Optimizing the flow of materials using technologies such as RFID, BLE, GPS, UWB or WLAN is one of the central tasks of Industry 4.0. In combination with an RTLS system, this creates powerful solutions for the manufacturing industry. Favendo, a leading German provider of Real Time Location Services (RTLS) and Kathrein, one of the German market leaders in AutoID, have recognized the opportunities offered by adding technologies to the manufacturing industry and are working together to find the best possible combination for each use case.
The potential of combining RFID and RTLS
RFID is used to identify objects through selective capture. RFID is mostly used in the context of container or asset management and for controlling the flow of materials. Auto-identification via RFID is particularly suitable for industrial environments and closed circuits. One disadvantage of the technology is that it is location-bound. AutoID technology reaches its limits when it comes to the precise identification of load carriers within a block storage area or on outdoor areas. This is where an RTLS system can provide a remedy.
Indeed, with a real-time location system, walking/driving routes can also be traced. Overall, the system always provides a complete overview of the existing inventory, its position and historical data, for example how the object got to its current location. This is particularly advantageous in connection with special load carriers – as is often the case in the automotive industry.
What does a combination of RFID & RTLS look like in the use case?
Of course, it would be obvious to equip all load carriers with a location tag for the RTLS system. However, in terms of hardware costs, this solution is not very profitable.
Therefore, a solution has to be found that not only manages to locate load carriers within the plant premises, but also to map the routes and processes traveled. In the best case scenario, this tracking system can then also be integrated into an existing ERP/SAP in order to use the data to optimize processes and identify bottlenecks.
Webinar on RFID + RTLS for digital material flow tracking
In a joint webinar with our partner Kathrein on July 22 at 10:00 a.m., we have presented what exactly such a combination of RFID and RTLS can look like in a use case, how the technologies can be combined in a sensible and cost-efficient manner, and what potential this creates for the manufacturing industry.
In addition we provide you with an overview of a wide variety of location technologies as well as their advantages and disadvantages. You can re-watch the webinar on demand here. (Note: The webinar language is German)
The ideal location technology for the manufacturing industry
In addition to RFID-based tracking, there are a wide variety of other tracking technologies that can be used in the industry in combination with an RTLS system, such as BLE, WLAN, GPS or UWB. Which of the technologies is suitable for the respective use case in particular always depends on the individual requirements for the solution and should be worked out within the proof of concept.
Kathrein and Favendo can draw on many years of proven expertise in the areas of RFID/UWB and RTLS/BLE to find the best possible technology for your use case.
Favendo is the reliable partner for outstanding Real Time Location Services. Our team delivers effective solutions on time for the cruise industry, manufacturing, public buildings and health care facilities. To provide our customers with a solution that fits their needs 100%, we partner with Quuppa and Abeeway.
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