Digital Factory is a term that’s often thrown around frequently, and mostly related with concepts of Industrial Ethernet, IoT, and Machine Automation. However, it is vital to realize that the foundations for a Digital Factory are laid by solutions that aren’t judged by their magnitude but by their ability to improve the efficiency of the plant floor.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Solutions can play a detrimental role in industrial applications, increasing their automation and accuracy. Siemens offers a wide range of RFID solutions fit for industrial use, from mid-range & compact environment to ultra-high-frequency ones.
Even though IoT based industrial automation is still in the works, manufacturing technologies have advanced to such a level that they have taken over the most repetitive tasks from human operators. A prime example is inventory management and component-level tracking system.
It is very likely that you encounter RFID tags everyday, even if you aren’t familiar with them. Radio-Frequency Identification tags (RFID) are small transponders attached or embedded in objects for identification. Common examples include clothing theft tags, EZ Passes, and implanted chips in pets.
Consistency has long been a sought-after feature in the industrial arena, primarily because a single product is installed in multiple locations. But things get even more complicated when an industry decides to procure several products from a particular electronics company. An entire engineers’ division would have to be set-apart for carrying out regular maintenance of each product in its own specified manner, resulting in unnecesarry use of money, time and manpower.
A Key-Operated Switch is simply a switch that can only be operated through a valid, assigned key. The purpose of such switches is simple: to provide restrictions in places where security clearances matter, i.e. industries. We now have ID Key-Operated Switches which are used instead of conventional key switches wherever:
- periodic operation of safety apparatus is required.
- different authorization levels are necessary for smooth operation.
The Sirius ACT ID Key-Operated Switch, created by Siemens, is built on the same principle, based on modern RFID concepts so that authorization and security can be maximized, customized and implemented without complications.
Installing RFID or radio frequency identification systems for tracking can drastically improve a company’s production and efficiency. However, these systems cannot just be thrown into a production facility without lots of research. Finding the specific locations and optimal points to place RFID chips is essential to improving the efficiency. RFID are helpful because they improve productivity, allow for more reliable tracking of parts and inventory, and they allow better maintenance to be tracked in both the past and keep data flowing to warn of future issues.
Use of RFID in Industry
Radio-frequency identification (RFID) has an enormous variety of uses, ranging from public transportation to animal identification to product tracking. In industrial environments, RFID tags are used to track parts or assets, useful for automation and/or logistics purposes.
This post is a continuation from Siemens RFID Solutions: Part 1
One of the major concerns of every user is the operation under abnormal conditions. SIMATIC RF systems tackle this through powerful read/write devices that sport rugged designs for unscathed transmission of data from the mobile storage units to the PLC/PC/etc. In addition, the RF units’ strength doesn’t come from its high level of data integrity but protection against ambient conditions such as shock, presence of liquid or other contaminations.
The invention of the Barcode provided the world with a much-needed identification technique and kicked-off a new wave of automation that continues till this very day. But this wasn’t enough in terms of innovation and efficiency. The widespread use and deep research carried out on the electromagnetic spectrum produced another identification technique: Radio Frequency Indentification (RFID).