Products & Solutions
What is Asset Management and Why is it Important?
Understanding the location of assets as well as stored and updated information about the asset is the core of automated asset management. One of the most reliable and widely used ways to manage assets is via an edge device like the MICA RF-R500 RFID system. RFID is a technology that uses radio waves to read, capture and store information on an RFID tag that is attached to an object.
What Can You do with the MICA RF-R500 RFID Asset Management Solution?
1. Improve productivity by reducing the amount of time people spend searching
People in production spend millions of hours searching for tools, boxes and containers. Misplaced items mean wasted time. RFID helps to reduce these search times because each item is uniquely identified and their positions can be automatically determined and visualized.
2. Improve process quality and documentation by tracking products through the complete manufacturing process
Some things that are manufactured are small and easy to lose. An example of this are PCBs, that no longer have the available board space for barcodes. In addition, customers require increased process and quality documentation. With RFID, you can track objects, like PCBs, throughout their complete life cycle. Documentation can be generated automatically, and the quality can be traced throughout the complete process. This means production companies can catch errors sooner and their customer can be assured of the quality throughout the entire process.
3. Reduce downtime and eliminate misconfigurations by automatically configuring machines
One of the major trends in Industry 4.0 is the reduction of lot sizes and the increased need for customized products. As a result, machines have to be reconfigured and set up much more often. RFID allows the automatic identification of machine components and tools. Consequently, the machine can automatically load the appropriate configuration for the installed machine components and tools as well as prevent the machine from turning on if the wrong tool or program is loaded.
4. Improve overall process and quality documentation
Customers request more documentation and demand more transparency from their suppliers. The amount of manpower to manually produce this is staggering and unrealistic. By using RFID, the documentation can be created automatically and in real time.
5. Monitor conditions with special RFID tags that integrate sensor or Bluetooth capabilities into the tag.
Condition monitoring is key for new business models that focus on rental maintenance equipment or selling services. For companies, it is imperative to know if their equipment remains in excellent condition or if there is a risk that the equipment will break down. The latest RFID technology adds a sensor to the RFID tag. This opens up new possibilities and applications, such as gearboxes and other rotating components. The sensor tags need no battery and are maintenance-free. This way, conditions such as predictive maintenance temperatures can be measured and monitored for years.
What Products do I Need for an Asset Management Solution?
Get started prototyping your solution with the HARTING MICA RF-R300 Complete RFID Starter Kit. This kit contains everything needed for a basic RFID asset tracking application.
Does this kit not meet your needs? See the other kits we have available or contact us about a larger integration solution.
A large transport company was developing a new series of subway vehicles. An information and communication network was used to interface different services and functions between various 3rd party devices. The transport company needed a solution that addressed all the following issues:
- Automatic platform side detection - In the past, doors were opened manually when the driver released a pull side (left or right). This practice comes with the risk that the driver may incorrectly open the wrong side of the train, and passengers could be harmed when attempting to exit. A system would be needed to ensure that a door would open only if there was a platform.
- Wheel rim lubrication – A wheel requires lubrication in order to work properly. Lubrication would be applied via a trolley system, which utilizes centrifugal force in order to ensure proper application. If there were insufficient centrifugal forces at low speeds, the controls would fail, causing poor lubrication and ultimately damage to the wheel.
- Driver authentication -Until now, journey books were managed manually and prone to errors. The company needed a solution where the driver will be authenticated locally on the train, and that information needed to be shared globally in the network. In addition, the company needed to ensure that the train would not move in the case of unauthorized access.
All of these issues were solved with the HARTING MICA Basic combined with an Industrial RFID solution from HARTING. The entire solution only required 1 HARTING MICA Basic, 2 HARTING RF-R500 Reader and passive UHF transponders and six antennas.The RF-R500 readers were mounted to each end of the train. Three antennas were connected to each reader, two of which are located on the underside of the vehicle and one in the driver's cab. Depending on the direction of travel, one of the two RFID readers is used.
The readers were connected to the HARTING MICA Basic, which was able to do all of the following:
- Gather, process and control all information coming from the RFID readers.
- Evaluate information from the RFID transponders and send the data to the vehicle control system.
- Translate between all the train protocols (UDP, NTP) as well as the PLC and reader protocols (LLRP, NTP).
- Monitor the RFID readers and antennas and reports faults to the vehicle control system.
- Ensure that lubrication was applied to the wheel rims, even at low speeds.
- Authenticate the driver via the RFID operating license and add it to a digital logbook.
- In the case of unauthorized access, implement an immobilizer to prevent the train from moving.
The open software architecture and modularity of the HARTING MICA allowed all functions to be implemented on a device with modern software techniques such as Java and Apache Felix OSGi. In addition, its robust housing and track certification allowed the HARTING MICA to be installed on the vehicle without risk of damage.
A transportation company needed to automate the management of their transport containers and trains in a freight yard. Previously, they managed all of the data through manual entry in Excel spreadsheets. Often simple questions required comparing several long spreadsheets that could be outdated or incorrect. Some of these issues included: location of railway car on a track, location of a specific container on a train, when or if a car is due for maintenance.
The solution needed to provide all data in a glance and automatically update in real time. In addition, the solution needed to be suitable for an industrial, high-vibration environment and able to be processed at speeds up to 75 mph.
The solution was a HARTING MICA RF-R300 combined with a HARTING Industrial RFID system. Robust UHF passive transponders were attached to the train via a metal bracket. These transponders were suitable for use on metal and robust enough for an outdoor environment.
The transponders were read via antennas that could process data traveling at 75 mph. The data was then sent to the HARTING MICA RF- R300, which read, processed and visualized all the data in the HARTING Ha-VIS Middleware.
The result was a rugged, automatic and paperless system that provided all necessary information at a glance. This saved countless hours searching for information in long spreadsheets, and prevented errors caused by manual tracking.
An injection molding company needed to reduce the amount of time spent searching for molds. In addition, they needed to ensure that the molds are inserted into the correct machine. Inventory was managed manually by paper. This resulted in instances of molds being misplaced or scheduled for the same job. Sometimes, the wrong mold was inserted into a machine. This resulted in lost time when the wrong item was made or misaligned for the current program.
The company had all of their molds as well as all of the machines and gates equipped with antennas and readers. All of these tags and antennas were connected to and controlled by the HARITNG MICA RF-R300 Reader. Unlike other RFID readers that can only translate the RFID data, the HARTING MICA RF-R300 reader could both read and process data directly on the machine in real time. This allowed the machine to pull the program associated with the mold right when the mold was inserted into the machine. With another solution, two pieces of hardware, a reader and another computer, would be needed to do what the HARTING MICA RF-R300 does. As a result of this solution, the company saw improved process and quality as well as a reduction in time and improvement of logistics flow.