Bye bye paper

Paper-based processes in intralogistics are inefficient, inaccurate and unscalable.
RUCH NOVAPLAST, a leading manufacturer of molded components made of particle foam, uses
RFID systems to record transport trolleys at every production stage.

The transport trolley used to be conventionally labeled using paper. This process took a long time and yielded little information as to the current status of the trolleys in production. Parts produced on the machines are first placed on the transport trolleys and then run through various production stages. As soon as the molded parts are finished, they are unloaded from the transport trolley and packaged according to the customer’s specifications. Multi-stage production, manual and paper-based processes generated a high posting volume, not to mention data input inaccuracies, which limited the possibilities of evaluating data.

Transparency instead of paperwork

In order to increase efficiency and data accuracy, RUCH NOVAPLAST decided to largely automate these processes. Freelance engineer Alexander Zeifang is responsible for the roll-out: “We aim to design work flows efficiently and to make work easier for the employees on the job.” In the future, the automatically recorded data will serve as the basis for dynamic displays within the respective production stage and will help to optimize intralogistic work flows and save resources.

We aim to design work flows efficiently and to make work easier for the employees on the job. The automatically recorded data optimize intralogistic work flows and save resources.

Projektingenieur Alexander Zeifang, RUCH NOVAPLAST
100 years of Balluff: Transparency with radio and software solutions: Keeping constant track of transport trolley progress. Photo: RUCH NOVAPLAST

RFID transponders create transparency

“For our customer RUCH NOVAPLAST, we rely on a modular, easily extendable software solution based on RFID”, explains Adrian Trabold, Head of D&IIoT Customer Project Sales, Balluff. RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology offers an efficient, industry-proven and inexpensive option for automatically recording transport trolleys. A suitable RFID infrastructure has to be installed on both the transport trolleys and the production stations in order to generate posting events. These events are notified in the backend via customized Balluff middleware and the data is backed up. They are then forwarded via a software connector supplied by Balluff to the higher-level enterprise system designated by the customer.

100 Years of Balluff: Transparency with radio and software solutions: Keeping constant track of transport trolley progress. Photo: RUCH NOVAPLAST

RUCH NOVAPLAST

is an innovative company that offers product solutions made of particle foam. Its portfolio largely consists of polymer-based technical applications for the heating and air conditioning industry, building technology and lightweight construction.

Empty running and backlogs are avoided

As the individual stages are now automatically posted, employees recognize at a glance the location, condition and order allocation of the internal transport trolleys. This ensures that the trolleys always reach the work stations at exactly the right time. Empty lines and backlogs are thus eliminated.

As each work station is connected, employees can view all process stages on a display, or can display the work stage the transport trolleys are currently going through. The modular system structure also enables processes to be changed and extended whenever required. “Thanks to the successful implementation of the project, we now have an extendable RFID-based solution to which further sensors and additional software modules can be added at any time. We can, therefore, achieve more transparency across the work flows using an approach that is automated, efficient and inexpensive,” says a satisfied Zeifang, who appreciates the partner cooperation with Balluff: “Thanks to the good and competent cooperation, the work packets for which Balluff was responsible were implemented within just four months.”

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