• Application Scope







    Uncheck

    Search text
    Technology






Siemens

Flexible RFID Parts Identification by Siemens at the Mercedes-Benz-Plant Kassel

Use Cases | By Siemens | 23 July 2013
Siemens read / write devices Simatic RF350R are installed along the transport lines. When a data carrier passes a track switch, the read / write device reads the information from the RFID data carrier attached to the passing pallets. According to the quality data the control unit decides, which way the pallet will go. That way, goods carriers equipped with NiO products (out of order) will drive towards post processing stations, while iO parts (functional) will get to the next assembly station. Siemens read / write devices Simatic RF350R are installed along the transport lines. When a data carrier passes a track switch, the read / write device reads the information from the RFID data carrier attached to the passing pallets. According to the quality data the control unit decides, which way the pallet will go. That way, goods carriers equipped with NiO products (out of order) will drive towards post processing stations, while iO parts (functional) will get to the next assembly station. Photo: Siemens

Flexible parts identification enables fast changeover to new axle production at the Mercedes-Benz-plant Kassel

At the Mercedes-Benz plant Kassel around 3,000 employees annually produce around 650,000 axles for trucks, transporters and trailer as well as drive shafts and automobile components. During the installion of the axle gears a new RFID solution captures all relevant machine and operation data. For the material and data flow to be perfectly synchronized, the transport controls and workstations were decoupled. This was the prerequisite for a flexible reconstruction of the assembly line in regard to a future product generation.

Basic process control and workstations decoupled from assembly lines

"Simple manageability, robust construction and touchless function without visual contact were advantages which suggested to use an RFID solution in the planning of the new identification system", Jürgen Golob undelines, who is responsible for electric conversions at the Mercedes-Benz plant Kassel in the team, "maintenance and production technology". "The transponders can be read out and written reliably in harsh environments - with remarkable speed", the Mercedes Benz employee adds. He was however convinced that an RFID solution was only useful if all stations of the Assembly line were linked to the system. This presupposed that not only the workstations have appropriate interfaces, but also that the conveyor belts are equipped with read / write devices.

Sufficient reserves available

The new RFID solution at the plant in Kassel is based on 45 read / write devices of the type Simatic RF350R from Siemens which are installed along the assembly lines and the workstations. Each read / write device is connected to an external antenna and networked with a transformer module ASM 456. Each transformer module operates in turn two read / write devices for the grid connection via Profibus. The distance between the tag and reader amounts 125 millimeters at a maximum. 80 workpiece carriers are equipped with transponders Simatic RF340T and have each a storage capacity of 8 KB. "Thus sufficient reserves are available even if the requirements increase", Jürgen Golob explains. "We also left gaps at the allocation of memory at the workstations, so we don't need to move any data records when new information is added."

Direct transmission to MES server

In addition to manufacturing data from the pre and main assembly, a data record includes a so called contact pattern which for instance provides information about the interaction of the open gears of the toothed wheel and the bevel gear. This data is directly transmitted to the server of the manufacturing execution system (MES) for commissioning, assembly monitoring and machine data acquisition. A palette change takes place at the transition of the workpiece from the pre to the main assembly. Part of the data is transferred via DP/DP couplers and PROFIBUS to the RFID data carrier of the new palette. Once the rear axle housings are complete, they enter a decoupling module. The data of the main assembly is transferred the MES server as well.

Plans for further reconstruction of the assembly line

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Kassel now works with a solution, where the "intelligence" of the transport controls of the pre and main assembly is integrated into the workstations. A further reconstruction and development of the assembly is necessary in advance to start the production of a new generation of axles. "The installation complies with the State of the art today. Thus we have created the condition to realize the upcoming changes much faster than it would have been possible otherwise", Golob explains. The new RFID solution always provides informative, up-to-date data that accompanies the product from the outset. Material and data flow are optimally synchronized and make identification safe and traceable.

Siemens is sponsor of the marketplace by „RFID im Blick“ and exhibitor at the „RFID Conference“ on September 10, 2013 in Dusseldorf, where the company offers the following SpeedLab :

  • Product automation – Variations under control, RFID for flexible manufacturing: Albert Hofmann, Field Engineer SIMATIC Ident, Siemens AG
Last modified on Wednesday, 21 October 2015 17:27
RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2019
RFID and Wireless IoT tomorrow 2019Europe's largest congress for RFID & Wireless IoT
October 29. - 30. 2019
Darmstadtium, Darmstadt near Frankfurt, Europe
Conference | Exhibition | Live demos
We look forward to meet you!
 
RFID tomorrow

RFID & Wireless IoT tomorrow 2018

RFID Guide

Company + Application Guide RFID | NFC | Smart Cards

Subscription

RFID im Blick Global

Contact us

Your Contact to RFID im Blick Global