate and there is only little time for shipment packaging control, we were looking for an „on top“ solution in addiation to the already existing barcode control“, explains Marion Prücklmeier.

Development From a Single Source

„We came into contact with the company Kromberg & Schubert at the LogiMAT for the first time. After numerous talks and consultings, we started to make the concept, select the hardware, such as Smart-Tec transponders, for instance, and develop the software and interfaces for real time matching of the expected read results. For our customers it was important to match the expected read results in real time“, Andreas Trautmann explains.

Further Functions Possible

„We consider the solution which we will roll out now, a high tech application, which we implement at our Tunesian production facility internally for the first time worldwide as a project. In order to plan a possible transfer to other locations or a system expansion for more functions, we have to gather experience with the application in practice in the first place“, says Marion Prücklmeier. During the development stage, Linogistix developed approaches to further expand the system, which, up to now, only reads the transponders' ID numbers to match them with the database. „There are already considerations to use the system at other points in the production in a next step. The goal would be to read control information from the RFID transponders, in accordance with the 'Internet of things', to automate the way of the finished cable harnesses from the packing table to the packaging division using conveyor technology“, Andreas Trautmann reports. However, he adds: „Currently our focus is totally on delivering the whole system, we developed, and to roll it out at our customer's facility in Tunesia.“

The complete article was published in the April issue 2013 of the magazine "RFID im Blick".

Last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:28
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Andreas Trautmann

LinogistiX GmbH

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