German supplier Rehau is testing a prototype of an RFID gate as part of a government-supported project called the RFID-based Automotive Network (RAN).
The project aims to improve warehousing and logistics operations in the auto industry through the use of RFIDs. Tagged with RFID ”“ or radio-frequency identification ”“ labels, goods or components pass through a gate that reads and passes on the information for processing.
The RAN project will use input from six test cases to standardize RFID gates.
Rehau builds a large number of different bumpers, which means the company has to deal with a complex distribution process. An RFID gate,which captures information about components or finished products as they are moved around production facilities, would help streamline operations because it would allow Rehau to simplify its bumper storage processes and make them more reliable.
At Rehau, bumpers and pallets used to transport them will be tagged with RFIDs. When a forklift truck subsequently drives through the RFID gate, all tagged parts will be captured by two readers. Â The data will be shown on the forklift driver’s display, which will allow him to move the goods to the proper location immediately.
Following the building of the RFID gate in Rehau’s logistics center in Ingolstadt north of Munich, two test runs were made to improve the reading abilities of the antennae. Further test runs are planned to improve reading accuracy. The gates are expected to be fully operational in March.
RAN’s main goal is to establish an RFID standard for the auto industry. The RAN project is coordinated by Daimler and includes, on the supplier side, Bosch, Keiper and Rehau. IT companies Eurolog, IBM, Siemens and Cisco also participate. And rounding out the group are two logistics service providers, BLG and DHL, as well as four reseach institutes.
The RAN project started in 2010 and will run for three years. The German Economics Ministry provides 20 million euros in funding.