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Exploring an open-loop RFID implementation in the automotive industry

Wiberg, Mathias LU (2009) MTT920 20082
Packaging Logistics
Abstract
This master thesis has been conducted to investigate why and how Plastal in Arendal (PAGO), Sweden have implemented RFID technology.

RFID technology has become very popular in recent years (1). It is said to have potential to increase the level of automation (2), reduce the labor levels and to improve the supply chain in areas such as inventory, visibility etc. (3) (see chapter 1.2.1 for more examples). PAGO is one of the first major companies in Sweden that have implemented an open-loop RFID system (see chapter 1.2.3.2) that tag on item level. They are also a supplier of injection-molded and surface-treated plastic to the automotive industry; an industry that is characterized by high level of automation and fierce competition. It is... (More)
This master thesis has been conducted to investigate why and how Plastal in Arendal (PAGO), Sweden have implemented RFID technology.

RFID technology has become very popular in recent years (1). It is said to have potential to increase the level of automation (2), reduce the labor levels and to improve the supply chain in areas such as inventory, visibility etc. (3) (see chapter 1.2.1 for more examples). PAGO is one of the first major companies in Sweden that have implemented an open-loop RFID system (see chapter 1.2.3.2) that tag on item level. They are also a supplier of injection-molded and surface-treated plastic to the automotive industry; an industry that is characterized by high level of automation and fierce competition. It is thus very interesting to investigate why and how PAGO implemented RFID technology; did any problem arise? How did they solve them? What where their underlying reasons?

To minimize the errors caused by manual updating – resulting in incorrect storage levels – PAGO have implemented a RFID system. The system has 24 RFID gates, divided into seven places: injection molding, entry and exit point of high storage 1, paint shop, entry and exit point of high storage 2 and after the sequencing process. The RFID system will help reduce the effects of entering the wrong quantity at the entry and exit point for high storage 1 and 2. It will also reduce the effects of specifying the wrong color or product. Furthermore, it will also help them verifying that each product is correctly assembled.

During the implementation, PAGO encountered some problems with ESD, reading too much or too little, tags becoming partially or completely detached and a long installation time. Most of these problems have been fixed but some of them remain.

There exist several reasons why PAGO implemented a RFID system, other than verifying the assembly and minimizing the effect caused by manual updating. One of those is believed to be because of the nature of the company – They only have 8h to sequence deliver the order, high turnover rates with expensive products and highly automated processes. Another reason is that RFID was a solution that solved both of their specified problems, but also supplying them with more features. Other reasons are that it will probably become a demand from Volvo in the future and that the technology is more future proof than any other technology that would have solved their problem; it is for example believed to be the successor of barcode. Major advantages, both visible and hidden, can be achieved with this RFID implementation. More reliable inventory levels could for example reduce the safety stock level, increase the level of automation and reduce the number of incorrectly assembled products sent to Volvo and thus increase their relationship. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Wiberg, Mathias LU
supervisor
organization
course
MTT920 20082
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Arendal, RFID, Plastal
language
English
id
1395904
date added to LUP
2009-05-12 08:22:08
date last changed
2010-02-01 14:40:04
@misc{1395904,
  abstract     = {This master thesis has been conducted to investigate why and how Plastal in Arendal (PAGO), Sweden have implemented RFID technology.

RFID technology has become very popular in recent years (1). It is said to have potential to increase the level of automation (2), reduce the labor levels and to improve the supply chain in areas such as inventory, visibility etc. (3) (see chapter 1.2.1 for more examples). PAGO is one of the first major companies in Sweden that have implemented an open-loop RFID system (see chapter 1.2.3.2) that tag on item level. They are also a supplier of injection-molded and surface-treated plastic to the automotive industry; an industry that is characterized by high level of automation and fierce competition. It is thus very interesting to investigate why and how PAGO implemented RFID technology; did any problem arise? How did they solve them? What where their underlying reasons?

To minimize the errors caused by manual updating – resulting in incorrect storage levels – PAGO have implemented a RFID system. The system has 24 RFID gates, divided into seven places: injection molding, entry and exit point of high storage 1, paint shop, entry and exit point of high storage 2 and after the sequencing process. The RFID system will help reduce the effects of entering the wrong quantity at the entry and exit point for high storage 1 and 2. It will also reduce the effects of specifying the wrong color or product. Furthermore, it will also help them verifying that each product is correctly assembled.

During the implementation, PAGO encountered some problems with ESD, reading too much or too little, tags becoming partially or completely detached and a long installation time. Most of these problems have been fixed but some of them remain.

There exist several reasons why PAGO implemented a RFID system, other than verifying the assembly and minimizing the effect caused by manual updating. One of those is believed to be because of the nature of the company – They only have 8h to sequence deliver the order, high turnover rates with expensive products and highly automated processes. Another reason is that RFID was a solution that solved both of their specified problems, but also supplying them with more features. Other reasons are that it will probably become a demand from Volvo in the future and that the technology is more future proof than any other technology that would have solved their problem; it is for example believed to be the successor of barcode. Major advantages, both visible and hidden, can be achieved with this RFID implementation. More reliable inventory levels could for example reduce the safety stock level, increase the level of automation and reduce the number of incorrectly assembled products sent to Volvo and thus increase their relationship.},
  author       = {Wiberg, Mathias},
  keyword      = {Arendal,RFID,Plastal},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Exploring an open-loop RFID implementation in the automotive industry},
  year         = {2009},
}